Sip your way healthyUnless you’re Rudolph, sporting a rednose for the winter probably isnt thelook you’re going for. And given all thesneezing, wheezing, and coughing thatcome with a seasonal cold or flu, thatlook can be, well, downright frightful. Sowouldnt it be nice to skip the wholething altogether?While there’s no magic potion that canguarantee you’ll bypass the season ofsniffling, research shows you can tip theodds in your favor with some smartimmunity-boosting beverages.By getting a mega dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in liquid form, you’re making iteasier for your system to digest and absorb them, says nutrition expert Isaac Eliaz, MD, medicaldirector of Amitabha Healing Clinic in Santa Rosa, California. Plus, the extra fluids help keep youhydrated, improve communication between immune cells, and flush out foreign invaders.So whether you’re looking to start your day off with extra energy, end it on a high note, or easeyour way through sick season, here are 10 immunity-boosting drinks you’re going to want to try.
Rise and shineTo get your day off on the right foot, Dr. Eliaz suggests starting simple. “One of mytop recommendations for immunity and overall health is to start your morning witha cup of hot water with fresh lemon and ginger,” he says. Don’t be deceived by thesimplicity: Grating one teaspoon of fresh ginger into 8 to 12 ounces of water andadding the juice of 1 to 2 lemon slices offers up a hefty dose of antioxidants, vitaminC, and other immunity-boosting compounds. “It warms, activates, and cleanses yourentire system,” he says. (Make the perfect brew every time with these 5 Steps To APerfect Cup Of Tea.
Chai and mightyA traditional Indian tea, your standard chai is a blend of black or greentea, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, black pepper, clove, and fennel. All these herbs addup to a whole lot of beneficial compounds that enhance immune cells, energizecellular mitochondria for greater energy and vitality, directly fight bacteria and virusesin the body, and reduce chronic inflammation, says Dr. Eliaz. Phew! One word ofwarning: make sure that your chai is unsweetened for maximum benefit. “Even naturalsugars spike blood glucose which suppresses immunity,” he says. (Still need a sweetboost? Check out 10 Crazy Ways To Sweeten Without Sugar.)
Smoothie solutionSmoothies can be nothing more thanglorified milkshakes, but with the rightingredients, they can become powerfulmedicine. “Choose low-sugar fruits suchas apples, bananas, and especiallyberries, which have powerful polyphenol compounds offering immunitybenefits,” says Dr. Eliaz. For a proteinpunch, try un-denatured whey, he says.“It’s shown to increase immunity andsupport detoxification by increasing a keyantioxidant, glutathione.” Omega-3 fatsfound in flax and chia seeds nourishimmune cells and restore vitalenergy. Give this boosting blend a try:Blueberry chia smoothie2½ cups almond, coconut or rice milk1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)1 scoop of concentrated, non-denatured whey powder1/4 cup soaked chia seeds1/2 banana1 ounce coconut kieferTip: To maximize the nutrients in chia seeds, soak 1/3 cup in 2 cups of water overnight. Ifyou’re short on time, even 15 minutes will make a difference.
Super CUp for something a bit fruitier?Vitamin C powder can increase whiteblood cells and reduceinflammation, says Dr. Eliaz. Andberry powders, frozen pulp, orextracts can pack in even moreantioxidants and nutrients. Anotherbooster: Adaptogenic herbs, such asastragalus, which can help offset theeffects of stress and support long-term immunity, he says. Give thissmoothie a whirl:Super-C smoothie with astragalus2½ cups almond, coconut or rice milk1 packet frozen acai berry pulp500 mg vitamin C powder (available at health food stores)1 scoop concentrated, non-denatured whey powder500 mg astragalus extract or powder1/2 banana
Game, set, matcha!Matcha is a powdered form of green tea, and has the same immune-pumpingingredients but in 10 times the concentration. The antioxidants and medicinalcompounds in matcha tea can help you fight off viruses and bacteria, and evenabnormal cells, says Dr. Eliaz. “They also help reduce inflammation, supportcardiovascular health, improve energy and focus, and balance hormones,” hesays. You can find matcha at health food stores and specialty tea stores.
Fruit of the vinoGood news, wine lovers! The antioxidants in red wine may help keep you healthy. A2010 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that among 4,000 Spanishadults, those who drank more than 14 weekly glasses of wine for a year were 40% lesslikely to come down with a common cold. Why? Antioxidants are believed to fightinfection and protect cells against the effects of free radicals. But like all goodthings, the key is, of course, moderation. “Too much will cancel the benefits, becausethe alcohol and sugars strain the liver and reduce immunity,” says Dr. Eliaz. (Think youmight overdo it on the vino? See 6 Sneaky Signs You Drink Too Much.)
Hot honey helperYour mom knew what she was talking about when she made you drink tea at the firstsign of a cold: Hot drinks stimulate digestion, ease cold and flu symptoms, and giveyour immune system the extra kick it needs to fight germs. In fact, people who drankfive cups a day of black tea for two weeks had 10 times more virus-fighting cells intheir blood than people who drank a placebo hot drink, finds a Harvard study. Sweetenyour immune-revving cup with honey, which offers its own health-boostingantioxidants. The darker the honey, the more antioxidants, so opt for varieties likebuckwheat to get the best kick.
Go greenSure they look sketchy, but green juices and juice powders can provide a healthy doseof nutrient-dense greens, including wheat and barley grass and even micro-algae likespirulina and chlorella. “Greens help to alkalize your system which creates aninhospitable environment for germs and abnormal cells,” says Dr. Eliaz. Another perk:Drinking your greens can help detoxify your body, he says. Opt for a green juice with adiverse selection of organic ingredients and added probiotics, such as VitalitySuperGreen by Body Ecology, which has a blend of cereal grasses, micro-algae, greenveggies, and probiotics.
Vitamin Calso known as ascorbic acid, is one of thebest known essential nutrients required bythe human body for health and vitality. Firstdiscovered in 1747 by naval surgeon JamesLind as a component of citrus fruit thatprevented the disease, scurvy, most vitamin Cproducts are now either syntheticallyproduced in a laboratory setting or extractedfrom natural sources, such as citrusfruit, rosehips, berries and vegetables. Fewanimal products are rich in vitamin C, thoughsome Inuit tribes in North America consumewhale meat and whale skin as their maindietary source of vitamin C. Since itsdiscovery, researchers have found vitamin C tobe an essential ingredient for making thebody healthy, as it preventsatherosclerosis, reduces cognitivedecline, speeds wound healing, preventsscarring, balances stress hormones, fights freeradicals and supports a strong immunesystem. In addition, vitamin C plays a specificrole in the sexual health and fertility of men.
Super Immunity BoosterIt strengthens the body’s immune system. It helps defend your body from bacterial &viral diseases such as Anthrax, Hiv, Influenza, Epstein-Barr, Herpes. Alleviates sorethroats, chronic sinusitis, skin disease, and pneumonia. Eliminates symptoms of alltypes of infections, including viral, yeast, fungal, bacterial, and other parasiticprotozoan. Effectively treats chronic fatigue syndrome, athlete’sfoot, arthritis, psoriasis, even the common cold.