Flu season is in full swing. Thankfully, there are things you can do to avoid illness. One easy protection method? Strengthening your immune system by consuming nutrient-rich fruits that support immune function. While these fruits can be eaten whole, juicing them makes consumption portable — for drinking on the way to work, the gym, wherever; plus, you can mix and match fruits to boost their nutritional value.
Of course, the cost of these drinks can be prohibitive. They’re typically $5 or $6 in stores. Making your own fresh-pressed juice, however, is cheaper. For homemade juices to fortify your immune system this winter, start with the three recipes below.
Antioxidant-Rich Fruits To Juice
There are three yummy fruits that aid immunity. Pears, apples, and blood oranges all contain vitamin C, an antioxidant known for eliminating illness-causing free radicals. Each also boasts its own unique benefits.
- Blood oranges: This winter citrus fruit has a tart, floral flavor and a deep red color, thanks to anthocyanins. In addition to pigmentation, anthocyanins are reported to have anti-inflammatory benefits for the immune system. Blood oranges also contain potassium, a mineral essential for the body’s overall cell, organ, and tissue function.
- Apples: A review of studies in Nutrition Journal reveals that apples contain phytochemicals such as quercetin and catechin. These plant compounds regulate immune response and inflammation, among other things. Plus, apples are rich in a prebiotic fiber called pectin that helps feed healthy gut bacteria. This pays off because good gut health supports immune function — no wonder it’s called “the second brain.”
- Pears: This fruit provides a small dose of vitamin B6, which is beneficial for immune and brain health. A 2015 review of studies also noted that pears are rich in fiber, potassium, and anthocyanins. Because of these nutrients, pears offer similar anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits to apples and blood oranges.
3 Delicious Homemade Juice Recipes To Try
Whip up one of these homemade drinks starring the above trio of immune-boosting fruits using a juicer or blender. You’ll get a refreshing antioxidant sip for flu season and beyond.
Blood Orange, Carrot, and Ginger Juice Recipe by NoshandNourish.com
Ingredients (Makes 2 servings):
- 4 blood oranges, peeled
- 10 large carrots
- 2-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled
- Put all ingredients through juicer.
- Pour freshly pressed juice into two glasses. Enjoy.
Apple Juice With Ginger and Mint Recipe by KeeshasKitchen.com
Ingredients (Makes 4 servings):
- 4 large apples, washed
- 3 cup water
- ½ lemon
- A small piece of ginger (optional)
- 5 mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- Cut apples into 4 pieces and remove seeds. Add apple pieces to blender with water, lemon, ginger, and mint leaves. Run machine.
- Pass apple juice through a strainer.
- Add honey for taste and ice. Serve.
Pure Pear Juice Recipe by LivingFreshDaily.com
Ingredients (Makes 2 servings):
- 5 pears, stems removed
- ½ lemon, peeled (or 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
- 1 cup water (only if using a blender)
- 1 cup ice (only if using a blender)
- Wash and dry all produce. Halve pears and remove stems.
- If using a blender, blend all ingredients with ice and water until liquefied. Otherwise, use cold-pressed juicer to extract juice.
- Optional: If using blender, strain mixture through nut milk bag (Buy from Amazon, $13.97) to separate pulp for true “pressed juice” consistency and texture.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
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