These 9 immune boosting drinks taste good, and they’re good for you!
Diet and health are intrinsically linked. The vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and more that we consume provide our bodies the nourishment it needs to function properly and keep us healthy. To go along with this post on fighting cold and flu season naturally, I bring you these 9 immune boosting drinks that will keep you healthy and hydrated with vitamins, minerals, and more.
Hydration, of course, is vital as well. Water is the best option, but it’s nice to have some variety with other health-conscious beverages as well. With cold and flu season on our doorstep, I thought it would be a good time to put together a list of nine immune boosting drinks for when you want more than just water.
9 Immune Boosting Drinks
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) contains the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes of apples. As a vinegar, it has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. ACV also stimulates the lymphatic system which removes toxins from the body and improves immune system response.
If you want to take ACV on a regular basis for maintenance, drink 2 teaspoons of ACV in one cup of water a couple times a day. If you feel a cold coming on and you want to kick it up a notch, try up to 1/3 cup ACV in one cup water. You can add a couple teaspoons of honey to make a little more palatable, and if you want to actually enjoy it, try this.
Depending on your ingredients, smoothies are typically packed with a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats. All of these will support your immune system and keep you in good health.
Choosing low-sugar fruits is ideal because spikes in glucose will suppress immunity. Omega-3 fatty acids found in flax seeds and chia seeds nourish immune cells, so consider adding those in as well.
Kombucha is a probiotic drink, and probiotics have been found to support gut health. This, in turn, supports immune function. Kombucha is also high in antioxidants from the tea with which it was made. It contains vitamin C as well which is necessary for the immune system to function (more on that later).
Kombucha is becoming more widespread in health food and grocery stores or you can even learn to make your own at home.
Warm Honey Water
Honey is full of interesting health benefits. A study recently found that there are probiotics present in raw honey which stimulate the immune system in humans. Honey also contains immunity-stimulating phytochemicals. Another study showed that honey raises levels of disease-fighting antioxidants in the blood.
Mix one tablespoon of honey (raw is best) into one cup of warm water (not hot or you will kill the good stuff).
Green Tea and Matcha
Green tea is known for its huge antioxidant content. As I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, antioxidants strengthen the immune system and allow it to function properly.
Matcha, in particular, is a powdered form of green tea. Nutritionally, 1 cup of matcha is the equivalent of 10 cups of green tea.
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
When you think of vitamin C, what source do you think of? I’m betting it’s oranges. Just one cup of raw orange juice contains 207% of your daily value for vitamin C (which is more than store-bought). Vitamin C is important to your immune system because it increases your production of white blood cells and antibodies which are what fight off illness. Granted, you do eliminate excess vitamin C through your urine, but at least you know you will be getting all your body needs.
In a study by Harvard, participants who drank 5 cups of black tea a day for two weeks had ten times the virus-fighting cells in their blood than those who drank a placebo hot drink. This is thanks to the amino acid L-theanine. Decaf even has it too.
Lemon Juice in Water
Lemons are another fruit high in vitamin C, so you can gain those benefits listed above this way as well. Lemon juice also helps flush toxins out of your body by aiding in digestion, acting as a gentle diuretic, and supporting the lymphatic system.
Squeeze the juice from half a lemon into one cup warm water. It’s a great way to start your day before breakfast.
When you drink chai tea, you get all of the above benefits of black tea with the addition of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, black pepper, clove, and fennel. These herbs and spices contain compounds that enhance immune cells and fight off bacteria and viruses.
The next time you have a tickle in your throat or you start to sniffle, start drinking one or two of these immune boosting drinks to support your immune system. Always remember to stay hydrated with simple, plain old water as well.