It’s been more than a few years since I’ve had a cold or flu. The secret to my immune system success involves loads of fresh vegetables and fruits to fuel my body’s cells with the antioxidants they need to fight the stress of cold season. While vitamin C is the superstar that boosts your immune system, there’s a wide array of antioxidant phytonutrients that your body can benefit from to help eliminate any pathogens.
During winter your body is deprived of the fresh nutrients that are plentiful during summertime. When fresh salads and chilled juices become rare, we say hello to rich cooked food that our body needs for producing energy to maintain a stable temperature. Our cells do not get as many minerals, vitamins and enzymes as they do during the summer; their activity slows down and the immune system loses its vigilance, leaving the doors open to germs.
2 Immune-Boosting Juice Recipes
The key to keeping colds and flu at bay is to infuse your cells with fresh nutrients to ensure they get enough fuel for supporting an immune system that functions at its best. Fresh fruits, vegetables and dark leafy greens are high in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. Fresh juices, rather that smoothies and salads, provide high concentrations of nutrients that are directly absorbed and used by our cells.
I especially look for ingredients high in vitamin C, like lemons, parsley and apples. During cold season I also supplement my diet with extra doses of vitamin C (about 1000 mg/day–it might sound like a huge amount, but the cells take as much as they need while the excess is eliminated via urine). Dark leafy greens, red and purple fruits and veggies (especially beets and carrots) are a great source of antioxidants too, especially beta-carotene and betalains, involved in the natural detoxification of our cells, energy production and immunity support.
My favorite immune boosting juices are both balanced combinations of fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C and other powerful antioxidants. Natural detoxification comes as a bonus when consuming these juices on a daily basis.
Vitamin C Immune Boost
- 1 handful of kale
- 1 apple, any variety
- 1 handful of fresh parsley
- 2 lemons, juiced
- Juice the ingredients and drink straight away.
Root Vegetable Antioxidant Juice
- 2 carrots
- 1 small beet
- 4 celery stalks
- ½-inch piece fresh ginger root
- Handful of parsley
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Juice all the ingredients and drink straight away.
Photos by Ana Stanciu