Make the most of seasonal ingredients and reap some serious nutrient benefits with this juice recipe packed with winter harvest and immunity boosting fruits and vegetables.
Of course we love sipping on superfood hot chocolate, warming up with a hot toddy, and drinking a hot cup of masala chai in the winter, but there’s always room for fresh juice, especially since winter brings with it chilly temps and the inevitable cold and flu season. An important way to fend off sickness this winter is to fill up on a variety of antioxidant-packed and vitamin-rich produce.
Tips: Choose organic when you purchase your juice ingredients. Organic fruits and vegetables have higher levels of critical immune-boosting nutrients including vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Winter Juice Superstar Ingredients
Beets: Packed with fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C, beets are sweet and nutritious root vegetables available all winter long. Beets owe a lot of their nutrient properties to betanins, compounds that give the vegetable its rich, red color.
Betanins are potent free-radical scavengers and may prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation and DNA damage in the body. Beets also contain inorganic nitrates, which are converted into a biological messenger molecule called nitric oxide. In the body, nitric oxide travels through artery walls sending signals to the cells around the arteries to relax, which in turn can lower blood pressure.
Carrots: Brightly colored carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin K, potassium, and various antioxidants for whole body health. Some of carrot’s potent antioxidants include carotenoids, which are linked to improved immune function and reduced risk of several diseases including heart disease, various degenerative diseases, and certain types of cancer. They also provide this winter juice with essential sweetness and a bright flavor.
Apple: Another vitamin C filled fruit; apples also contain potassium, vitamins K and A, and manganese. Apples are loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which may lower risk of certain cancers, and you know, visits from the doctor.
Ginger: Ginger root is an anti-inflammatory star. Ginger has been used for various health issues including thwarting nausea and morning sickness, reducing muscle pain and soreness, and preventing pain associated with inflammatory conditions like arthritis and osteoarthritis.
The wide array of health benefits are due to potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. In a study of patients with osteoarthritis of the knees, ginger extract significantly reduced their symptoms and pain, most likely due to gingerol’s inflammation reducing effects.
Turmeric: This bright orange root contains vitamin C, manganese, iron, and potassium, as well as powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. Turmeric specifically contains curcumin, a compound with studied anti-inflammatory effects.
In fact, curcumin’s antioxidant capacities and inflammation reducing properties are so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs. Turmeric is also noted to reduce pain in those with arthritis, as well as show notable cancer preventative properties, and protect the health of the heart.
Red Cabbage: One of the most underrated vegetables out there, cabbage (of all kinds) is a nutritious superstar. Specifically, red cabbage is packed with immune system supporting vitamin C, which helps to stimulate the activity of white blood cells and form the first line of defense for the immune system.
Red cabbage also contains a wide variety of antioxidants, many of which have been shown to lower whole body inflammation, reduce symptoms of arthritis, and combat the risk of chronic diseases, including certain cancers. A 2009 study from the University of Auckland compared the antioxidant levels from six anthocyanin-rich plants, including red cabbage, red lettuce, blueberries, pansies, purple sweet potato skin, purple sweet potato flesh, and Maori potato flesh. All plants, with the exception of red lettuce, were found to reduce internal DNA damage in colon cancer cells.
With a variety of immune boosting super fruits and vegetables, this winter juice is going to be your ultimate cold weather pick-me-up.
Ultimate Winter Juice Recipe
1 red beet
1 red apple
1-inch nob fresh ginger
½-inch fresh turmeric
¼ wedge red cabbage
Run all ingredients through a juicer. Drink immediately and enjoy!
- 1 red beet
- 4 carrots
- 1 red apple
- 1-inch nob fresh ginger
- ½-inch fresh turmeric
- ¼ wedge red cabbage
- Run all ingredients through a juicer. Drink immediately and enjoy!
Photos by Kate Gavlick