Juicing for immunity is one of the smartest things you can use your juicer machine for. Especially in this day and age. Sometimes it seems like we live in a society where medicine is becoming food – there are prescription and OTC drugs for every condition under the sun. And whereas medicine does have its place, the truth is that ole’ Hippocrates was right – (good) food is the best medicine.
“Let food be your medicine and medicine your food!” – Hippocrates
Rather than stocking up on cold medication, drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juice is a brilliant way to prevent and treat the pesky sniffles as well as to keep yourself safe from more serious diseases. Fresh juices give you a huge variety of antioxidants and phytochemicals that go to bat for you – keeping your immune system healthy so it can do its job to keep you healthy.
Here are the best illness fighting foods to add to your juice recipes so you can use your sick days for fun times!
Juicing for Immunity: Best Foods to Juice
If you don’t have a juicer yet, you’ll want to get one – pronto – if only to juice the following fruits, veggies, and herbs in preparation for the winter.
Ginger and Turmeric
You knew fresh ginger and turmeric would be on this list, didn’t you? Well, that’s no surprise. After all, these two super roots are phenomenal, especially when they’re consumed raw.
Why’s that, you ask? Ginger is got this little compound called gingerols which has powerful anti-carcinogen and anti-inflammatory properties – it’s also been shown to contains antimicrobial compounds that inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi as well as activate our body’s T cells (our body’s immunity-protecting white blood cells).
Turmeric is another spicy, intense herb with super strong antioxidant properties – it’s well-known as a detox herb – perfect for a thoroughly cleansing the body and prepping it for ideal immune system function – but it’s also effective in treating fever, infections, and inflammations, comparable in potency to ibuprofen and hydrocortisone.
Not the usual juicing suspect – but still, there’s nothing better for warding off colds and flus. You see, garlic contains a wonderful chemical called allicin, which has potent anti-carcinogenic, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. It’s been shown to boost immunity, lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce your risk of blood clots, and even prevent insect bites.
Not only does pineapple add a deliciously sweet component to any juice recipe, it also brings a huge dose of bromelain to the table – and this enzyme comes with significant antibacterial benefits, boosting the immune system and helping to flush out unwanted substances in the body.
A 2014 study on Philippine children found that those who consumed pineapple juice daily had significantly less incidence of infection and those who did have infection recovered more quickly than infected children who did not consume pineapple juice.
It’s not surprising when you consider that in addition to bromelain, pineapple contains a lot of vitamin C, which is also an important antioxidant for immunity and recovery.
Want to know the most under-rated immune boosting superfood out there? Yup, it’s the humble sweet potato. While carrots hog all the attention for their Vitamin A content, sweet potato goes unnoticed. Which is just not right when you consider that just one medium-sized sweet potato provides almost 400% of your daily requirement of vitamin A!
That’s a huge – and welcome – dose when you consider that Vitamin A is a formidable disease-fighting antioxidant. How? It helps increase T cell activity in the body, which is great news since T cells are fight infection.
It even plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of your mucosal surfaces like the insides of your nose, your gastrointestinal tract as well as your skin. This helps further boost your body’s defenses simply by keeping infections from entering your body through these pathways.
Obviously, you don’t want to juice bee pollen but it’s definitely an immune boosting superfood you’ll want to sprinkle on top of your juice recipes. Why, you ask?
For starters, some nutritionists claim it is possible to live solely on bee pollen, which is not a surprising claim when you consider the fact that it’s made up of about 30 – 40% bioavailable proteins, 11 types of carbohydrates, 14 varieties of fatty acids, 11 enzymes or co-enzymes, 59 trace elements, 25 minerals, 22 amino acids as well as 18 vitamins.
But apart from being highly nutritious, bee pollen is also loaded with trace elements that have an antibiotic-like effect to the body when metabolized and has even been shown to inhibit the development of numerous harmful bacteria, including salmonella. Dr. Joseph Mercola, a well-known expert in holistic health, shares that besides heightening the body’s protection against free radicals that trigger damaging oxidation, the healthy stuff in bee pollen also beefs up the system’s resistance against viruses.
Bee pollen further boosts immunity by increasing the level of blood lymphocytes – the white blood cells that act as the “soldiers” of the immune system – thus strengthening the body’s total immune system against armful substances, diseased cells, and metabolic toxins.
Another superfood you’ll want to sprinkle into your immune booster juice recipes is Moringa. Another seriously nutritious food, moringa leaves boast over 90 nutrients but the crux of its immune-boosting powers come from its 45 compounds with anti-oxidant properties and 36 compounds with anti-inflammatory properties. It’s packed with phenols, amino acids and powerful antioxidants like kaempferol, caffeoylquinic acid, beta-sitosterol, quercetin and zeatin that are shown to help prevent tumor growth, parasitic infections, kidney stones and various inflammations.
What’s even more interesting about Moringa is that its active plant components don’t loose their effectiveness when Moringa is dried, ground or boiled or even when metabolized by the human body, which means breastfeeding mothers can transfer the health benefits they get from Moringa directly to their babies.
More Tips to Boost Immunity
Juicing for immunity is a great way to boost your overall immune response and fortify your body against illness but there are even more little steps you can take, like…
Gut health is key to a strong immune system since more than 70% of the immune cells that produce antibodies live in the lining of your digestive tract. And living with them are over 100 trillion live bacteria – most of which are vital for good health and immunity. Probiotics are the good guys – friendly bacteria that helps restore balance in cases of immune system dysregulation and support healthy immune responses.
Having enough probiotics in your system can both protect you against illnesses and shorten the duration of sickness. The latest research published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found that athletes had about 40% fewer colds and gastrointestinal infections with a probiotic compared to a placebo. Another German study found that those who took probiotics for at least 3 months reduced the duration of their colds by almost 2 days and the severity of symptoms by about 20 percent.
How to take it? Yogurt, sour cream, and kefir are all great ways to add probiotics into your diet. Also, stock up on fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. If you’re on the run a lot, we recommend adding a probiotic supplement to your diet.
Choose tea over coffee
Especially matcha – matcha is the most nutrient-rich green tea and has seventeen times the immune-boosting antioxidants of blueberries and seven times more than dark chocolate. It’s also especially rich catechins – like the famous EGCG – which was found to be 25 to 100 times more potent than antioxidants vitamin C and E.
Sprinkle cinnamon on everything
On top of being really tasty, cinnamon’s also rich in antioxidants and super bountiful in minerals, especially manganese, calcium, and iron. It’s also got antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties that help various inflammatory conditions at bay.
Immune Boosting Juice Recipes
Ready to never get sick again? Here are a few juice recipes designed to help you do just that. Even better? We promise all the immune-boosting juice recipes below taste better than Robitussin!
If an apple a day can keep the doctor away, imagine what its friends can do…BEET IT! is one of our favorite immune-boosting juice recipes. Refresh, rejuvenate, and rev up your immune system with this combination of:
- 1 beet, greens and all
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 apples
- 1 cucumber
Garlic is a powerful ally for your overall immune system and beets come stocked with lovely betalains (antioxidants) that give beets their beautifully scarlet color and help fight disease in your body. So drink up!
This immune system-boosting juice recipe is unbelievably simple and oh, so good. Plus, it’s super simple to make. All you’ll need is:
- 2 cucumbers
- 2 limes (peeled)
- 1 cup pineapple
- 1 inch ginger
- 5 – 6 leaves of mint
Ginger is famous for its soothing and heating properties (through increased circulation), as well as for its zing factor. Limes are great for helping your body detox as well as for a burst of vitamin C. Dilute this mixture with some water and sip, like a cocktail.