It’s a rainy, grey morning here in Dublin and with all of this unpredictable weather, I’ve been trying to keep my immune system strong.
Sniffly noses, painful blocked sinuses, chesty coughs and a head that feels like it’s been stuffed with soggy cotton wool are some of those oh-so-familair symptoms of a cold coming. But did you know that excess mucus, high temperature, tenderness, swollen glands and inflammation is actually your immune system working overtime to fight whatever bacteria or virus is attacking you? It’s your body’s way of protecting you from the foreign invader.
Going about our everyday lives in this busy world, we’re subject to potential attack from bugs and bacteria at every moment of every day.
Thankfully, we have a powerful army on our side, known collectively as our immune system. This huge array of diverse cells are involved in our immune response, and include macrophages, cytotoxic natural killer cells, granulocytes, T cells and B cells. It’s an incredibly sophisticated and responsive system in place in our body, but we must feed it with the right nutrients each day for it to perform at its very best.
Friends and family are always amazed at how rarely I get even a sniffle, despite a hectic schedule, a lot of airplane travel and time spent in different climates. But it’s really very simple! I feed my body with all the foods it needs to build a strong immune system, and defence in place that is resilient enough to fight off the bugs.
Apart from getting adequate sleep, regular exercise and drinking plenty of water, the foods we choose to eat daily are crucial to how strong our immune system becomes. While refined sugar attacks and breaks down our immunity, whole plant foods are true superstars for building it right back up.
For this recipe, I have used the immune-boosting duo of fresh lemon and ginger, plus plenty of goji berries. As one of the most nutritionally-dense type of fruits we can eat, goji berries have been used for centuries in Tibet and China for their nutrition and medicinal benefits. As a complete source of all the essential amino acids, goji berries are jam-packed with vitamin C, which is essential for building a strong immune defence.
They’re also a good source of fibre, as well as the iron, zinc and selenium needed for a healthy immune system. Quite the impressive little berry!
I also popped in a large handful of strawberries, for their antioxidant benefits and high vitamin C content. To really thicken up this smoothie, I used frozen bananas, but fresh ones work just as well too. Bananas provide a powerful dose of energy, plus they’re a true feel-good food thanks to their high levels of mood-boosting vitamin B6. 🙂
Finally, a small amount of avocado helps to make the smoothie taste creamy, and enables the beta-carotene in the goji berries to be properly absorbed in our body and converted to vitamin A for cellular healing and repair.
I would love to know if you decide to make this smoothie and I love to see all your creations on social media! Simply tag #RosannaDavisonNutrition on Instagram or Twitter or come on over to my Facebook to say hello
- 2 ripe bananas, peeled, chopped and frozen for at least 2 hours
- 2 tbsp dried organic goji berries (Plus extra to garnish)
- 1 medium apple, rinsed, cored and roughly chopped
- 125ml (1/2 a cup) cold water, to blend
- 150g (1 cup) of fresh whole strawberries, rinsed well
- 1/4 of a ripe avocado
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp fresh root ginger, chopped
- Place all ingredients into a blender, and add the liquid to combine well until smooth and creamy.
- Garnish with goji berries and serve chilled.
- Any leftovers will keep in a covered container in the fridge for up to 2 days.