This pandemic has disrupted our routines and completely transformed our lives. Now that the lockdown in the UK has been extended into May and we have ample time on our hands, it’s the perfect time to focus on something most of us take for granted, our health and immune system.
Our only line of defense against viral infections and other diseases is our immune system, which is our body’s natural defense system. The immune system is made up of many organs, special tissues, and cells that actively target and eliminate any foreign particles or disease-causing germs that enter the body.
Since our immune system is always a battle, supporting it with vital nutrients is crucial. That’s why we’ll be focusing on immunity-boosting beverages today. These smoothies and hot drinks are packed with immunity supporting nutrients your body needs to fight off infections and stay healthy in the long run:
- Nutritious Smoothies
You can easily replace all the sugary and fizzy drinks in your life with delicious and super-nutritious homemade smoothies - and the best part is that you can whip one up in a matter of seconds. All you need is a durable blender and a combination of fruits, deep green veggies, and black seed oil.
Some of the ingredients you should seriously consider adding to your smoothie include:
Black Seed Oil: A pinch of authentic black seeds or quarter a teaspoon of black cumin seed oil would make your smoothie very healthy. That’s because black seed oil is loaded with essential nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that have anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. Together these plant-based compounds strengthen and support our immune system.
Leafy Greens like Spinach, Kale & Parsley: A fruit-veggie smoothie is considered a super smoothie - and for a good reason. Adding fresh leafy greens to your smoothie can make a huge difference. Spinach leaves contain essential nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamin C (required by the body to synthesize germ-fighting cells), parsley is rich in vitamin B-6 (needed for a strong immune response) and kale is rich in a variety of vitamins as well as folate, another natural immunity-booster.
Avocados: Don’t miss out on avocados because they’re rich in a cocktail of health-boosting vitamins, especially vitamin B and healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids). Avocados are a key ingredient for immunity-boosting smoothies because they contain Glutathione, a strong antioxidant, crucial for maintaining immune health.
Strawberries: Not only are they mouthwateringly delicious, but strawberries are also rich in the ultimate immunity-boosting vitamin; Vitamin C. Vitamin C very essential for smooth immune action. People who are deficient in Vit C are more prone to infections and diseases.
The ingredients you choose for your smoothie can vary, according to your nutritional requirements and taste preferences. Feel free to add any other fruits or veggies that you prefer to your super smoothie.
- Herbal Teas
Ward off the lockdown blues with a cup of steaming herbal tea. Tea is relaxing but if you want to take the healthier route, try herbal and spice teas instead of black tea. Herbal teas are not only caffeine-free and natural, but they’re also rich in two plant-based compounds theanine and catechins. Researchers found that these anti-microbial compounds support the immune system. Green tea catechins may be potentially why you feel some measure of relief after a few sips, there’s evidence that these flavonoids such as catechins may be effective in preventing and treating viral infections - but more research is required to fully explore the potential of herbal teas. So, if you want to give your immunity an all-natural boost, brew yourself some herbal tea.
You can easily make mint or ginger tea at home. For mint tea, just toss a handful of fresh mint leaves in boiling water. Pour in a cup and stir in some raw manuka black seed honey. What you get is a powerhouse of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds, all of which reduce cell damage and boost immunity.
Ginger is another powerful herb that’s rich in antioxidants - and that figures why ginger tea always feels soothing when you’re down with a cold. Ginger also has potent anti-viral properties. For ginger tea, dice some ginger root finely. Pour some boiling water in a cup and sprinkle ginger on it. Stir in a spoonful of black seed honey (or another raw herbal honey) to give it an amazing taste and an antioxidant boost. Then, squeeze a slice of lemon for vitamin C.
- Infused Water
Go for infused water if you like keeping it healthy and simple. Staying hydrated is great for your health but adding a slice of lemon and a few elderberries or blueberries (feel free to use frozen berries) will only make it better. You can also go for watermelons, strawberries, grapefruit, cucumbers, or raspberries.
You can even infuse spices like rosemary, herbs, black seeds as well as vegetables in your drinking water or counter an unhealthy sweet tooth by stirring in some raw honey. Infused water is not only delightful, but it's also healthier. Infused water that contains vitamin-rich fruits and antioxidant-rich spices (like turmeric) works best because it is loaded with numerous health-promoting nutrients.