Plain and simple, being sick is no fun. Pharmacy shelves are stocked full of medicines to fight the aches, runny nose, stuffed head, sneezing and the long list of other symptoms. But wouldnt it just be better to avoid getting sick in the first place? Juicing is one way to be proactive.
How Juicing Fights Cold and Flu
Fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants to keep the body healthy and fight disease and vitamins to keep the body strong, ward off damage -and disease-causing free radicals and stimulate the production of white blood cells and antibodies needed to fight infection.
The problem is that to get maximum benefits of fruits and vegetables requires eating more than were apt to do or can even do comfortably. But with juicing you can get the nutrients from large quantities of vegetables without stuffing yourself.
Consider that a typical glass of juice often has at least a handful, if not more, of greens, and 2-3 full fruits and vegetables. You probably wouldnt eat that in one day, but you can drink it.
And, since youre drinking the juice alone, you get the nutrients straight into your system without the need for digestion or fiber to slow the assimilation.
What to Juice for a Cold
A few main ingredients will help beat the cold and flu.
Carrots (and Sweet Potatoes) Theyre loaded with beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body. This is essential for immune function and keeping the mucus membranes healthy. Its also what gives them their bright orange hue. By consuming beta-carotene your cells are better able to react to invaders and fight off illness. On top of their benefits, carrots add sweetness to juice to balance the bitterness of greens.
Greens Greens are full of vitamin C, and the darker the green the higher the level of nutrients. Bitter greens like arugula have also been associated with relieving chest congestion, runny nose and coughs.
A study in the journal Cell explains that green vegetables are necessary for a strong immune system. Mice that consumed higher quantities of green vegetables had lower levels of harmful bacteria in their guts. The study author attributes the difference to green vegetables being necessary for immune cells to survive in the intestine. Without those cells, the risk of infection rises.
Citrus Loading up on vitamin C helps keep the immune system strong and can shorten the duration of a cold. Lemons, also high in vitamin C, are extremely alkalizing for the body which helps to fight infection.
Ginger Ginger is often associated with easing nausea, but it also helps to fight the symptoms of the common cold. As the name implies, when you have a cold your body is cold. Ginger is considered a warming food and, as such, helps to warm the body. Ginger is also known to fight viruses and is believed to have a mild analgesic effect which will help relieve those aches and pains. Just be careful not to use too much, unless you like a spicy drink. Ginger has a kick!
Cayenne Cayenne is not something youre going to juice, but if youre juicing lemon, you may want to add some cayenne. The spice acts as a decongestant, expectorant and pain reliever. If you think about how your eyes and nose run when you eat something spicy, this makes perfect sense. It works by thinning the mucus so you can get rid of it.