This immunity booster smoothie is purely "medicinal." That's a nice way of saying it doesn't taste great. That's right; we're publishing a recipe that isn't yummy. It's not horrible tasting, just a smidge grassy. But when you're under the weather or feel like you're coming down with something, who cares what it tastes like, right? You want your immune system to kick in so you can feel better soon.
What's in this immunity smoothie?
- Broccoli sprouts
- Wild blueberries
- Orange juice
- Fresh ginger root (optional)
- Mushroom powder (optional)
I first learned about the immune-boosting benefits of broccoli sprouts from Dr. William Li, who presented at a nutrition conference I attended. Broccoli sprouts contain a high level of sulforaphane, a compound shown to boost immunity. In fact, a study showed that it reduces viral load in the nose when consumed in a smoothie. You want to eat these raw, because they lose their beneficial properties when heated or cooked.
Kale has been shown to boost general immunity. Check out this video about kale and the immune system. Kale boosts nitric oxide production in the body. One study shows that nitric oxide may also help to inhibit the replication of SARS and coronavirus.
Blueberries and blackberries are excellent sources of anthocyanins, a plant compound found to help lower inflammation in the body. This substance may boost immunity by way of the gut microbiome. Wild blueberries have 25-30% more anthocyanins than regular blueberries, so that is why I'm using them in this recipe.
While all of the other ingredients contain some amount of Vitamin C, orange juice adds to it. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to support a healthy immune system. Orange juice also helps to make this smoothie somewhat palatable.
Mushrooms or mushroom powder (optional)
Consider having this smoothie with a bowl of Curry Spiced Mushroom Potato Soup, Miso with Mushroom Soup, or Sauteed Kale and Mushrooms. You see, mushrooms have been shown to boost (IgA) mucosal immunity. Mushroom powder is also an option and easy to add to this smoothie.
Ginger root (optional)
Fresh ginger aids in digestion and can help relieve nausea. Ginger also gives this smoothie a spicy kick.
Other things to add to this immunity smoothie
- apple (the quercetin in the apple peel has antiviral properties)
- celery (appears to have antimicrobial benefits)
- cucumber (hydrating and detoxing benefits)
- watermelon (a rich source of L-citrulline to boost nitric oxide production)
How to prepare
Add all ingredients, plus water and ice, to a blender and blend until smooth. Add some fresh lemon or lime, and drink immediately.
The backstory of this immunity booster smoothie
Gigi here. I tested positive for covid and created this smoothie to get over it quickly.
First of all, when I drank this smoothie, it made my stomach a little queasy at first. It tastes like grass. I also got sleepy. Very sleepy! The sleepiness was likely because I had difficulty sleeping the previous night due to the intense headache and sore throat. But the sleepiness was also because the compound in broccoli sprouts increases melatonin. I took a much-needed and healing 3-hour nap.
Later that evening, I started feeling better. I continued to drink this smoothie over the next 5 days. Between this smoothie and the daily use of a neti pot, and the occasional round of ibuprofen and acetaminophen, I was feeling back to normal by day 8.
Of course, there are no guarantees that you'll get the same results as me—Covid hits different people in different ways. It's good practice to have home tests on hand and to let your healthcare provider know about symptoms as soon as possible. I'm sharing what I did in case it might be helpful.Print
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