Your standing smoothie order should change with the seasons, says Julie Daniluk, a holistic nutritionist based in Toronto and the author of Meals that Heal.
For one, instead of banana or ice, sub-in an avocado. “It has so much incredible winter nutrition,” she says, including glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant that ramps up your immune system. And lose the dairy, too—it’s mucous forming, ew—and instead add protein- and fibre-rich hemp hearts to get a similar creamy texture.
Winter is also an ideal time to supercharge your smoothie with a nutrient-dense immune booster, such as:
1. Ginger. “That is going to give you a powerful amount of inflammatory, soothing warming nutrition,” says Daniluk.
2. Raw coconut oil is also a good idea. “It’s high in caprylic acid and lauric acid which helps to fight off incoming invaders.”
3. Acai berry, which is loaded with vitamin C, is another potent ally in staving off the sniffles. (Just make sure to ask if there’s any added sugar in the powder, says Daniluk—some of the fruit powders are spiked with sweet stuff.)
4. If you’re feeling low and are under a lot of stress, try maca root. “Maca is an adaptogen to help you adapt to your level of stress,” Daniluk says, “and when we have a better coping mechanism with stress, we’ll have fewer colds and flus.”
5. ’Tis the season for boozy holiday parties; to combat the effects of all that alcohol-and refined-carb-soaked merrymaking try adding in spirulina, an algae that’s rich in vitamin B, which revs metabolism and iron. “Definitely get the spirulina going,” says Daniluk (to ensure purity, just make sure it’s from the U.S. and not China). If you want to ramp up the detox effect add it to a green smoothie or green juice (think a lot of kale and spinach).
6. If you need a mojo boost, try the herb ashwagandha, or Indian ginseng. “It’s not authentic ginseng but it works like ginseng. Its extra power is that it boosts your thyroid, which women really need.” Ashwagandha also has another benefit that may make the holidays pass more pleasantly. “It’s also great for libido.”