We’d like to give you a clear cut answer, but again, it really does depend on quite a few things.
And the reason for this is that not all smoothies are created equal.
Can smoothies be good for colds? Absolutely they can!
Pack them full of whole foods and the right nutrients and they hit the spot.
Can they do the opposite and be a burden on your good health?
Fill them with some added sugar and other nasties and you pretty much have a recipe for smoothie disaster during the colder months.
But when done intelligently, smoothies can be another tool to provide critical immune nutrients to boost you up during the cold and flu season.
Let’s look at some of the many ways smoothies can be used!
Firstly, let’s consider digestion.
There are many ways that the gut and immune system are related.
The gut houses a large portion of the immune system ( up to 80%) and so, tending to the health of the gut can assist immune function.
Another such way is at the intestines.
In an ideal setting, your body breaks down foods via stomach acid, bile and enzymes to their smallest parts, to be absorbed via the small intestines.
If you’re not adequately digesting your food, then large food molecules can slip into your bloodstream.
This is known as intestinal permeability (colloquially known as leaky gut).
The immune system detects this as something that shouldn’t be here, a foreign invader and then decides to attack it.
This in turn increases the total burden on the immune system.
Smoothies or pre-chewing (aka blending) your foods, can improve digestibility and thus make it easier for your immune system to do what it needs to do.
Smoothies make it very easy to pack in a tonne of nutrient dense ingredients into an easily portable meal.
In terms of immune-specific nutrients, vitamin C and Zinc are 2 of the top that come to mind.
Here’s some foods that’ll help you bump up these nutrients in your smoothies:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Oysters (just kidding (but seriously, I’m sure somebody has tried))
Add in some magical foods, herbs and spices
Beyond just zinc and vitamin C, the plant and funghi kingdoms provide an ample amount of phytonutrients that can assist in helping your immune function thrive.
Smoothies make for a very easy way to deliver an abundance of these interesting foods, herbs and spices to the diet.
Here are just a few for you to try.
Medicinal mushrooms like Chaga, Maitake, Shitake and Reishi have become very popular in recent years, for their ability to enhance immune function.
There are an abundance of mushroom powders on the market these days, with many Australian and overseas brands to choose from.
If you’re a real DIY kind of person, you can buy the dried mushrooms, make it into a broth that can be the base of your smoothie!
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Green tea and immune-tea
Add in some green tea powder or even use green tea as the base of your smoothie instead of plain ol’ water.
There are 3 things that shouldn’t be talked about at the dinner table.
Religion, politics and the health status of coconut oil.
One minute the coconut oil is good, then next minute it’s bad, and all the while you’re not sure what to do with the jar in your pantry!
Regarding the immune system, coconut oil contains the compound monolaurin, which has been shown to have antimicrobial activity, potentially helping your body ward off some of the nasties it can pick up this winter.
Coconut oil tends to solidify at colder temperatures, so it may be worth heating up your coconut smoothie before drinking it if needed.
There you have it
As you can see, it’s very easy to make an immune friendly, good for colds smoothies (or smoothie bowls) with a bit of thought going into the ingredients you choose.
You just have to be consistent in your quest to be flu free (and also use Super Cubes as your smoothie/smoothie bowl base would help too!).
We hope you use some of these ingredient ideas above to keep yourself healthy and happy this cold and flu season and to be honest, all year round!
Let us know your best immune boosting smoothie recipe on our Facebook or Instagram page and while your still here, subscribe below now to get your hands on our free recipe book.