Boosting our immune systems is vital, now more than ever. One of the easiest ways to boost your immunity is by feeding your body the foods it needs to be in tip-top shape. Slurp up some immune-boosting smoothies by incorporating foods that are essential players in keeping your ultimate defense system working in top condition.
Essentials of an Immune Boosting Smoothie
Protein: Getting enough protein is vital for a high functioning immune system since it helps us make antibodies that fight foreign invaders. Try—greek yogurt, silken tofu, protein powder.
Antioxidants: Fight cell damage that hinders our ability to defend against illness. Try—leafy greens, microgreens, deeply colored fruits, and vegetables, sunflower seed butter, almond butter, cinnamon, cloves.
Vitamins: Players in a large scope of functions in the body including reducing and preventing inflammation which prevents your immune system from functioning properly. Vitamins A, C, D, B complex, and E are particularly vital. Try—citrus fruit, strawberries, sweet potatoes, blueberries, papaya, mango, avocado.
Minerals: Zinc, iron, and selenium help to produce white blood cells that fight infections. Try—dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, spirulina, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia, walnuts.
Probiotics: A healthy gut equals a healthier immune system. Much of the immune system resides in the gut and a balanced microbiome assists in the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, key players in immune functioning. Try—yogurt, kefir, kombucha.
Prebiotics: Best friends with probiotics. Prebiotics help feed the existing colonies of good bacteria in your gut with indigestible fiber. Try—bananas, grapefruit, bran fiber, oats, flaxseed, oats, almonds, apples, cocoa powder, coconut, sweet potatoes, hemp seeds, dried fruit like dates.
14 Immune Boosting Smoothie Recipes
The following recipe is from Nichole Dandrea, a registered dietitian nutritionist for the past 25 years with a focus on plant-based nutrition for the past 11 years. Dandrea provides some details on why she chose these stellar ingredients:
- Spirulina is blue-green algae rich in complete protein, beta carotene, iron, calcium, essential fatty acids. It’s been shown to scavenge free radicals. Some studies show it may help reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and fight inflammation.
- Reishi and/or cordyceps are a fungus that has been used in Eastern medicine for years. Some studies show that they may boost immunity through their adaptogenic qualities, help to prevent certain cancers (specifically colon cancer, but more research is needed), and fight fatigue and depression (again, promising, but more research needed).
- Hemp seed is packed with plant-based protein, essential for boosting immunity, and omega 3 fatty acids to fight inflammation.
- Dates are high in fiber and iron. Fiber is essential for gut health and iron is essential in supporting immune-boosting cells.
- Cinnamon is packed with antioxidants for fighting free radicals which can weaken the immune system.
Stellar Blue Spirulina Smoothie
- 1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk of choice
- 1 tsp spirulina
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 dates
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tsp mushroom powder (I used Moon Juice powder dust)
Place all ingredients in a blender until creamy. Top with hemp seeds, chia seeds, or more cinnamon.
Super C Immune Boosting Smoothie
Certified Health and Wellness Coach and Nutritionist, Lynell Ross, the founder and managing editor of Zivadream, an education advocacy website dedicated to helping people improve their lives created this immune-boosting smoothie for us.
- 1 cup milk of choice
- 1 tbsp ground flax meal
- 1 tbsp nut butter
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1 /2 cup of strawberries
- 1 peeled kiwi
Place into your blender and blend thoroughly. If you freeze your fruit ahead of time, your smoothie will have a thicker consistency.
Ross recommends milk because it is packed with nutrients: “Milk provides protein, important for immune function because it contains probiotics for healthy gut bacteria which boosts immunity. It contains Vitamin D which helps us absorb nutrients and immunoglobulins that boost the immune system. Milk also contains Riboflavin, Vitamin B12, Potassium, Phosphorus, Selenium, Vitamin A, Magnesium, Zinc, and Thiamine (B1). Protein is necessary for cellular repair and growth,” she says.
“Milk is considered a complete protein and contains all nine essential amino acids necessary for a healthy body. Amino acids help us to stabilize our mood, sleep better, and helps older adults prevent osteoporosis and natural muscle loss. Milk is a natural alternative to highly processed protein powders. Other kinds of milk such as almond milk are good alternatives for those that are lactose intolerant or vegan. Look for brands that contain the least processed additives like sugar and are fortified with vitamins.”
