Stuck indoors? How about you use all the time on your hands to work on strengthening your immune system? That way, you’re less likely to get sick and stay healthy in the long run.
We’ve lined up some simple recipes for homemade drinks that are not only going to soothe you and make you feel better during the lockdown blues (we’re all familiar with those by this point!) but also going to support your immune system.
Our special ingredient for today: black seed oil. Black seed oil, a health-promoting oil extracted from the seeds of the Nigella Sativa plant, is more than a botanical oil: it is a powerhouse of vital nutrients, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and minerals that our immune system requires in trace amounts to function.
Black seed oil is also packed with compounds with anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antioxidant properties. Thymol, an active ingredient is a powerful disinfectant that tackles disease-causing pathogens like viruses and bacteria. Meanwhile, thymohydroquinone, another active compound present in black seeds brings down inflammation and provides relief during illness.
Here are some of the recipes you can whip up on a moment’s notice:
- Immunity-Boosting Veg-Fruit Smoothie (For a Quick Recharge)
All you need is a decent blender, 5 minutes and you can make an immunity-boosting smoothie that isn’t just delicious but also rich in a cocktail of nutrients your immune system needs for optimum functioning. Here’s what you need:
Black Seeds/Black Seed Oil
A pinch of black seeds or ¼ teaspoon of black seed oil would give your smoothie a major nutrient upgrade. Black seed oil is rich in a range of vitamins, essential minerals, and healthy fats. It also includes active compounds with anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting properties.
Deep Green Veggies
Pick from Spinach, Kale, Parsley (or even all three!). Combining vitamin-rich fruits with mineral-rich leafy greens is a great idea. Spinach is rich in iron, calcium, and vit C while kale is packed with many vitamins and folate, a natural immunity booster. Parsley leaves contain vit B-6 which strengthens our immune system and keeps it at its best.
Make avocados your smoothie staple. These creamy fruits are rich in essential vitamins like Vit B, healthy fatty acids (you need your omega-fats!), and strong antioxidants that boost immunity.
Strawberries taste divine but they’re also packed with vitamin C, which plays a vital role in our immune system. If we don’t have enough Vit C, we can become more vulnerable to diseases and infections. You can also add blueberries and elderberries to make your smoothie delicious and healthier.
Blend all the ingredients until you get a smooth consistency, pour in a glass, and enjoy!
- Ginger + Black Seed Honey Tea (For a Relaxing Evening)
Ginger is a herb with powerful antioxidant and antiviral properties. Black seed is loaded with health-promoting organic ingredients. When you combine the two, you get the perfect tea for the evening. Not only will ginger tea soothe your throat, but it is also a great way to replace caffeinated teas.
Finely Chopped Ginger Root
Lemon (For Vit C)
Black Seed Manuka Honey
Instructions: Boil 300 ml water and pour it in a cup. Sprinkle diced ginger root in the cup, stir in a teaspoon of black seed manuka honey and squeeze a slice of lemon. Settle back and enjoy it!
- Fruit-Seed Infused Water (Hydration Staple)
Infused water is not just delicious, it's also a much healthier way of staying hydrated throughout the day. Infused water is also a great way to feel fresh and encourage yourself to drink more water - a healthy habit that supports our immune system and overall well-being.
Infused water recipes are super-versatile too so you can use many of the things you’ll find in your fridge: frozen blueberries, elderberries, sliced strawberries, watermelon, oranges, grapefruits, cucumber or melons are also a great choice. You can also use some pantry ingredients: spices like thyme, rosemary, black seeds (or black seed oil), or mint for a nutrient-boost.
Simply add all the ingredients in a pitcher of water, add a handful of ice cubes and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to prepare your infused water. Fill your drinking bottle up and garnish with some mint leaves.
- Black Seed Turmeric Water (For an Immunity Boost)
Turmeric, an orange-gold Indian spice, is considered a staple ingredient for immunity boosting drinks. That’s because turmeric contains curcumin which reduces free-radical damage and powerful anti-microbial compounds. Turmeric, a natural immunity-booster, also improves digestion, liver health and reduces excessive inflammation.
Not only is turmeric black seed water a great way to remain hydrated, but it can also give your skin a natural glow due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Here’s how to make it:
- Boil 300 ml of water in a pan
- Add half teaspoon of turmeric in a cup
- Add quarter a teaspoon of black seed oil
- Squeeze in a lemon
- Pour boiling water into your cup and stir all the ingredients.
- Add a little raw honey (or black seed honey) to make it taste better
- Sip Away!
- Peppermint Manuka Honey Tea (For a Healing Experience)
Had a busy day and want to unwind? Brew yourself a cup of refreshing mint manuka honey tea. Peppermint supports our immunity and has that amazing aroma that makes us all feel less tired. Combining it with fresh Manuka and Black seed honey is a wonderful idea because both manuka and black seeds have antioxidants that aid in immune response.
Here’s how to make it:
- Boil 300 ml water
- Add a few peppermint leaves and wait for 2-3 minutes
- Pour in a cup
- Stir in a teaspoon of manuka black seed honey