As the cold weather is upon us now here in Nashville, I’ve been thinking of ways to boost my immune system, as it tends to be compromised more during this season. So I created this refreshing immune boosting smoothie! However, you can drink this smoothie any time of the year, even while trying to strengthen your immune system during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
It’s actually smoothie month at Williams-Sonoma and this week’s theme was “Not Your Average Smoothie” so I thought turning a smoothie into something that boosts your immune system and wards off colds would be a good place to start. It’s a nice tart smoothie with an optional kick that reminds me of the green lemonade juices I’ve been drinking, but instead it’s beautifully pink from the bright red raspberries.
Here’s what I threw into my blender + why it’s good for you:
Greens: Greens like kale, collard, swiss chard, and spinach are nutritional powerhouses packed with vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C, that strengthen your immune system and ward off colds.
Orange/Tangerine: Oranges are full of vitamins A + C which help promote production of white blood cells to fight off any foreign invaders, and folate which you need for healthy cell growth. Those looking to get pregnant or are already pregnant will benefit from including folate into their diet as it essential for healthy development of the baby in the mother’s womb, particularly the formation of the neural tube.
Lemons and berries: Both are rich in vitamin C and immune boosting antioxidants.
Ginger: Ginger is a strong antioxidant that has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric + Cayenne (optional): Both turmeric and cayenne are very nutrient dense spices, which support your immune system through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Your body is a complex, beautiful creation. It is built to heal and rid itself of anything that doesn’t serve it well. Think about it- when your skins gets cut, your body springs into action, limiting blood flow to the injured area to prevent blood loss, creating a protective covering in the form of a scab (aka nature’s band-aid), and regenerating new skin. When bacteria or a virus enters the body, our immune cells rush to that foreign invader and work together to destroy it. However, there are times when your body needs a little break from the everyday toxins it is encountering from both your surrounding environment and what you are putting into your body.
Did you know 60-70% of our population has some sort of food allergy, and most don’t even realize it. If you’re feeling tired, sick, lacking energy, or experiencing digestive upset, an elimination diet could be just what you need to feel more in tune with your body and truly see how what you eat affects how you feel. I have wanted to do an elimination diet for a while now- to give my body a break, so it can recharge and heal itself, to feel more in tune, and to see if there are any additional food allergies or sensitivities affecting my body. There are different methods of elimination diets, but this is one, which lasts about two weeks, seemed the most feasible to me. Sometimes you don’t have 4+ weeks to do an elimination diet, especially with the holidays approaching. The elimination diet I am basing this off of was formulated by a holistic doctor, Dr. Stephan Rechtschaffen who started the OMEGA Institute. He was one of my teachers in my health coaching training, and spoke much wisdom on food allergies and how they affect your body. Continue reading →