Drinks to Boost Immune System: Water and Immunity
When you’re sick, you’ll take any help you can get. Sometimes this comes in the form of strong medications and supplements, but supporting your immune system on a regular basis can be a lot easier than ingesting a regimen of pills. There’s a diverse group of drinkables that can contribute to a strong immune system—and most of the necessary ingredients may already be in your home.
Chief among these concoctions is what should prove the easiest to prepare: water. You’ve probably heard this before, but water is the most important liquid to consume and should be your go-to beverage regardless of health. Outside of the immune system, water carries with it health benefits like assisting with weight loss, promoting stress relief and overall good mood, and contributing to healthy muscles and joints.
When it comes to immunity, water is an essential tool for the body when it’s breaking down some nutrients, like vitamin C. It also transports those nutrients through the body to where they’re needed, helps regulate body temperature and moves toxins out of the body. Through its ability to strengthen
blood flow, water helps get white blood cells—the body’s own natural immune system boosters—around faster than they would if blood flood was hampered by a lack of hydration.
Hot Drinks and Diet Influence Immunity
Hot drinks—especially hot water—carry their own set of immunity-boosting perks. Warm water can help expand blood vessels, which may alleviate pain, relax muscles and further improve circulation. It can break up congestion in the throat and nose, detoxify through the promotion of sweat, and help promote faster breakdown of nutrients. Hot drinks can do a lot to improve the immune system’s efficiency.
Diet also influences your susceptibility to sickness, as well as how long that ailment will impact your life. There are some nutrients the body can’t hold onto, and others it can’t create naturally. Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet on a daily basis could go a long way towards supporting your immune system and helping you stay healthy.
Protein supports the immune system against infection and can be found in food containing dairy, soy, nuts and seeds. Vitamin C directly supports the body’s production of its anti-invader white blood cell army. Foods rich in vitamin C include tomato juice, strawberries and citrus fruits like oranges.
Vitamin A is plentiful in carrots, spinach and apricots, and helps the body craft antibodies that respond to specific threats, as well as strengthen the mucous cells that line and protect essential organs.
Vitamins A and C are also antioxidants, which help curb body inhibiting free radicals.
Importance of the Immune System
The human body’s immune system is designed to protect itself when invaded by something from the outside. Different Cells, proteins and organs work in harmony to combat foreign toxins, fungi, bacteria and viruses that may cause you to become sick.
Drinks to Boost Immune System
Matcha Tea Latte
Matcha is like green tea with the intensity turned up—it’s brighter and has the nutritional value of 10 cups of green tea. It’s also rich with antioxidants and boosts metabolism. Make this latte with coconut milk to benefit from the milk’s healthy fats.
Add honey for a natural sweetener that also acts as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Substitute almond milk for a different consistency.
All that isn’t to say you should shun green tea. Flavonoids—plant compounds that serve us as antioxidants—abound in green tea, especially one called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which is proved to enhance the immune system’s functionality. EGCG, as its friends call it, is preserved in green tea because this type of tea is steamed, not fermented. Black tea drinkers will miss out on this because any EGCG is removed during the fermentation process.
For flavor—and for fun—try picking out, preparing and steeping your own loose leaf tea. Once again, honey is a great natural sweetener.
Fermented Lemonade Soda
Fermentation may deny you of EGCG, but it isn’t all bad. The process also assists with digestion by creating beneficial enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B. In other words, fermentation may provide enough probiotic benefit that you can reconsider pricey supplements.
To craft this beverage, you’ll need to ferment lemonade for 5-to-7 days after mixing it with a bit of fresh whey or other sources of friendly bacteria like water kefir or ginger bug.
A drink that’s become so popular it can be found bottled in convenience stores, kombucha is another fermented beverage that’s made from tea. This particular drink contains billions of probiotics that bolster friendly belly bacteria, which can provide an immune system boost.
Studies show that approximately 70% of the work the immune system does to keep you healthy happens in your stomach’s living ecosystem of bacteria. These friendly, helpful organisms are often the first line of defense protecting you against sickness and pathogens—you’re their home, after all.
When possible, pick kombucha made with green tea for a double immune system booster drink. Sure, the fermentation process changes the level of EGCG, but green tea’s glucuronic acid remains and is great at dealing with toxins.
Citrus Berry Smoothie
Citrus fruits and berries are both healthy sources of antioxidants and carbohydrates—both necessary for active people who create free radicals when they process oxygen and burn carbohydrates as they make their bodies do work. In addition to these benefits, taking in this smoothie’s contents will provide vitamin B, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and copper, substances and electrolytes the body uses to fight inflammation.
The citrus aspect should most likely come from oranges, while you can experiment with your own concoction of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.
Kale, Broccoli and Spinach Juice
Matcha and green tea may have the color aspect down, but they don’t count as getting your daily serving of greens. However, this combo has you covered, providing magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper and vitamins A, C and K. For flavor, try adding lime, cucumber or ginger.
Other Immunity Tips
Maintain a Balanced Diet
These drinks and creations can help you get your daily value of certain nutrients, but the best way to boost immune system effectiveness is to fill the gaps in your diet. Providing the body with the right fuel in the correct amounts can induce a lot of positive changes in functionality, including the ability to remain well longer with shorter bouts of sickness when something does finally get to you.
While water isn’t exactly a fuel, it assists in breaking down foods, transporting helpful nutrients and cells throughout the body and keeping body parts in prime working shape. Without a proper amount of water, the immune system may be at a severe disadvantage. Other aspects of your life, like mobility and mood, may suffer, too.
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