3.12.2014

Amy's Immune Boosting Juice

Blah, I'm sick at home with a head cold today.  I think I can blame it this time on a compromised immune system from staying up late and drinking a bit too much over the weekend.  Luckily, at work I have been switched over to a laptop with docking stations at both of my offices, so I was able to take it home and get some work done this afternoon.  Before sitting down to work, I decided a nice fruit and vegetable juice could help kick my immune system back into gear.

Amy's Immune Boosting Juice
Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1-4 (makes about 4 cups)
Ingredients:
4 green tart apples, cored
2 medium oranges, peeled
1 large grapefruit, peeled
1 lb organic carrots, tops removed
1 beetroot, peeled
2 inches peeled fresh ginger (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Wash and prep all ingredients.
  2. Run through a juicer extractor (citrus juicers won't work for this).
  3. Stir, skim off any excess foam, and serve over ice or chilled from the fridge.
  4. Consume the same day to take advantage of the fresh immune boosting juice!
Amy's Notes:
This juice was so pleasantly sweet from the fruit and carrots, but had a wonderful earthy taste from the beet.  I could tell after I had drank some of the juice my energy levels seemed to be up, and I was able to concentrate better as I worked.  I just know that all of those fresh nutrients are doing wonders to help my immune system fight off this cold.

As another note, I did not have ginger on hand to use in this recipe, but if I did, I would have tossed it in there.  Not only does it give any juice it is in a nice sweet, clean tang, but it is another great one for your immune system.

For those of you that are interested, here is some more information about the immune boosting power of all of the ingredients from my juice today:

Apples: Apples contain quercitin, a flavonoid antioxidant which has immune boosting properties. Quercitin reduces the incidence of the common cold, has anti-inflammatory properties, benefits the heart, reduces risk of cancer, and also helps prevent allergies. Since apples are abundant in the fall I always like to include them in my juice recipes. (source)

Oranges:  Juice from oranges give your body a kick of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate or Vitamin B-9, and Copper.  All are vital nutrients in a well functioning immune system.  (source)

Grapefruit:  Like oranges, grapefruit is packed with Vitamin C.  Vitamin C-rich foods like grapefruit may help reduce cold symptoms or severity of cold symptoms; over 20 scientific studies have suggested that vitamin C is a cold-fighter. (source)

Carrots: Carrots are one of the most overlooked vegetables for overall health. They benefit the heart, lungs, skin, eyes, and  immune system. Carrots contain beta carotene which fights infection. Other orange vegetables such as butternut squash, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes also contain beta carotene as well as vitamin C, another immune boosting nutrient. (source)

Beets: Beet juice does not only enhance the immune system; it can also benefit your health in other ways.  Some of the essential nutrients that are present in beet juice are beta carotene, vitamin C, carotenoids, sulfur, calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium choline.  This drink can improve the function of the brain, cleanse blood, and strengthen the gallbladder and liver.  (source)

Ginger root: Check out this list of reasons ginger is great for your immune system.

7 comments:

  1. What is an emulsion juicer? I have a Vita Mix but suspect that is not an emulsion juicer? Do you have a brand name of one so I will recognize what it looks like? Thanks, Diane

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    1. Hi Diane,

      In looking to find a link to an example, I realized that I used the wrong term! My mistake! I meant to say Juice Extractor, which would be a machine that grinds up food and separates the juice from the pulp or fiber, generally by spinning. This would leave you with the juice to drink and the pulp to toss (or used in composting!). You are correct that a Vita Mix would not do the same as a juicer, but I have heard that people use a Vita Mix with the produce they are wanting to juice and some water. After blending on high, they use a cheesecloth strainer to separate the juice from the pulp, much like you would making homemade almond milk.

      This is the juicer that I use: http://www.amazon.com/Juiceman-JM8000S-All-in-One-Juice-Extractor/dp/B00C7EO6QQ/ref=sr_1_54?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1394748702&sr=1-54&keywords=juicer
      My parents donated it to me after they decided to upgrade to a juicer with a bit more "umph" and load capacity. I find that it works just fine for the jobs I use it for. Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Amy

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  2. Thanks so much for the reply. I will try the recipe in the Vita Mix and straining it. Diane

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  3. This looks yummy! I had a juicer for a while, but after reading ETL, never liked just tossing all that fiber. Your body needs fiber and Dr. F advocates choosing a whole fruit over its juice because of the fiber content, so I wonder, how much juicing is too much, do you think? How often do you juice, and do you use it as a meal replacement,or just as kind of a nutrient boost? I've never been able to reconcile within myself the benefits of juicing with the need for fiber. Curious as to your thoughts on that.

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    1. Thanks, Rosa! I agree about the fiber, but in times when I just need a punch of nutrients, a juicer comes in handy. In general, I only juice about two or three times a month. I tend to juice if I am feeling a bit under the weather (like last week), or if my energy levels seem to be lower than usual.
      The nice thing about drinking juice when you are sick with a cold or flu is that it takes very little energy for your body to digest the juice, whereas a full fiber meal will take some time and energy. While you are sick, you want to give your body that energy for your immune system to work with instead.
      When I juice, I tend to have it in the morning on an empty stomach, so that I can ensure high nutrient absorbency. I don't allow it to replace my meals, but I am also mindful of waiting to feel true hunger before I eat. I also make sure to drink plenty of water in the hour or two after I consume a juice.
      I also like having my juicer to add carrot or celery juice to soups. This allows me to fill a soup that is already full of fiber with even more nutrients. Also, using fresh vegetable juice in soups to partially or fully replace vegetable stock will save you a lot of sodium in the recipe.
      Overall, I think adding juiced vegetables and fruit to your diet every now and then can be beneficial, but on the day-to-day, stick to whole, fibrous, nutrient-dense foods. :)

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  4. Amy, thanks so much for your insights! I never thought about the ease of digestion when drinking juices. I love your ideas of the fresh veggie juices to soups to help cut down on sodium, too. Lord knows I don't need any more sodium in my diet. One thing I did was use the veggie pulp from the juicer and made veggie lasagna from it. I've also seen cracker recipes. Hm, I think one day when I have a kitchen with more room I will definitely begin to utilize the juicer more. Thanks!!

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    1. No problem at all, Rosa! That is a great idea to use vegetable pulp for lasagna! I will have to give that a try sometime soon when I am craving an Italian dish :)

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