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Strengthen your immune system with these smoothie recipes….

Colder, winter days are fast approaching – time to wrap up and boost your body’s natural defences!

Your immune system is a network of proteins, white blood cells, chemicals and organs, all working together to protect you from illness, disease and foreign invaders that can cause infection.1https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/21196-immune-system

To help you support your immune system and stay healthy, we’ve created four immunity-boosting Kefir smoothie recipes for you to try at home.

Firstly, let’s look at why you should be using Kefir in all of your smoothies this season…

Why Kefir?

Kefir contains probiotics, compounds and nutrients, including folate and biotin, that help kick your immune system into gear. The probiotic strain, Latobacillus 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/

Research shows that Kefir is “immunomodulatory”, meaning that it enables the immune system to work more effectively and appropriately.4https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4854945/

1. Kefir, beetroot, ginger & apple

Ingredients:

  • 170ml Kefir
  • 1 beetroot (peeled and quartered)
  • 1 TSP of fresh ginger
  • 1 small apple

Why?

Beetroot: rich in vitamin C, zinc and iron, beetroot helps to create healthy white blood cells, contributing to a strong immune system.5https://www.ndtv.com/health/beetroot-health-benefits-heres-how-this-root-vegetable-can-help-boost-immunity-know-ways-to-add-to-your-winter-diet-2332747

Ginger: powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects which may boost immune health.6https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ginger-shots Research shows that ginger can enhance the immune response7https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30011890/8https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16338110/ with one study determining that fresh ginger had antiviral effects against human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV), which causes respiratory infections, and helped boost immune response against HRSV.9https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23123794/

Apple: the skin is rich in the antioxidant quercetin, which can help regulate your immune system and reduce inflammation.10https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-health-benefits-of-apples#TOC_TITLE_HDR_8

2. Kefir, strawberry, spinach & kiwi

Ingredients:

  • 170ml Kefir
  • 6 large strawberries
  • Handful of spinach (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 kiwis

Why?

Strawberry: packed with vitamin C which plays an essential role in supporting a healthy immune system.11https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/ Strawberries also contain polyphenols which act against common viruses including influenza.12https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/10/10/2277

Spinach: rich in vitamin C and beta carotene, both of which boost the infection-fighting ability of your immune system.13https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system#spinach

Kiwi: contains roughly 230% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C14https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-kiwi, which as we now know, is crucial in maintaining and stimulating a healthy immune response.

3. Kefir, mango, avocado & kale

Ingredients:

  • 170ml Kefir
  • 1/2 fresh mango
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Handful of kale

Why?

Mango: contains vitamin A, known to aid the immune system.15https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mango In fact, not getting enough of this vitamin is linked to a greater risk of infection.16https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27128154/

Avocado: source of healthy, beneficial fat which helps support skin health (your body’s first line of defence against harmful microbes)17https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270406 and the immune system.18https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6834330/

Kale: loaded with vitamins A, C and K, all of which are proven to help keep cells healthy and promote a strong immune system.19https://www.medicinenet.com/what_are_the_health_benefits_of_kale/article.htm

4. Kefir, turmeric & green tea

Ingredients:

  • 170ml Kefir
  • 1 TSP of turmeric
  • 100ml green tea (cooled)

Why?

Turmeric: traditionally known for its anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin, a compound of turmeric, can enhance antibody responses and modulate the immune system.20https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17211725/

Green tea: loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) – studied extensively for its ability to reduce inflammation and boost immunity. In fact, a 2020 study found that EGCG altered the activity of certain proteins, which could help inhibit the flu virus from replicating.21https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7444400/ Furthermore, other compounds found in green tea, known as catechins, have antiviral effects, offering protection against illnesses and infections such as influenza and hepatitis22https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6152177/ and reduces the risk of upper respiratory tract infections.23https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7019590/

You can add 100% pure stevia or yacon syrup to these smoothies if your sweet tooth craves it! Blend and enjoy!

Looking for more Kefir smoothie inspo? Check out our Chocolate Gut-Brain-Health Smoothie, Summer Smoothie Bowl and Coconut Mango Kefir Smoothie. Yum!

References

Questions? Talk to a Nutritional Therapist on live chat!

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