It’s almost winter again, and you know what that means: inevitably, you will end up sick. This is the time of year when the flu, strep throat, and the common cold run rampant, especially if you have school-aged children. While there are a variety of home remedies and over-the-counter medications available, one of the best and healthiest ways to battle your illness and alleviate your symptoms is in the form of smoothies.
The right combination of fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients can do wonders for your immune system and help to prevent illness, even when you’re not sick. Here are some handy smoothie recipes to help you fight off the bug that’s got you down.
Caused by any number of different viruses, colds can occur any time of year, but they are most prevalent during winter months. When dealing with a cold, you need to replenish your body’s vitamin and fiber intake while staying hydrated, making smoothies the perfect solution. Citrus fruits are chock-full of vitamin C, bananas boost your natural energy, and spinach is a great source of fiber and vitamins. Leaving the peel on the orange gives you four times more fiber than you’d get from the fruit itself, while adding carrots to your “Cold Crusher” smoothie aids digestion and wards off germs found in the mouth. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/2 orange (with peel)
- 3 baby carrots
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
- 1/2 small apple
- 1/2 cup ice
You can try adding different fruits to come up with your own creation, but this is a good starting point. Beginning with the juice and spinach, and finishing with the ice, put the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. This should produce two glasses of smoothie to help get you on the road to recovery.
Although the most effective method to prevent influenza is to make sure you and your kids get the annual flu vaccine, this flu-fighting smoothie should help you deal with the nasty symptoms of the illness. Again, citrus fruits are essential ingredients since they are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, while fresh ginger reduces inflammation, aids digestion, and naturally detoxifies your body. Cayenne pepper is optional for this recipe, but it should boost your metabolism and help you to breathe easier. For this one, you’ll need:
- 2 medium seedless navel oranges (peeled)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 to 3 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 3 to 5 ice cubes
- pinch of cayenne pepper
Combine the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, then drink up. Next thing you know, you’ll be kicking the flu out the door and feeling better in no time.
Sore Throat Soother
Whether they’re caused by strep throat or as a symptom of your old friend, the common cold, sore throats are a real bummer in the winter months. As if the weather wasn’t bad enough, you have to deal with that dry, scratchy, painful irritation in the back of your throat. Instead of opting for an over-the-counter medication, here’s a tasty smoothie recipe consisting of all-natural ingredients with healing properties that should soothe that savage inflammation.
- 2 bananas
- 1 cup almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 3 to 4 leaves sage
- 3 to 5 ice cubes
- 1 tablespoon honey
You can substitute maple syrup instead of honey for sweetness, but honey contains antibacterial properties and reduces swelling. Blend ingredients in a blender until smooth to produce one large glass or two small glasses, which is ideal if you want to store one in your fridge for later. In no time at all, you can put that sore throat to bed.
Get Well Soon!
Hopefully, at least one of these recipes will do the trick if you’re feeling under the weather. In addition to figuring out the best smoothie when you’re sick, it’s important to get plenty of rest and stay home so you don’t pass your bug around. As always, consult a doctor in case of serious health issues.