We’ve talked about immune-boosting smoothies before, but what about juices? The main difference between a smoothie and a juice is the consistency and how it's made. Though in terms of immune-boosting, they are equal!

Juices are very popular right now, with juice shops and prescription companies popping up everywhere. But these places are normally expensive, and it would be very costly to visit them every day to get your juice fix.

So, next time you are craving a juice, try your hand at making it yourself! It’s not as hard as it sounds, and you don’t even need a fancy juicer to do it, just some fresh fruits and vegetables and a trusty blender.

Juices are great to have on hand for when you feel a cold coming on, or just to drink every day to keep your immune function ticking over.

Check out these recipes for inspiration next time you want to try your hand at juicing!

Immune-Boosting Ingredients

Juices typically use fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs in various combinations. This is because these items contain the most immune-boosting properties. The combinations are endless!

Coconut water or normal water is also commonly used to make the juice thinner, but for extra vitamin C, add orange or apple juice on top of the fresh fruits and vegetables.

Honey is a common sweetener in juice, but you can also use agave, or regular sugar if you want more of a sweet drink. Play around with the sweeteners till you find the one that works best for you.

While there is no right or wrong way to make a juice, the combination of ingredients is endless. Some of the most common vegetables, fruits, and spices in juices include:

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Green apples
  • Ginger
  • Lemon/lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Pear
  • Spinach/kale
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • Blueberries
  • Honey
  • Turmeric

These fruits, vegetables, and spices are usually used because they have significant immune-boosting properties, and they also taste great together no matter the combination!

Here are some key benefits these ingredients can offer:

Citrus fruits

These fruits are highest in vitamin C, which helps to increase immune defense cells and provide a barrier against viruses and pathogens you may run into. Citrus fruits include oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and kumquat.

Zinc

Blueberries contain a good amount of zinc, which activates the cells that destroy viruses and bacteria, assisting them in their fight and making them react quicker. Zinc has been shown to shorten symptoms of the cold or flu and promote recovery post-illness.

Curcumin

This is the active chemical found in turmeric and it promotes antibody response, meaning you can fight off a virus much quicker and reduce the overall amount of time you are sick.

Honey

Honey is an antibacterial, which means it can act as an immune defense alongside your immune cells when you come into contact with a virus. Honey has been shown to increase lymphocytes, which are the cells that help build antibodies and kill microbes that shouldn’t be in your body.

Anti-inflammatory herbs

Most herbs have anti-inflammatory properties. When we get sick, our body's response to fight it ends up causing inflammation, which we normally experience in the form of a fever.

Ginger and turmeric help to counteract this inflammation. This leads to you feeling better quicker when you’re sick and promoting a lowered inflammatory response while allowing your immune cells to fight to their best ability.

Besides these immune-boosting properties, these ingredients also provide important vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, Vitamin A, K, B6, and B9 to help support overall health. The healthier you are overall, the less likely it is that you will get sick.

Tips for Juicing

Prepping to juice usually takes the most amount of time, so give yourself a jump start by doing the following beforehand:

Peel or cut all fruits and vegetables you want to use ahead of time, then store them in bags labeled with the type of juice and keep them in your fridge or freezer. This way when you go to make a juice, you have everything ready to throw in the juicer.

Once made, juices can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so they are a perfect snack to make ahead of time and keep cold for an easy grab-and-go option later on.

Using in-season produce is the best way to get the most benefits from your juice. Check out a local small grocery to see what is in season where you live.

Make sure you follow the instructions for your juicer as every brand is going to be different. If you don’t have a juicer available, you can use a blender too but may need to use cheesecloth to strain it after and get the chunks out so you’re left with the juice.

8 Immune-Boosting Juice Recipes

Each of these recipes makes 3-4 servings. If you find a juice is too thick, add a liquid like water or coconut water. If you find the juice is too thin, add in more fruit or vegetables to thicken it.

You really can’t go wrong with any combination of the ingredients listed above, but below are some of our favorite combinations!

For all recipes, once the fruits and vegetables are prepared, place them in the blender or juicer and process them according to the equipment’s instructions. If you need to, run the juice through a cheesecloth to strain to achieve a juice-like consistency.

1) Beet Ginger

This recipe is all about color, but also provides powerful antioxidants from the lemon, apples, and ginger to provide the best boost for your immune system.

  • 4 beets: peeled, quartered
  • 5 carrots: washed, peeled
  • 2 green apples: washed, quartered
  • 1 tbsp ginger: chopped, peeled if using fresh
  • 1 lemon: peeled

2) Green Juice

Everyone loves a good green juice, and this one has all the immune-boosting goodies in it. Spinach or kale can be used as both provide lots of vitamin C to provide you with immune support.

  • 6 cup spinach or kale: washed, chopped
  • 1 cucumber: washed
  • 2 green apples: washed, quartered
  • 2 green pears: washed, quartered
  • 1 lemon: peeled

3) Orange Juice

This isn’t your typical orange juice. With added lemon and ginger, this one will make your taste buds dance and keep the viruses at bay.

  • 5 carrots: washed
  • 3 oranges: peeled
  • 1 lemon: peeled
  • 1 tbsp ginger: chopped, peeled if using fresh

4) Blueberry Kick

Honey makes this juice sweet and antibacterial, while the other ingredients provide you with vitamin C to make a perfect shield to any bacteria that you encounter.

  • 1 cup blueberries: washed
  • 1 green apple
  • 4 cup spinach: washed
  • 1 lemon: peeled
  • ½ tbsp honey

5) Tomato Juice

This juice gets cooked rather than blended. Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring to a simmer then cook uncovered for 25 minutes. Once cooled, pour the mixture through a cheesecloth to strain.

  • 6 Tomatoes: peeled, chopped
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Optional- 6-8 drops of tabasco sauce

6) Turmeric Lemon

This tart, sour juice is perfect for those who like to take juice shots. Make a large batch of it and keep it in your fridge to take an immunity shot every time you feel a cold coming on.

  • 2 tbsp ginger: chopped, peeled if using fresh
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 lemons

7) Cucumber Cooler

Perfect for a summer day, this juice provides hydration and immune-boosting support.

  • 1 bunch of kale: washed, chopped
  • 1 cucumber: peeled, chopped
  • 1 pear: chopped
  • Optional- coconut water if too thick

8) Tropical Juice

This juice will make you feel like you’re on a tropical island while supporting your immune cells from the inside out! Add in honey if you want a sweater tropical treat.

  • 4 grapefruits: peeled, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger: chopped, peeled if using fresh
  • 4 large carrots: peeled, chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric

Summary

We strive to be as healthy as we can be, and when it's as easy as drinking a delicious juice every day, why wouldn’t you!

These recipes are quick and easy and make for a great breakfast, snack, or addition to any meal. Try out our favorite juice recipes, or test out your own to find the perfect juice for you.

Keep it around for when you feeling under the weather or could just use an afternoon pick-me-up. Your immune system will thank you for the extra boost, and you’ll get in your daily servings of fruits and vegetables all in one easy drink!