Taste of Health Francesca Ballicu | one year ago

Sip Smoothies to Fight off Illness

Smoothies are an easy-to-make treat packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients.

It’s not always easy to stay healthy during cold and flu season, but there’s a tasty and easy way to give your immune system the upper hand. Science has proven that including smoothies loaded with fruits and veggies into your diet helps fend off illness and delivers much-needed nutritional benefits. “When you eat bright, colorful, antioxidant-filled foods in their raw state, you help your body build a stronger immune system, so you’re more likely to stay healthy and recover faster if you do get sick,” says Monica Gallant, MS, RDN, LDN, a clinical nutrition manager with Carolinas HealthCare System Pineville. “Smoothies are easy to prepare in advance, you can take them on the go and you can enjoy them in a variety of ways. But if you’re trying to lose weight or watching your blood sugar, try to keep your fruit to vegetable ratio closer to one to two.” Whether you’re sick of everyone getting or being sick, or you just want to nourish your body from the inside, you can trust these smoothies to deliver the crucial nutrients needed to help prevent or overcome the cold or flu.

Immune Booster Sweet Green Smoothie

Naturally sweetened with fruit and loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, this concoction keeps illness at bay. What you need
  • 1 cup roughly chopped spinach and kale, packed tightly
  • 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1½ cups frozen mix of mango, pineapple and kiwi chunks
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • ½ lemon, juiced
How to make it
  1. Add the spinach and kale to a blender with the unsweetened almond milk and blend well.
  2. Add the frozen fruit, ginger and lemon and blend until smooth. If the smoothie is too thick, add more almond milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. If you use fresh fruit, reduce the amount of almond milk to 1 cup, or add 3-4 ice cubes before blending.
Recipe: foodiecrush.com

Citrus Cold Recovery

When you catch a nasty cold, this smoothie combines the antioxidant power of beets with a healthy dose of flaxseed oil, which has beneficial fatty acids that support brain function and heart health. What you need
  • 2 cups green cabbage
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 oranges, peeled
  • 2 cups chopped pineapple
  • ¼ cup peeled and cubed raw golden beet
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed oil, or 1 tablespoon flaxseed
How to make it
  1. Blend cabbage, water and oranges until smooth, add other ingredients and blend again.
Recipe: prevention.com

Refreshing Immune Boost

The mix of citrus, goji berries and spinach delivers a potent mix of antioxidants and Vitamin C. Some studies suggest goji berry juice promotes feeling of well-being and calm. It also improves athletic performance and quality of sleep. What you need
  • 3 cups water or green tea
  • 3 oranges, peel removed
  • ¼ cup goji berries
  • ½ cucumber
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds (soaked overnight & rinsed)
  • 2-3 big handfuls spinach
How to make it
  1. Add all ingredients, blend on low and slowly increase speed until smooth and frothy.
Recipe: almostrawvegan.com

Alton Brown's Buff Smoothie

This antioxidant-filled, dairy-free drink mixes pomegranate, blueberry, banana, strawberry and peach with a splash of low-fat soy milk. What you need
  • 4 ounces plain, low-fat soy milk
  • 4 ounces pomegranate juice
  • 1 frozen banana (4 ounces)
  • 4 ounces frozen strawberries
  • 4 ounces frozen blueberries
  • 4 ounces frozen peaches
How to make it
  1. Combine all ingredients in the carafe of a blender; cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, let fruit thaw a little and blend slowly.
No pomegranate juice on hand? Substitute acai or grape juice. Recipe: foodnetwork.com

Get Well with Ease

When you’re hungry and busy, fast-and-easy smoothies are a welcomed treat. When you’re sick and busy, Virtual Visit makes getting better fast easy. Just use any mobile device to have a video chat with a medical professional anytime – from the comfort of home. With Carolinas HealthCare System’s 24/7 online urgent care, you can get the help you need to overcome seasonal illnesses or other conditions. Just download our Virtual Visit app and you’ll always have a medical professional within reach, anytime of day. Do you wish you had a community to inspire you and support the choices you make to improve your family’s nutrition habits? Now you do. Join the conversation, or start your own, using #TasteOfHealth