A lot of people say that boosting your immune system with plants doesn’t really work, but from my experience, it definitely hasn’t hurt. Of course, if you’re already sick or getting sick, it might be too late, but I am a firm believer in the power of ginger in helping to ward off cold weather nasties.
First though, I am absolutely in love with these tiny mason jars. I bought them on a whim, thinking I might use them to store homemade dressings. However, after seeing all of the expensive immunity-boosting shots at juice bars and other health-food stores, I realized I could easily make my own and store them in these little jars. Plus, this way I know just how fresh they are.
The primary goal here is to get a fast boost of immune-boosting vitamins and minerals in your system. You don’t need to go out and buy little jars — you can just make a small serving and guzzle it down, tequila shot style. The more often you take them, the better, especially leading up to, and during, the cold months.
There are so many ways to make immunity shots, and this is my very favorite combination. These include a ton of juiced ginger, a few pieces of turmeric, a few oranges, a couple lemons and some fresh garlic cloves. 🍋🍊
I’m not including an exact recipe below because the yield relies so much on your juicer (or, even your blender — you can blitz up the ingredients and strain the contents using a nut milk bag or cheese cloth). I currently use a Brevil centrifugal juicer because they are cheaper than masticating juicers, and I always take the added step of removing the pulp and straining it through a nut milk bag to make sure I’m getting as much out as possible. So, that is definitely a pain. If you have a masticating juicer — all the better. You’ll get a stronger yield and better nutrient absorption from the masticating juicer. The high-speed spinning from a centrifugal juicer results in oxidation which destroys enzymes. This is why you want to consume juice as soon as you can after making it. You want to expose it to as little oxygen as possible for optimal nutrient absorption (no matter what type of juicer you use), so best to consume within a half hour if possible. You can definitely store it for a day or so, but there will be nutrient loss (which IMO is totally fine when you’re short on time). Just try to fill your juice to the brim and store it in an airtight container.
Ingredients (I included the first four in my shots):
- Ginger is always the star of these shots for me, and the primary ingredient. It is nice and spicy, helps to improve circulation, opens up the sinuses, reduces inflammation (which helps sore throats), and may also help decrease nausea.
- Citrus is an obvious choice due to its high immune-boosting vitamin C content. vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which help to fight infections. In my shots, I included oranges and lemons — and let’s be honest, they make it a lot easier to guzzle down all that juiced ginger. Other good choices include tangerine, grapefruit, clementine and lime.
- Garlic might seem like a funky choice here, but it has some awesome immune-boosting properties. Garlic has compounds that help the immune system fight germs. These compounds have been shown to boost the disease-fighting response of white blood cells in the body when they encounter viruses that cause the cold or flu.
- Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It contains a high concentration of curcumin, which may reduce inflammation in the body.
- Red Bell Peppers actually have even more vitamin C, ounce for ounce, compared to any other fruit or vegetable. They are also loaded with beta carotene, which is great for eye and skin health.
- Kiwis contain a ton of nutrients like potassium, folate, vitamin C and vitamin K. vitamin C helps boost white blood cells that fight infection, so this one is a good choice to include or have as a side snack.
- Papaya is a fruit I’m including on the list because it has a ton of vitamin C. I probably wouldn’t juice a papaya, but between the vitamin C content, digestive enzymes, folate and potassium, this is definitely a good fruit to reach for.
- Spinach might not work the best in a shot, but it might be good for you to consume (raw!) when you’re trying to ward off sickness (or just regularly anyway!). It is rich in vitamin C and has lots of beneficial antioxidants and beta carotene to help boost your immune system.
- Broccoli isn’t my favorite to juice (it’s not as wet and juicy as the other items on this list), but I’m including it here because broccoli is packed with vitamins A, C and E, which will definitely provide your immune system a boost. Definitely not a bad idea to munch on some raw broccoli as a chaser to your immunity shot!
Disclaimer: I’m not a physician, registered dietitian or fitness expert. The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences with food and what has worked for my health. When it comes to your health and fitness, do your research and consult your physician.