One of the best ways of protecting ourselves from the flu is to turn to mother nature for help! The team at Love Struck invite you to boost your immunity with these delicious and infection-fighting fruits and veggies.
First and foremost: Carrots
Carrots are rich in an antioxidant called beta-carotene, which is then converted into Vitamin A (to enhance immune function), Biotin (an essential B Vitamin for energy production), Vit K1 (to prevent clotting and to improve the health of your bones), potassium (to help control your blood pressure), and various other antioxidants – talk about a super veggie!
Other excellent sources of beta-carotene are other orange fruits and veggies, including orange, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and mango. It’s for this reason that we just love 24 Carrot Gold soup, as it contains sweet potato, turmeric, mandarin and, naturally, carrot! If you blend in 200ml of orange juice, you will enjoy an extra hit of Vitamin C – perfection!
A legend: Ginger
Ginger is a close relative of cardamom, turmeric, and galangal and is the root of a specific flower within the Zingiberaceae family. Ginger has been used for centuries in traditional and alternative medicine for a wide variety of reasons – assisting with digestion, reducing nausea, and supporting our immune systems to fight off flu and the common cold.
Responsible for the majority of ginger’s medicinal properties is gingerol, the main bioactive compound found within. It has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which makes it ideal for reversing oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, two of the primary drivers of age-related cognitive difficulties such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
But particularly pertinent for this time of the year is that ginger extract has been proven to prevent the growth of a broad spectrum of bacteria, particularly that linked to the respiratory syncytial virus. If untreated, it causes a range of respiratory problems, including periodontitis and gingivitis.
Along with a revitalising hit of banana, blueberry, carrot, and courgette, you can try ginger in our Detox Zing for bold and beautiful flavours.
The tried and tested: Blueberries
Do you know which of the most common fruits or vegetables has the highest levels of antioxidants? You guessed it, blueberries. The antioxidants in blueberries are part of a family of polyphenols known as flavonoids, and within this broader family, one specific group – anthocyanins – is given credit for many of the health benefits of these juicy berries. Research indicates that blueberries can lower cholesterol, reduce DNA damage, lower blood pressure and help to protect you against cancer, ageing and UTIs – what a remarkable list of achievements for something as small as a pea!
Although not directly implicated in the fight against the influenza virus that is so common, antioxidants – and particularly those within blueberries – can be regarded as nothing but a good thing when you’re seeking to boost your immune health. You can try the antioxidant powers of blueberries in our aptly named Blueberry Thrill.
Weird but wonderful: Green tea
One of the key ingredients in green tea – catechin – can suppress the growth of bacteria and, thus, lower the risk of oral infections and streptococcus mutans. This is a particularly nasty bacteria, as it is one of the leading causes of plaque and contributes to the decay of your teeth.
Fascinatingly, researchers are beginning to see that what is successful in combating mouth bacteria might also be successful in stifling bacteria that leads to a sore throat. In spite of the fact that the studies conducted so far have used particularly high quantities of the active compound, initial results are promising.
For something slightly different to green tea, why not try Matcha the Day – pineapple, peach, spinach, banana, and matcha – a true delight!
Fabulous fifth: Kiwi
Kiwi is a fabulous fruit that is bursting with Vitamins C & E, which supports your body in its fight against a whole variety of pathogens that try and cause it harm. When you weigh it up gram for gram, kiwi has about double the amount of vitamin C as an orange, which translates to the perfect fruit to successfully boost your immune system. An ordinary-sized kiwi – weighing in at around 70g – contains 71% of a man’s daily Vitamin C requirement and 85% for women. So, if you start your day by chopping the top off of two kiwis and scooping the delicious fruit, you’ve hit your daily Vitamin C target before your day gets started! And you don’t need to worry about going overboard when it comes to Vitamin C, as your body isn’t able to store it. This is why it’s so important to consistently feed your body Vitamin C, as any leftover from the previous day is washed out of your system naturally.
Another quick bonus fact for you – one kiwi consists of the same amount of potassium as a banana but comes with half the calories. We think it’s ideal for replenishing fluids you have lost to a sweaty fever.
You can enjoy delicious kiwi as part of our Big 5, blended with OJ for another dose of Vitamin C. Our Big 5 is set with mango, strawberry, pineapple and, of course, kiwi! What better way is there to keep the doctor away?