“You can’t outrun your fork” is an adage that we repeat time and again to remind ourselves about the importance of sticking with a healthy diet. Our health, in many ways, begins and ends in the kitchen. If we’re putting healthy fule into our bodies, we’re going to run like a well oiled machine - and the inverse is true, as well. When we put too much junk in our system, our health suffers.
So it should be no surprise that our diets play a major role in the health and function of our immune system. Keeping a balance of fresh, organic foods in our diet is paramount. But it doesn’t all have to come on the dinner plate! In fact, there are myriad drinks that can help to give our immune system the proverbial shot in the arm they so often need.
In this article, I’ll be covering several drinks you can add to your arsenal to ensure you remain as healthy and happy as possible through the winter months. From teas and juice to coconut water, there are just so many detoxifying drinks out there, many of which you may already enjoy.
Packed with antioxidants and polyphenols, tea is one of the best-known and most-used immune boosting drinks in the world. If you’re not a tea drinker yet, here are a few options to get you started:
Green Tea: Offers a powerful infusion of antioxidants, is rich in epigallocatechin gallate (a powerful polyphenol), and has been closely tied to healthy living for thousands of years.
Black tea: Black tea is loaded with theaflavin, a type of polyphenol that has been shown to be as effective an antioxidant as the EGCG in green tea.
Ginger tea: There are myriad benefits to supplementing ginger in your diet, but most notably it’s a major help in gut and immune system health. You can make it at home by adding fresh ginger to boiling water, then letting that steep for 15-20 minutes.
Echinacea tea: This perennial plant has been shown to support immune system health and function. A long-used herbal, this plant has been closely associated with health and wellness throughout history.
Kombucha: A fermented drink that is rich in probiotics, this tea promotes digestion, and helps to keep your body’s microbial system in balance.
The practice of juicing fresh fruits & vegetables (no store-bought, sugar-laden ‘juices’!) helps to infuse your diet with a whole host of nutrients. When it comes to immune support, we’ve outlined some of the ‘super’ juices you should add to your daily routine.
Tomato juice: Rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium, tomato juice is a real powerhouse of immune system support. Also a great source of antioxidants, for those wanting extra protection from free radicals.
Wheatgrass juice: This incredibly popular immune-boosting drink is produced from - you guessed it! - the wheat plant. An excellent source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it’s hard to go wrong with wheatgrass.
Orange juice: Due to it’s incredibly high vitamin C content, fresh-squeezed orange juice is an excellent addition to your immune-boosting regiment. As an added bonus, vitamin C has been linked with healthier stress responses.
Celery juice: Light, refreshing, and loaded with nutrients. This juice is helpful with hydration and promotes a healthier response to oxidative stress.
With so many drinks on the market, it can be hard to keep them all neatly categorized. That’s why I’ve added a few supplemental drinks to the list that help support your immune system + gut health.
Coconut Water: While it may seem like a juice, coconut water is naturally-occurring and thus doesn’t quite fit in the previous section. However, coconut water is absolutely loaded with electrolytes, which promote hydration and healthy immune function.
Organic SuperGreens: Incorporating ‘superfoods’ like spirulina, beetroot and oat grass, this supplement can be added to any meal (smoothies, anyone?) to help support detoxification, healthy digestion, and nutrient absorption. In short, this is a potent addition to your immune system support efforts.
Bone Broth Protein: This tasty addition contains a wealth of amino acids and has been shown to support gut, skin and joint health.
Multi Collagen Protein: An unflavored supplement, this packs collagen type I, II, III, V and X into one convenient package.
With so many ways to support your immune system, what excuse do any of us have to not add something healthy AND enjoyable to our diet? I hope that this list functions as a spark or reference material in your journey toward better immune & gut health.
As always, it’s important to pair these drinks with a balanced diet and active lifestyle! We can’t cut out all the unhealthy things around us, but we do have the power to make healthier choices each and every day.
With love and gratitude,