Boost Your Immune System With These Expert-Approved Smoothie Ingredients

Photo: Getty Images/Matt Lincoln
There's a lot to be excited about when the temps start to drop and the seasons change: big bowls of ramen, #sweaterweather (the bigger the better!), fuzzy socks and get the picture. But the major downside of winter? Hello, cold and flu season.

Sure, we have the flu shot. (And yes, you definitely should get one ASAP if you haven't already.) But if you want a bit of added protection, why not look to your morning smoothie? Here's what three food experts recommend adding to your go-to smoothie recipe to help your bod better fight off all of the gross winter germs lurking out there.

Keep reading to find out experts' go-to immune-boosting smoothie ideas.

mango smoothie
Photo: Photo: Pixabay/Imoflow

Vitamin C-rich fruit + high-iron nuts

Vitamin C is the secret weapon to a sharp immune system, which is why it's the first thing nutritionist Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN turns to when she's starting to get sniffly. "I reach for either mango or grapefruit, both of which are high in vitamin C," she says. (For ref, eating just one whole mango or grapefruit will meet your daily vitamin C goals of 75 mcg—not too shabby!)

She also adds a handful of either cashews or almonds to her smoothie for their zinc content, which helps your body better absorb vitamin C. As a finishing touch, she adds a heaping tablespoon of turmeric, the golden crown jewel of anti-inflammatory spices.

lemon smoothie
Photo: Unsplash/Lauren Mancke

Turmeric + lemon

Registered dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, also goes for extra turmeric in her smoothies when cold and flu season hits."In preparation for scarf season, I’ve been advising my clients to add a pinch of turmeric to their green smoothies for a simple immunity boost," she says.

But her advice doesn't stop there. "If they are feeling a bit under the weather, I will also recommend them squeezing a whole fresh lemon into their smoothie to help fight off cold symptoms and to start feeling like a rockstar in no time." The juice from one lemon gets you about 25 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, according to the USDA.

moringa in smoothie
Photo: Getty Images/Peathegee

Wheat grass, chlorophyll, and moringa

As the co-founder for superfood blend company Your Super, Kristel DeGroot spends a lot of time thinking about powerful nutrient combos. When she was coming up with an immunity blend for her company, she knew right away she wanted to load it up with greens, which are packed with nutrients. But that's just phase one.

"Wheatgrass boosts immunity and energy by increasing your red blood cell count, and I also add chlorophyll, which helps deliver more oxygen to the blood and strengthens the immune system," DeGroot says. One last starring ingredient: moringa powder, a nutrient-dense plant from Africa. "It's high in iron and vitamin A, both of which support the immune system," she says.

Cold season, watch out—you're ready for it.

If you're already sick, here's what to eat that will help you feel better. And here's the verdict on whether or not you should press pause on your coffee habit until you're fully recovered.

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