Ugh. This last week has been rough. There’s a really bad flu going around, and I caught it. And because I secretly like to think I’m Wonder Woman and can handle pretty much anything, I worked through it. I worked through the headaches, the sore throat, the muscle aches, the dizziness, the hacking cough, the extreme fatigue, and the awful lack of energy. It sucked.
It especially sucked because half of my department at work was also sick, only they were smart about it and stayed home to rest and recover. So we were horrendously understaffed. So work was absolutely insane. So the past week has been basically nothing but work overtime and eat what little my complete lack of appetite will let me get down and sleep as much as humanly possible between it all.
I survived. It wasn’t fun, but I survived.
Moral of the story? Be healthy. Don’t get sick. And if you are sick, or you feel like you’re getting sick, you should take garlic-ginger-kale juice shots because I totally swear by them. Although don’t say I didn’t warn you: they burn like hell going down. And they taste really awful. And they probably also make you smell bad.
OR you could drink something that’s just as good for you but actually tastes delicious. Like this smoothie!
Now that I’ve finally gotten around to it, let me tell you about this smoothie. This smoothie has a bunch of cold- and flu-fighting ingredients in it, like ginger, citrus, yogurt, coconut oil, raw honey, and even mango. So pretty much everything. And it’s yummy. You’re welcome.
I’m going to do that thing now where I give you the nutritional low-down in all caps. Except it’s going to be really long this time because the stuff in this smoothie is just that good for you. Okay, here goes.
Ginger contains powerful anti-inflammatory phytonutrients called gingerols that decrease the inflammation that accompanies colds and flus, can help to reduce fevers, alleviate headaches, and relieve sore muscles. Ginger also contains compounds called sesquipertines that specifically target rhinoviruses, which are the main culprits that cause the common cold. Oh, and it can also help to clear congestion, soothe an upset stomach, and induce healthy sweating to aid with detoxification. No big deal.
Oranges and other citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, another antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects. The vitamin C in oranges can help to prevent colds and infections in the first place as well as to shorten the duration of colds and significantly reduce cold symptoms.
Mangos have vitamin C too! They’re also a great source of vitamin A, which supports the mucous membranes of the body, including the ones that line your respiratory tract, and is important for the synthesization of protective antibodies and the regulation of healthy immune responses.
Yogurt is full of beneficial probiotics that stimulate and strengthen the immune system and can help you keep from catching a cold. One strain in particular, Lactobacillus reuteri, acts as an anti-viral to keep viruses from replicating within the body.
Coconut and coconut oil contain a fatty acid called lauric acid that has powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties that can help keep colds, flus, and other infections in check.
Honey (but really we’re talking about raw honey) also has powerful antimicrobial properties and can help to fight off infections. And it’s especially great to help soothe a sore throat!
In summary, please go make yourself this smoothie so you don’t get sick. Also, take some downtime for yourself, get some exercise, and eat your veggies. Thus concludes my PSA for the day.
- 4 oranges, juiced (about 2 cups of juice)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
- 1-inch piece of ginger, juiced or grated
- 1 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt*
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 1 cup ice, optional
- 2 capsules of probiotic supplement, optional
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth!
Need a good dairy-free yogurt? Try making your own! Check out my recipe for homemade almond-cashew yogurt!