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Orange Ginger Immunity Smoothie

It’s no secret that immunity has been a hot topic in the past few months. With COVID-19 rising rapidly even through the summer, it seems like every sniffle or cough can spark panic. As a Registered Dietitian, many come to me asking: what can I eat to boost my immune system and prevent getting coronavirus?

It is worth noting this: no one food can completely prevent you from contracting COVID-19, or any other virus. However, there are a few key nutrients you can keep in your arsenal of healthy food to help your body fight off sickness. Lucky for you, we’ve wrapped them all up into one refreshing, summer drink!

Let’s break down each ingredient and its benefits to our immune system:

Orange juice:    not only does the OJ in this smoothie add natural sweetness, it is rich in vitamin C: an essential nutrient that has been proven to increase the production of white blood cells, or the “good guys” that fight off infections.

Carrot:    this colorful addition is rich in a pigment called beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant, or a nutrient that destroys unstable cells in the body. Antioxidants may prevent dangerous diseases, and recent research shows that the consumption of them can strengthen your immune system response to viruses.

Ginger:     this spice is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs in the world, and while all of its benefits haven’t been proven, ginger is known to contain anti-inflammatory properties: it may reduce swelling and pain, as well as prevent and ease nausea. This can ease any symptoms that you may experience should you get sick.

Cinnamon:    this spice is comprised of a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which may be used to flavor different products. However, its potent flavor isn’t its only benefit: it is known for its antimicrobial properties, which can reduce the risk of developing an infection.

These 5 foods plus the other nutrient-dense ingredients in this smoothie may play a key role in staying healthy as we ride out the summer of COVID-19 and into the fall, where flu season will begin. For now, stay cool with this delicious summer drink!

Turmeric:    hiding in this spice is a pigment known as curcumin, which known to have anti-inflammatory properties like ginger, but recent research has shown its ability to enhance immunity: curcumin may activate certain white blood cells in the body to help fight off sickness.

 

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Ingredients

1 banana

1 clementine, peeled

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

½ tbsp. grated fresh ginger

8-12 oz. orange juice

½ cup or one small container of plain Greek yogurt

¼ tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. turmeric

1 cup ice

Instructions

Assemble ingredients into a high powered blender. Blend thoroughly and enjoy.

Notes

Freeze one or more of the fruits for a thicker, colder drink

Choose sweetened yogurt over plain for a sweeter smoothie

by: Julia DeCecco
Julia is a Registered Dietician and a graduate of the University of Delaware. She is attending Immaculata University for her master's degree in Dietetics. Julia has worked most of her life at PCC doing just about everything from being an event server to working on the PCC Nutritional Facts project on our website. She is passionate about food, nutrition and photography. Would you like more of her fantastic food ideas... follow her on Instagram @peanutbutterbliss.
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