Feeling the slump after the festivities? Exhausted after Christmas? You need an ugly smoothie. That’s right – UGLY! It doesn’t look pretty, but it’s sure to help you start your New Year feeling fresher and more focused.
Here’s what I put in my smoothie to support the immune system and nourish my good gut bugs, ready for whatever 2023 may throw at me! –
Research shows that Kefir is “immunomodulatory”, meaning that it enables the immune system to work more effectively and appropriately.1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4854945/ Packed with probiotics, compounds and nutrients, including folate and biotin, Kefir will help kick your immune system into gear. The probiotic strain, Lactobacillus Kefiri in particular, helps defend against harmful biofilm-forming pathogens, like E-coli and salmonella, and inhibits the growth of ‘bad’ bacteria.2https://draxe.com/nutrition/kefir-benefits/ It also contains Kefiran, known for its powerful antimicrobial properties.3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4052788/ Take that, winter coughs and colds!
Ashwagandha (aka Withania somnifera) is an adaptogenic herb, popular in Ayurvedic and traditional medicine. It has been used for more than 2,500 years and extensively researched for its potential thyroid-modulating, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties, but is most well-known for its ability to help combat stress and anxiety. A 2009 study found the use of Ashwagandha comparable to common pharmaceutical drugs lorazepam and imipramine, but without the adverse effects.4https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0006628
Research shows that Ashwagandha also supports adrenal function, 5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6240259/ balances blood sugar levels,6https://draxe.com/nutrition/ashwagandha-benefits/ and boosts immune function.7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407122/
Want to know more about how Ashwagandha can help you? Watch our video here.
- Siberian Ginseng
Siberian Ginseng (aka eleuthero) is used in traditional medicines as an adaptogen, a compound that helps the body better handle and adapt to stress. It also acts as a stimulant, increasing nervous system function and boosting energy levels.8https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319084#12-potential-health-benefits
By increasing circulation, Siberian Ginseng may also increase blood flow to the brain, improving your cognitive functions such as memory and concentration.9https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319084#12-potential-health-benefits
As with any stimulant, it’s a good idea to give your body an occasional rest instead of taking it continuously. We recommend six weeks on, two weeks off.
Read more about Siberian Ginseng and its health benefits here.
Rich in nutrients but mostly, I add a banana for sweetness to combat the slight bitterness of the tinctures.
- Rosemary Tincture
Research shows that rosemary may help to protect and enhance brain function.10https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266370#benefits One of the active ingredients of this herb is “carnosic acid”, a powerful antioxidant that is particularly effective at fighting free radicals in the brain. Carnosic acid also stimulates the brain to produce the “nerve growth factor” (NGF), crucial to a healthy brain and nervous system.11https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0168010211000022
Studies have found that collagen peptides help prevent the breakdown of the intestinal lining12https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28174772/ and decrease inflammation inside the gut.13https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/leaky-gut-supplements
As well as benefiting your gut health, collagen is known to reduce skin dryness and wrinkles,14https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259628887 relieve joint pain,15https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17076983/ promote heart health,16https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5429168/ and improves brain health!17https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15023571/
You can read more about how collagen can help you here.
- Complete Prebiotic
Prebiotics are food for probiotics. Feeding your good gut bugs makes sure that you’re getting the maximum benefit from your Kefir. Containing 18 different fibres, Chuckling Goat’s Complete Prebiotic will give your gut bugs the exact complex mix of fibres they require for thriving good health.
Research has found that a diet rich in prebiotics may benefit certain aspects of metabolic health, including blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.18https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/prebiotics-benefits#benefits What’s not to love?! A 2021 review that included 27 studies also concluded that synbiotics (the combination of probiotics and prebiotics), may aid in weight loss and fat loss in overweight individuals.19https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8540110/
Spinach is rich in vitamin C and beta carotene, both of which boost the infection-fighting ability of your immune system.20https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system#spinach
Looking for more ways to improve your gut health this year? Check out 5 New Year’s Resolutions for a Happy & Healthy Gut.
For more gut health advice, contact one of our Nutritional Therapists on Live Chat, weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm.