3 Flu-Busting Smoothie Recipes To Try This Winter

2020’s cold and flu season is nearing, and we want to do whatever we can to avoid getting sick. It’s no secret that food plays a big role is helping your body stay as healthy as possible. Why not boost our immune system as much as possible? There are many beneficial ingredients to keep in mind, with various cold- and flu-busting properties to look out for. Here are our team‘s top tips of foods to eat when feeling under the weather, and also to prevent future sickness.

Stay Hydrated!

It is always very important to stay hydrated, but even more so when you are sick! According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood”. In addition, when we are feeling under the weather, we tend to lose more fluids than normal. We therefore must drink the daily recommended 8 glasses of water each day – try for more if you can. Getting hydrated doesn’t mean you have to only drink water, here are other helpful and hydrating liquids to consider:

Tea

Not only is tea a comforting drink on a cold winter day, it also boosts your immune system and has many other benefits to help get you through a cold or flu. While the list of helpful teas is very long, here are 5 to explore and start with:

  • Peppermint Tea – known for helping with decongestion
  • Chamomile Tea – helps soothe the body and mind
  • Ginger Tea – filled with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
  • Green Tea – contains antioxidants, some of which are powerful antibacterial and antiviral, acts as an anti-inflammatory. Note: contains caffeine
  • Elderberry Tea – lessens length and severity of flu with their Vitamin C content. It also eases muscle aches, headaches and congestion.

TIP: add honey to your tea to ease a sore throat

Soups and Broth

If you have been experiencing a lack of appetite, clear soups and broths are great to give you the calories you have been missing while also relieving inflammation. In addition, the warmth from the soups and broth can help with decongestion and help soothe a sore throat. One classic is chicken noodle soup, which gives you protein and iron with the chicken as well as many other important nutrients from the vegetables and herbs. Just be mindful of the sodium content, keep it to a minimum to make sure you don’t get dehydrated.

Smoothies

Smoothies are very helpful for when you have a bit of an appetite but don’t want to eat a big meal, and can also be very soothing for a sore throat. Smoothies are often made with fruits and vegetables, and therefore allow you to use a combination that maximizes immunity boosting powers in a delicious way. Smoothies are great to help you feel better when you’re feeling under the weather, but they are also fantastic when you’re feeling fine and just want to get all of your daily nutrients! We have included 3 cold- and flu-busting smoothie recipes at the end of this article!

TIP: If you like drinking smoothies in the morning, make your smoothie of choice the night before and keep it in the refrigerator overnight!

Vitamin C

Although Vitamin C does not prevent the common cold like many people have grown to believe, there are many other reasons to want a healthy Vitamin C intake. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which helps protect our cells. This vitamin also helps boost our energy, which can be especially low when fighting a bug. Great sources of vitamin C include tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli, oranges, mangos, kale, spinach, pineapple and lemons.

Vitamin A & Vitamin E

Other vitamins such as Vitamin A and Vitamin E should be looked out for when dealing with a cold or flu. Vitamin A supports a healthy immune system by maintaining your body’s natural defences and also plays a role in the production and function of white blood cells, which help you fight off infections. Vitamin E is an antioxidant which helps protect your cells from damage. Add the foods below to get more of these vitamins in your diet:

  • Vitamin A:
    • Mango
    • Kale
    • Spinach
    • Sweet potato
    • Cantaloupe
  • Vitamin E:
    • Green tea
    • Spinach
    • Kiwifruit
    • Avocado
    • Almonds

Anti-inflammatory

While they cannot prevent sickness, anti-inflammatories are very helpful when feeling ill as they can help relieve pain and fever. Foods with anti-inflammatory properties to keep in mind are:

  1. Turmeric
  2. Ginger
  3. Extra virgin olive oil
  4. Green tea
  5. Whole grain bread
  6. Leafy greens

Other foods to try

  1. Garlic – Studies show that garlic helps you fight against colds and flus. It boosts your immunity to lower your chance of getting sick, and also shortens the length of sickness
  2. Eggs – after battling a cold or flu, you may not have a ton of energy to make a fancy meal. Eggs are an easy meal to cook and will give you the protein you need to keep your body strong. With many vitamins and minerals such as B6 and B12, they keep your immune system performing as it should.
  3. Greek Yogurt – This snack has a lot of protein and probiotics, 2 things that are needed when battling an illness. Tonia Reinhard, author of Superfoods: The Healthiest Foods on the Planet, says that “yogurt that contains live cultures promotes a strong immune system because the friendly bacteria in yogurt keeps the [bad] bacteria from increasing in number”. It is recommended to have 8oz of it each day.
  4. Nuts – With high protein, selenium and zinc, this is a great snack that helps keep a strong immune system.

Smoothie Recipes

Back to smoothies! We searched high and low for flu-busting smoothies, and have decided on our top 3. These refreshing, nutritious, soothing and delicious drinks are a great way to keep your immune system boosted. They will also help you feel better faster when you’re feeling under the weather. Stay healthy & safe!

  • Cold-Busting Citrus Smoothie – This smoothie by Marcella DiLonardo has anti-inflammatory agents, plenty of nutrients and is a great source of Vitamin C.
    • 1 large sliced banana, frozen
    • ¼ cup full-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
    • ½ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
    • ½ Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
    • ½ Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
    • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
    • 4 ice cubes, or a handful of crushed ice
    • hemp hearts or chia seeds, to garnish
  • Green Piña Colada Smoothie – Vitamin- and nutrient-filled smoothie that tastes like a cocktail, by Regina Braun.
    • 1/2 cup spinach fresh
    • 1/2 cup kale fresh
    • 1/2 cup mango fresh or frozen
    • 1/2 cup pineapple fresh
    • 1/2 apple core and seeds removed
    • 1 cup orange juice
  • Immunity-Boosting Smoothie – This smoothie by the Best Health Magazine Staff is packed with antioxidants and is sure to boost your immune system!
    • 1/4 cup blueberries
    • 4 – 5 large strawberries hulled
    • 1 small apple cored
    • 1 tbsp maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
    • 1 1/4 cups water to taste

This post is also available in: French