Healthy Fat Bomb Smoothie
This recipe comes from Deidre Bloomquist, a Functional Nutritionist based in Denver, Colorado.
This sweet smoothie provides nutrient-rich spinach without tasting bitter and incorporates healthy fats. Healthy fats are an important component of every cell in the human body and promote a healthy inflammatory response to stress. Honey is a healthy substitute for regulating allergies in the spring as honey bees collect honey and pollen from local plants, helping those who consume the honey to be immune to allergy symptoms.
- 1 cup water
- ½ medium ripe avocado, peeled & pitted
- 2 cup spinach
- 2 cup frozen pineapple, chopped
- 1-2 tbsp honey, to taste
Add all ingredients to blender except for honey. Blend until smoothie, then add honey to taste.
The following recipes come from a well known Boston-area vegan chef named Chef Suzi Gerber.
- 3 oz hemp milk (recipe below)
- 3 oz date syrup
- ⅓ cup oats
- 5 oz (4 pieces) butternut squash
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch cardamom
- scoop vanilla spice sun butter
- ⅔ cup hemp seeds
- 3 dates
- pinch salt
- 48 oz water
Tahini Smoothie Bowl
This immune-boosting smoothie is super creamy and delicious. Tahini adds powerful antioxidants and healthy fats to your diet.
- 2 frozen bananas
- ½ cup frozen pineapple
- 1 cup frozen blueberry
- ½ cup water or plant milk or juice
- 2 tbs tahini
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp cardamom
- agave if desired
For a sweet with a touch of spice, this smoothie is a good one.
- 4 oz nut milk
- pinch turmeric
- ½ red apple
- 1 small sweet potato (peeled and chopped, large handful)
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp spice mix (see below)
- 2 dates
- 1 scoop vanilla sun butter
- top with ginger powder
- 1 tbsp cardamom
- 1 tbsp nutmeg
- ¼ cup cinnamon
Banana Green Mashup Smoothie
This delicious recipe comes from pre/postnatal fitness expert and mom of 4, Sara Haley Fit. This recipe is hands down her kid’s favorite smoothie, she says.
- 1 handful of ice
- 1 handful of blueberries (contain flavonoids—a type of antioxidant that can help reduce damage to cells and boost your immune system)
- 1 banana
- 2 cups of almond milk
- 1 handful of mint (anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties) & basil (contains orientin and viceninare—antioxidants that strengthen the immune system) — about 3 stems each (or any other greens you love)
Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve in a glass with a straw, or in a sippy cup for your kiddo!
And lastly, these immune-boosting smoothies are ones that my family loves and I hope you’ll enjoy them too. Try creating some of your own smoothies with all of the immune-boosting ingredients discussed here.
Tropical Banana Cream Pie
- ½ large frozen banana
- ½ cup papaya
- ½ cup of mango or orange juice
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 tbsp golden flax meal
- ½ cup of plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
Apple Pie Smoothie
- ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- pinch of cloves
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tart apple, cored and diced
- ½ tsp hemp seeds
- 2-3 ice cubes
Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie
- 1 cup diced sweet potato, cooked, cooled/frozen
- 1 banana, frozen
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- ½ cup almond or coconut milk
- 1 tbsp almond butter or a few whole almonds
- Pinch of cloves
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp flaxseed or hemp seeds
- 2 cups of baby spinach
- 1 cup ginger kombucha
- 1 avocado
- 1 scoop protein powder
- ¼ cup frozen strawberries
- ½ frozen banana
Kefir & Blueberry Booster
- 2 tbsp oats
- ½ cup frozen blueberries
- ½ cup plain kefir
- 2 tbsp almond or sunflower seed butter
- ½ frozen banana
- 1 tbsp honey
- pinch of cinnamon
Silky Banana Berry Smoothie
- 120 grams silken tofu (half of a typical box)
- 1 cup sliced frozen strawberries
- ½ cup frozen blueberries
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
- ½-1 cup almond or coconut milk
Red Velvet Cheesecake Energy Smoothie
- 1 roasted beet
- 1 ½ cups almond milk
- 5 pitted dates soaked if necessary
- ½ cup cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, or silken tofu for vegan
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
To make the topping, combine:
- 2 tbsp light cream cheese, or silken tofu for vegan
- 4 tbsp almond milk
- 1/2 tsp maple syrup or stevia drops
Cheers to building a healthier immunity with these smoothies!