They say that colds have nothing to do with the cold. Yet I just can’t shake the idea that getting chilled to the bone on a wintry day is a surefire way to invite the rhinovirus in. As the chill wind blows hard across the snowy landscape, it must be weakening me as it makes my nose run and my eyes water. Add wet socks on cold feet and I feel my defenses dropping.
I suppose the best way to avoid the cold is not just to bundle up. We have to build our defenses from the inside out. Luckily, there are some fortifying foods that can help you fight off those opportunistic bugs, with just a quick and easy buzz in the blender.
Immune Boosting Foods
I have been a turmeric fan for years, and it looks like the world is coming around to the amazing effects of the golden root. I’ve written about my favorite fresh turmeric-laced Dal soup and the protective qualities of turmeric in a turmeric tonic for skin. Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory food, and that alone makes it a good thing to keep your body in top shape for fighting off a cold.
Vitamin C is a classic for fighting colds, so this juice has a one-two punch, delivered by both rosehips and fresh clementines.
Rosehips are the seed pods of spent roses, and are often overlooked in the lists of super-healthy foods. They are available in the bulk section of many Coops, and are really inexpensive, considering all the nutrients they harbor in their purplish red pods. According to nutritiondata.com, an ounce of dried rosehips has 199% of the daily recommendation for Vitamin C, as well as 24% of the Vitamin A. They are a very good source of manganese and a good source of E, K, calcium and magnesium. An ounce is alot of rosehips, a rounded quarter cup by my measure, so make your rosehip tea strong, as I did in this recipe. If you want to get every bit of the nutrients from your rosehips, you can add the steeped pods to the blender, and it will need a little more honey to balance out the tartness. The mixture will be thicker, too.
Clementines are those little mandarin oranges that are popular this time of year, I bought two bags for the price of one, so we can keep a bowl of them on the table and eat them as snacks. Like oranges, they are full of Vitamin C and antioxidants and taste great.
Ginger is an age-old home remedy, and there are studies showing that it kills viruses and bacteria. It warms you from the inside, and the peppery juice helps clear your throat.
Raw honey is another favorite to soothe your throat and give you some natural antibiotics. Some honeys, like Manuka, are so potent with antibiotic activity that you can use them on wounds. If you have some Manuka honey, definitely use it in this.
The Vitamix Makes it Fast
For this juice, I used the Vitamix to make sure to get every bit of the goodness from these foods. Whole Clementines, turmeric and ginger get blasted into liquid form with the powerful blades, making it easy to drink and enjoy. The only planning ahead was in brewing the rosehips into a pink tea for the base liquid.
If you don’t have a Vitamix yet, scroll down and enter to win one. You can also win a copy of my latest book, 300 Best Blender Recipes Using Your Vitamix (Robert Rose.) There’s a whole cahpter on whole juices like this one.
As winter wears on, I am glad that I have potent real foods to help me battle with the germs everyone else is swapping around. The best defense is, well, a good defense!
Immune Boosting Juice
Makes about 1 1/4 cups
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons dried rosehips
2 tablespoons sliced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sliced fresh turmeric
2 small clementine tangerines, peeled
1 tablespoon raw honey (optional)
In a heat safe cup, pour boiling water over the rosehips and let steep until completely cooled, about an hour. You can do this ahead of time and chill the tea ’til serving time.
Strain out the rosehips and pour the tea into the Vitamix container. Add the ginger, turmeric, tangerines and honey. Secure the lid and select Variable Speed 1. Turn on the blender and gradually increase the speed to 10, then High. Run for about 45 seconds, until the turmeric and ginger are completely pulverized.
Serve within 24 hours.