Miriam Jacobson, MS, RD, CNS, blends a vitamin C smoothie recipe that’ll fortify your immune system and delight your tastebuds.
While supplements for immunity can definitely help keep your health in fighting shape, you can also find alternative ways to amp up your intake of protective nutrients. One of the tastiest options among them is a vitamin-packed smoothie.
Here’s a delicious vitamin C smoothie recipe that gives you over 300 percent of your daily need for the immune-protecting vitamin. It’s perfect for a quick breakfast or healthy snack.
This vitamin C smoothie recipe features:
- whole fruits
- almond milk
- protein powder
Better yet, it packs 229 milligrams of vitamin C. (For reference, the daily minimum requirement is 60 milligrams.)
Vitamin C is essential for immune health in two ways:
- First, it’s a vital nutrient that helps your body create white blood cells (like neutrophils and lymphocytes, among others) that help fight off infection.
- Second, vitamin C is also an antioxidant that protects immune cells from damage and fortifies your system overall. In times when your immunity is compromised, it’s important to get more than enough vitamin C.
Additionally, when you eat vitamin C-rich whole foods, you’re getting other important antioxidants. For example, only 30 percent of the antioxidants in strawberries come from vitamin C. However, there are other nutrients and antioxidants in strawberries (called flavonoids) that make them nutritious and beneficial for your immune system.
Protein powder is a special addition to this vitamin C smoothie recipe. It has merit beyond simply contributing to your daily requirement of the macronutrient.
While fruit is a healthy staple, it’s still a source of sugar. That means it can cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash.
For that reason, I usually limit my smoothies to include only one or two servings of fruit. Then, adding a serving of protein powder (about 25 grams) into fruit smoothies further helps stabilize blood sugar as we digest—especially first thing in the morning.
A quick tip About Vitamin C Foods
With all the emphasis on vitamin C for immune health, there’s a key point to note about getting most of your intake through whole foods.
If you’re trying to optimize your vitamin C intake from fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s best to enjoy them raw. Otherwise, you can cook them for a short period of time.
Vitamin C is water-soluble, meaning that boiling foods reduces their vitamin C content more than any other cooking method.