Unless you're Rudolph, sporting a red nose for the winter probably isn't the look you're going for. And given all the sneezing, wheezing, and coughing that come with a seasonal cold or flu, that look can be, well, downright frightful. So wouldn't it be nice to skip the whole thing altogether?
While there's no magic potion that can guarantee you'll bypass the season of sniffling, research shows you can tip the odds in your favor with some smart immunity-boosting beverages.
By getting a mega dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals in liquid form, you're making it easier for your system to digest and absorb them, says nutrition expert Isaac Eliaz, MD, medical director of Amitabha Healing Clinic in Santa Rosa, California. Plus, the extra fluids help keep you hydrated, improve communication between immune cells, and flush out foreign invaders.
So whether you're looking to start your day off with extra energy, end it on a high note, or ease your way through sick season, here are 10 immunity-boosting drinks you're going to want to try.
Rise and Shine
To get your day off on the right foot, Dr. Eliaz suggests starting simple.
"One of my top recommendations for immunity and overall health is to start your morning with a cup of hot water with fresh lemon and ginger," he says.
Don't be deceived by the simplicity: Grating one teaspoon of fresh ginger into 8 to 12 ounces of water and adding the juice of 1 to 2 lemon slices offers up a hefty dose of antioxidants, vitamin C, and other immunity-boosting compounds.
"It warms, activates, and cleanses your entire system," he says. (Make the perfect brew every time with these 5 Steps To A Perfect Cup Of Tea.)
Chai and Mighty
A traditional Indian tea, your standard chai is a blend of black or green tea, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, black pepper, clove, and fennel. All these herbs add up to a whole lot of beneficial compounds that enhance immune cells, energize cellular mitochondria for greater energy and vitality, directly fight bacteria and viruses in the body, and reduce chronic inflammation, says Dr. Eliaz. Phew!
One word of warning: make sure that your chai is unsweetened for maximum benefit. "Even natural sugars spike blood glucose which suppresses immunity," he says.
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