There’s nothing worse than feeling the tell-tale tickle at the back of your throat or the familiar feeling of your nose becoming clogged up. Whether you are feeling a little under the weather, or you just want to prevent illness in the future, boosting the immune system is the best thing you can do for yourself.
The immune system is our primary defense system against illness and strengthening the system can help you fight off illnesses quickly. If you’re ready to stop that pesky cold in its tracks, read on!
While juices may not cure illness or transform your immune system, they are often packed with nutrients and antioxidants. This makes them a perfect companion to a healthy immune system.
This article will explain how the immune system works and explore some super juices that boost your immune system.
What is the Immune System?
In any organism, including the human body, the immune system is the defense system that protects the body against disease. The system is made up of a complex network of cells and proteins that work together to tackle any infectious agents that make their way into the body.
After the immune system has fought off an undesirable organism, like a virus, , it keeps a record of how the microbe was defeated. If that same organism re-enters the body, the immune system knows how to defeat it quickly. This process is known as immunity and explains why illnesses like measles or smallpox are only contracted once. After fighting off the illness once, the body can defeat the illness quickly and efficiently the second or third time.
However, illnesses like the common cold or the flu aren’t so simple. Because these illnesses constantly change and develop new strains, the body doesn’t recognize the altered microbes. Every cold you catch is slightly different from the last, and the immune system has to learn how to defeat it all over again.
Key Components of the Immune System
How does the immune system work? The following components work together to create the body’s immune system:
- White Blood Cells – These key players seek out bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi then launch the immune response attack.
- Antibodies – Antibodies recognize foreign cells and mark them for other elements to destroy.
- Spleen – The organ that filters blood and removes damaged red blood cells.
- Thymus – The thymus produces T-cells that help to destroy infected tissue in the body.
- Bone Marrow – The tissue found inside the bones that produce red blood cells and white blood cells.
5 Juices That Boost Your Immune System
The immune system is a complex system made up of many individual parts. When one of these parts is weakened due to age, illness, or a lack of nutrients, the entire system can become inefficient. Luckily, there are some things we can do to help the immune system function properly.
Drinking specific types of juice can be a great way to pack in extra nutrients into your diet. Here are our favorite five juices that boost your immune system.
- Vitamins A and C
Tomato juice contains three vital antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and beta-carotene, which help to keep your cells protected from free radical damage. Free radical damage is associated with serious conditions like heart disease and can speed up the aging process.
Kale and Celery
- Vitamins A and C
- Fatty acids
Again, this juice contains antioxidant vitamins A and C, which are excellent for the immune system. In addition to these vitamins, it contains minerals like magnesium, potassium, and iron. Magnesium helps to keep the thymus functioning at its best and is, therefore, an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. Iron is a crucial element in the natural growth of the immune system and is especially important for lymphocyte production.
Beet and Turmeric
- Vitamins A, C, and E
Turmeric is packed with useful nutrients that can help to support the immune system. Calcium is a key player in the immune system, as it provides the initial trigger to start the healing process. Adequate calcium intake will ensure your immune system is ready to roll when needed!
- Vitamins A, C, and E
- Flavonoids (in dark berries)
This juice also contains some of the vitamins we’ve discussed above. In addition to the excellent benefits you receive from the vitamins found in berries, there are also benefits from the Folate and Flavonoids found in berries. Folate, or folic acid, is a crucial element of the immune system. Flavonoids, found in dark berries like blueberries, blackberries, and grapes, are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties that help the body fight infection.
Orange and Ginger
- Vitamin C, B3, and B6
Orange and ginger are both excellent ingredients for the immune system. With the high vitamin C levels from the orange plus the high levels of zinc found in ginger, this is a killer combo for boosting the immune system. Zinc plays a vital role in the immune system, by activating the enzymes that break down viruses and bacteria. As an added bonus, the powerful flavor of ginger is great for clearing the sinuses and relieving some of the symptoms associated with colds and flu.
Can Homemade Juices Boost Your Immune System?
In most cases, homemade juices are preferable to store-bought juices. This is because homemade juices contain more of the nutrients found in the ingredients being used. When juice is filled with preservatives and processed for long shelf life, many nutrients from the fruit are depleted.
If making juice at home is not an option, try to purchase cold-pressed juices or organic juices that have not been through rigorous processing.
What Else Can You Do to Boost the Immune System?
Here are a few ways you can support your immune system:
- Adequate sleep
- Frequent hand washing
- Minimize stress through meditation or lifestyle
The immune system is a crucial part of the human body. Without it, we would be unable to fight off infections and illnesses like the common cold. With a powerful, strong immune system, our bodies can fight off illness quickly and effectively. In some cases, you may be able to fight off mild infections before experiencing any symptoms.
While nutritious juices can help to support the immune system, it’s important to remember that they aren’t a magical solution in every case. For people with compromised immune systems or immune-related conditions, drinking juice, unfortunately, won’t make a huge difference. Nevertheless, including healthy juices in your diet can help to support and boost your immune system’s performance.
Remember, drink organic, unprocessed juice wherever possible, in order to get the most out of the nutrients you consume. Keep juice consumption to no more than 4-6 ounces a day. Commit to a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, a healthy, varied diet, and a consistent sleeping pattern.
We hope this guide to juices that boost your immune system has given you some inspiration on ways you can introduce even more nutrients into your daily routine. Let us know how you feel after trying some of these juices!