by nutritionist Amanda Callenberg
It’s not only during the winter months that we need to support our immune system. It is important to keep our body’s defences strong all year round to protect us against infections, viruses and bacteria that might enter the body. The stronger our immune system is, the less chance we have of getting sick and the faster we can recover if we do.
Maintaining a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants is critical for building up our immune health. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with a wide range of these important nutrients, and a quick and easy way to incorporate them into your diet is to pack them into a nutrient dense smoothie.
Orange: Oranges are a great source of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C which is vital for boosting the immune system. Vitamin C also supports the production of white blood cells that help us fight infections. Using the whole orange ensures you are also getting the full benefits of the fruit, including fibre, which is important in supporting the digestive system, as gut health is a major influence on our immune system.
Mango: Mangoes are loaded with over 20 different vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, E and C, all powerful antioxidants that support immune health. They are also another great source of gut friendly fibre, helping to keep our gut microbes in balance. Using frozen mangoes makes the smoothie chilled and extra creamy, without having to use ice.
Banana: Bananas and a great source of prebiotics, another gut supporting food, and are also high in Vitamin B6, critical for keeping the immune system functioning properly. Bananas are a great base for a smoothie, making them creamy and providing natural sweetness and energy.
Turmeric: Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is well known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, both which help to support the body’s immune system and a healthy inflammatory response. It is also great for the liver, helping with the natural detoxification process.
Manuka honey: Manuka honey has natural antimicrobial activity (thanks to its unique compound MGO) which helps to guard the immune system. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, giving the immune system added support.
Almond milk: Contains vitamin E and calcium. Some store bought brands are fortified with vitamin D and B vitamins as well.
Zooki vitamin C: Adding a shot of Zooki’s highly bioavailable liposomal vitamin C ensures your body and cells absorb all the vitamin C, giving you that little extra immune-boosting support.
This smoothie is very versatile and can be tweaked to suit your taste buds. If you don’t like mango, you can swap for pineapple, or you could switch the orange for strawberries as they are also a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants.