We need to support our immune system year round, especially in the winter months, as it protects us against infections, viruses and bacteria that might enter the body. The stronger our immune system is, the less chance we have of getting sick and the faster we can recover if we do.
Maintaining a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants is critical for building up our immune health. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with a wide range of these important nutrients, and a quick and easy way to incorporate them into your diet is to pack them into a nutrient dense smoothie.
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 large ripe banana
- 1 large orange - peeled
- ½ inch peeled fresh turmeric or about ¼-½ tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 cup frozen mango chunks
- 1 teaspoon Manuka Honey
- 1 sachet of Vitamin C Zooki
- Add the ingredients, besides the Vitamin C Zooki, to a high-speed blender. Start with a the liquid/soft ingredients and add the frozen mango chunks last.
- Blend the smoothie for 40-60 seconds, or until well combined.
- Add Vitamin C Zooki and stir well.
Why these ingredients?
Oranges are a great source of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C, which is vital for supporting the immune system. Vitamin C also supports the production of white blood cells that help us fight infections. Using the whole orange ensures you are also getting the full benefits of the fruit, including fibre, which is important in supporting the digestive system. And gut health has a major influence on our immune system.
Mangoes are loaded with over 20 different vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, E and C. These are all powerful antioxidants that support immune health. Mangos are also another great source of gut friendly fibre, helping to keep our gut microbes in balance. Using frozen mangoes makes the smoothie chilled and extra creamy, without having to use ice.
Bananas are a great source of prebiotics, another gut supporting food. They're also high in Vitamin B6, which is critical for keeping the immune system functioning properly. Bananas are a great base for a smoothie, making them creamy and providing natural sweetness and energy.
Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is well known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which help to support the body’s immune system and a healthy inflammatory response. It is also great for the liver, helping with the natural detoxification process.
Manuka honey has natural antimicrobial activity (thanks to its unique compound MGO) which helps to guard the immune system. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, giving the immune system added support.
Almond milk contains vitamin E and calcium, and some store bought brands are fortified with vitamin D and B vitamins as well. We'd recommend choosing one without sugar or sweeteners!
Vitamin C Zooki
Adding a sachet of Vitamin C Zooki ensures your body and cells absorb all the vitamin C, giving you that extra bit of immune system support.
This smoothie is very versatile and can be tweaked to suit your taste buds. If you don’t like mango, you can swap for pineapple, or you could switch the orange for strawberries as they are also a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants.