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10 drinks to fight colds & support immunity

Watermelon & Mint smoothie
Fancy sipping your way to a healthy immune system? Here are 10 drinks to help you fight colds and support your immunity and other immunity FAQs.

If your immune system is functioning normally, the less chance you’ll have of falling ill and the quicker you’ll recover if you do. 

To make sure your immune system is in tip-top condition, it pays to think about what you’re putting into your body.

There are a number of foods that you should try to introduce to your diet to support your immune system, but if you don’t fancy chewing on raw broccoli or garlic, you could try one of our fancy immunity drinks.

As well as being super tasty, a healthy immunity drink can be even easier for your body to digest and absorb because they’re in fluid form.

That’s why we’ve put together 10 tasty beverages that can help you get the nutrients your body needs to help support your immune system.

Why immune booster drinks don’t ‘technically’ exist 

The reality is, there is no food or supplement that will ‘boost’ your immune system.

Evidently there are foods that impact your health, as you’ve hopefully learned – vitamins and minerals pay an important keeping your immune system running in the way it should.

But ‘immunity-boosting’ supplements or immune boost juices are a bit of a myth.

By eating a healthy, balanced diet which includes fruit and vegetables – including fresh, frozen and tinned which are all equally as good.

So, it’s more of a case of looking after yourself and giving your body what it needs.

Simply put, of course you’re inclined to have the odd takeaway or fast food, but this should be on occasion rather than something you do as part of your diet.

Instead, look to add fresh fruit and vegetables where you can. By providing it with the nutrients it needs your body and more importantly, your immune system will thank you.

10 drinks that support your immune system

These 10 drinks can help you support your immune system and protect it from colds.

We’ve included ones you can make yourself and some ready-made products.

1. Hot lemon and ginger tea

1. Hot lemon and ginger tea

Lemon and ginger are both full of antioxidants and vitamins, so drinking a cup every day can be good for your immune system.

Ginger can also help increase blood circulation and lemons can help soothe inflammation.

For extra support, you could sprinkle some cinnamon on top - this slows down bacteria in your system, stopping it from multiplying so quickly.

Ingredients

Serves: 2

How to make hot lemon & ginger tea

1

Boil a kettle

2

Cut the lemon in half, slicing one half and squeezing the juice from the other.

3

Divide the lemon slices and juice between 2 mugs (or a tea pot with a filter) and add the sliced ginger.

4

Pour boiling water into the mugs and leave to brew for a few minutes or until it’s cool enough to sip.

5

Sweeten with honey if you wish.

For extra support, you could sprinkle some cinnamon on top - this slows down bacteria in your system, stopping it from multiplying so quickly.

2. Watermelon and mint smoothie

2. Watermelon and mint smoothie

If you love smoothies, why not have a go at making your own using a few slices of watermelon and some mint?

Watermelon is an immune-supporting food as it contains lycopene.

If your nose is bunged up, the mint will help you breathe more easily as it contains menthol.

Ingredients

Serves: 2 

  • 300g diced seedless watermelon
  • 4 tablespoons demerara sugar
  • 950ml sparkling water
  • 4 fresh mint leaves
  • Crushed ice

How to make a watermelon and mint smoothie

1

Add all the ingredients to a blender.

2

Blend ingredients together until you have your desired consistency and serve.

3. Berry smoothie

3. Berry smoothie

Berries are really good for you as they’re full of the vitamins your body needs.

You could combine strawberries with raspberries and blueberries or mix it up with some other types of fruit for an even more nutritious meal.

Ingredients

Serves: 1

  • 100ml plant-based milk
  • 25g gluten-free oats
  • 75g frozen berries
  • 1cm piece fresh ginger
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 tsp agave or maple syrup

How to make a berry smoothie

1

Use the back of a metal spoon to remove the skin from the ginger before finely grating it

2

Add the oats to a blender and blitz until powdered, then add the celery and frozen berries and blend

3

Add the remaining ingredients and blend once more until smooth - scraping down the sides of the blender to ensure everything is thoroughly combined

4

Pour into a glass and garnish with a stick of celery if you're feeling fancy - enjoy with a reusable straw!

4. Orange or grapefruit juice

4. Orange or grapefruit juice

A glass of your favourite citrus juice every morning with your breakfast will give your body some much-needed vitamin C.

You could make your own juice or buy it ready-made, the decision is yours.

If you don’t like citrus fruits, a glass of tomato juice is a good alternative as tomatoes are rich in vitamin C too.

5. Green juice

5. Green juice

Is there anything healthier looking than a green juice? It’s probably because they are! Green juices are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre, which can help support your immune system.

You can make one with any green leafy vegetable you fancy. Here’s a green juice recipe for some inspiration.

Ingredients

Serves: 2

  • 125ml coconut water
  • 65g plain Greek yoghurt (or alternative)
  • 125g kale
  • 125g spinach    
  • ½ cucumber sliced
  • 65g broccoli
  • 65g chopped celery
  • 65g green grapes
  • 65g diced green apple
  • 250g frozen or fresh pineapple chunks
  • 250g ice cubes

How to make green juice

1

Combine all ingredients in a blender.

2

Cover and blend on medium speed for roughly a minute, stopping it to stir if necessary.

Key benefits

  • A tropical and zesty burst of flavour, scientifically proven to support your gut microbiome and immune health
  • 2 billion probiotic bacteria in each bottle plus chicory inulin (a prebiotic fibre)
  • Contains vitamin C (>100% RI per shot) from natural acerola juice and Vitamin D3 (>500% RI per shot) from algae
  1. Gusto Super DC Blackcurrant & Elderberry

Key benefits

  • Super DC delivers effective doses of immune supporting vitamins including vegan vitamin D3 (200% RI) and vitamin C (2500% RI). Not all vitamin D is Vegan – but this one is!
  • High Strength and immune supporting Vitamins D3 and C with vitamins A, K, Folic acid, Zinc and extracts of black elderberry, white mulberry and acerola cherry.
  • Less than 60 calories and free from refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives

What our customers think

Liabrighton – Impressive strength

“Tried this and love it.

Very high strength vitamins and vegan too very sour but I like that would imagine it’s the vitamin C paired with the tart elderberry flavours.

I am tempted to add extra sparkling water to make it a longer drink and tone down the flavour, but glad sugars haven’t been added to keep calories low gave me a real energy boost.”

  1. TEA + Vitamin C Vitamin Tea 14 Day Routine

Key benefits

  • A blend of echinacea & ginseng with 100% NRV vitamin C, which contributes to the normal function of the immune system.
  • Contributes to normal collagen formation
  • Each box contains a 14 day routine (14 tea bags)

What our customers think

Saulyte3 – Lovely tea, very tasty

“Lovely tea, definitely can feel vitamin C in it. I got it on a promotion to try out. Will be buying again.”

Sandrahot – Brilliant taste – 5/5 stars

“So happy with them drink them every day need to order more as I am running out.”

  1. Gusto Super DC Blood Orange

Key benefits

  • High Strength immune supporting Vitamins D and C and a blend of vitamins A, K, Folic acid, Zinc and extracts of black elderberry, white mulberry and acerola cherry.
  • Super DC delivers effective doses of immune supporting ingredients including vegan vitamin D3 (200% RI) and vitamin C (2500 RI). Not all vitamin D is Vegan, but ours is!
  • Blood orange flavour, free from refined sugar, artificial sweeteners and preservatives and less than 60 calories

What our customers think

Hfearn – Boost your immune system!

“I am always looking for a low-calorie drink which tastes good and is good for you! I think I may have found it. Full of vitamins and tastes amazing. Great after a workout, run, or just for a general boost.”

  1. Tonic Health High Dose Immunity Drink Elderberry & Blackcurrant Flavour

What our customers think

SunderlandMick – Fantastic healthy drink. I love it.

“This is makes a really tasty drink that has become a vital part of my daily routine.

I've replaced my morning coffee with a sachet of this and feel much better through until lunch. Love this flavour too!”

Luda88 – Tastes great, instantly feel energised – 5/5 stars

“Been using this for a few days now and I love the taste, like fizzy blackcurrants.

I've been having this instead of coffee at the start of my day and feel much better already. Dissolves well too!”

The final say

We hope that’s given you an inspiring introduction to the many drinks that can help support your immunity. Try some out for yourself to see which is your favourite.

You also asked...

What is the immune system?

The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends your body against infection and disease.

Intelligently, your immune system is able to keep a biological record of every germ or microbe that it has defeated previously, which makes it able to recognise and destroy the same microbe quickly if it ends the body again.

 

Why is the immune system important?

Without your immune system you would be constantly facing infection or disease and generally be falling ill.

Your immune system destroys what could potentially be harmful by recognising what cells belong to your body and which alien cells.

Usually, this works without any issues, however if your immune system wrongly classifies some of your cells and attacks them instead it can cause problems.

When operating properly, a robust and fully functioning immune system helps you carry on your daily life as normal.

You are able to come into contact with germs, bugs, other people and your environment with little worry.

Without it, you’d be more likely to pick up infection and infectious disease more easily, which in extreme cases can result in something fatal.

Because it does such a good job of keeping us free from infection, its easy to take your immune system for granted.

But as a general rule, if you have a good immune system, it’s a good idea to look after it and it will look after you.

 

Does alcohol weaken the immune system?

We are all aware of the dangers of alcohol. But the long-term dangers of how it can damage your immune system can be quite serious.

The NHS advises that drinking large amounts of alcohol over many years can have some serious effects.

Alcohol misuse over many years can cause organ failure which can affect:

  • Brain 
  • Nervous system
  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Pancreas

Long-term alcohol misuse can weaken your immune system, which can make you more vulnerable to serious infections.

 
The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Last updated: 8 November 2021

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