Immunity Boosting Mocktails
The summer of 2020 found us in the midst of a global pandemic. Covid-19. Fun in the sun, parties, and picnics was near nonexistent. Social gatherings were like minefields, especially for those whose health was already compromised. But here we are. New summer. And all’s not lost. Enjoy your summer beverages with added benefits. What are they? Mocktails! And not just any ole mocktails, but drinks with the potential to boost your immune system and overall wellness!
The Immune System
The immune system is our own personal armed forces. It defends us against pathogens or disease-causing viruses, bacteria, parasites, yeasts, and other microorganisms. What does the immune system consist of?
Just as the military is made up of a network of land, air, and sea forces, each with its own smaller intricate webs, the immune system consists of organs and tissues such as the spleen, tonsils, skin, mucus membranes, glands (thymus), bone marrow, white blood cells, circulatory system, lymph nodes, digestive system, and proteins. The entire network must be in tip-top shape and able to work together to stop contagions from initiating chronic diseases.
How Is Our Immune System Compromised?
These harmful microorganisms can launch an attack from anywhere: bodies of water, the air, our food, medicines including antibiotics, and stress. The stronger our immune system, the better our chances of survival. One way to accomplish this, according to health professionals, is to develop healthier lifestyles. Pay attention to our diet and exercise regularly. And we may enhance this most complex and diverse system in our bodies. Mocktails is a nice place to start.
What are Mocktails?
You’ve heard of the virgin daiquiri, the virgin bloody Mary, and the Shirley Temple. They’re examples of mocktails or non-alcoholic cocktails. According to the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, alcohol is usually substituted with infused water, juices, soda, and other ingredients. They're available in a variety of flavors. One caveat is that many are premixed and loaded with sugar, artificial flavors, and colors. They may be great-tasting but offer nothing almost to boost immunity and wellness. The featured recipes contain all-natural ingredients.
We will consider four vegetable and four fruit mocktail recipes that are super-charged with deliciousness, and potential to strengthen our immune system. The vegetables and fruits considered were determined by Researchers and nutritionists to be some of the best for immune health.
Note, there is no medical evidence to support vegetable or fruit mocktails curing, treating, or preventing disease. Always consult your healthcare provider.
Potential Immunity-Boosting Nutrients
Vegetables & Fruits
Potential Immune System Boosting Nutrients
Phytocompounds: beta carotene, lutein, lycopene, phenolic acids. Vitamins A, C
Phytocompounds: lycopene, lutein, anthocyanins. Vitamins A, B9, C, E. Minerals potassium, iron
Phytocompound: beta carotene. Vitamins A, B9, C, K. Minerals iron, copper, potassium, zinc. Omega-3 fatty acid
Phytocompounds: beta carotene, lycopene. Vitamins B6, B9, C. Minerals iron, potassium, magnesium. Glutathione. Omega-3 fatty acid in the form of alpha-linolenic acid
Phytocompounds: lycopene, lutein, anthocyanins, quercetin (responsible for berry pigmentation). Vitamins A, B9, C, E, K. Minerals iron, potassium, magnesium
Phytocompounds: carotenoids, flavonoids, phenolic acids. Vitamins C, A, B9. Minerals potassium, magnesium, copper
Phytocompounds: anthocyanins, catechins, tannins. Vitamin C. Minerals potassium, magnesium
Phytocompounds: carotenoids, lutein. Omega-3 fatty acids
Four Vegetable Mocktails with Immunity-Boosting Potential
Carrots, tomatoes, kale, and avocados are four vegetables containing nutrients that may support a healthy immune system while making mighty fine summer mocktails. They are loaded with a variety of phytocompounds, including beta carotene, lutein, lycopene, anthocyanins, and phenolic acids, plus vitamins A, B9/ folate, C, E, minerals iron, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, glutathione, and even essential fatty acid omega-3. Researchers believe these powerful nutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help strengthen the immune system, so pathogens cannot cause cell damage, inflammation, and infection.
Carrots contain a healthy supply of beta carotene, lycopene and lutein, phenolic acids, and vitamins A and C.
¼ cup carrot juice, freshly made
¼ cup orange juice (Navel for good sweetness), freshly squeezed
½ cup organic sparkling apple cider, chilled
In pitcher combine carrot juice and orange juice. Pour into a champagne flute, top with sparkling apple cider. Cheers!
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, lutein, anthocyanins, vitamins A, C, B9, and the mineral potassium. They also contain some vitamin E and iron.
Tomato (Virgin Bloody Mary) Mocktail
6 oz. of organic tomato juice, chilled
1 oz. or 2 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 dashes freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of sea salt or celery salt
Garnish (use one or more): dill pickle spear, pickled cauliflower, pickled okra, celery stick, pitted olives, lemon wedge
Ice cubes: optional (will dilute drink)
Combine all ingredients (except garnish & ice) in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker. Stir/ shake thoroughly. Then pour into a highball glass, garnish as desired, add optional ice cubes. Enjoy!
Kale is loaded with beta carotene, vitamins A, C, B9, and K, minerals iron, copper, potassium, and zinc, and the essential omega-3 fatty acid.
2 packed cups chopped organic kale
2 green apples, cored & chopped
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled & minced
8 ounces coconut water, chilled
2 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Pinch of sea salt
Honey, ice cubes: optional
Garnish (one or more): celery stalk, lime wedge, mint leaves, fresh kale leaf
Combine kale, apples, ginger, coconut water, lemon juice, and sea salt in a blender until smooth. Strain over bowl. Retrieve as much juice as possible. Stir in honey if desired, pour into wine glass (over ice) and garnish. To good health!
Avocados are excellent sources of beta carotene, lycopene, vitamins C, E, and B6, folate, and K, minerals iron, potassium and magnesium, glutathione, and omega-3 fatty acid in the form of alpha-linolenic acid.
1 Haas avocado, peeled & pitted
4 oz. pineapple juice, freshly made
2 tsp raw organic, unfiltered honey/ agave nectar
2 Tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
5 cilantro leaves
Pinch sea salt
Garnish (one or more): sea salt, lime wedge, cilantro leaves
Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Rim wet cocktail/martini glass with sea salt. Pour mocktail, garnish as desired. Salud!
Mocktails: Vegetables VS Fruits
Which do You Prefer?
Four Fruit Mocktails with Immunity-Boosting Potential
Berries, citrus fruits, pomegranates, and kiwis or kiwifruits make some of the most delicious mocktails with the potential for immune health benefits. Like the vegetables, these fruits are superabundant in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytocompounds, including lycopene, lutein, beta carotene, anthocyanins, rutin, tocopherols, vitamins A, B9/ folate, C, E, and K, minerals potassium, iron, copper and magnesium.
What specific constituents in berries have properties that may boost our immune system? Berries in general are colorful. The phytonutrients lycopene, lutein, anthocyanins, and quercetin are responsible for the colorful pigmentation. These phytonutrients are loaded with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial potential. Additionally, berries contain antioxidant vitamins A, B9 (especially strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries), C, E, and K, and minerals iron, potassium, and magnesium.
2 cups organic sparkling apple cider, chilled
2 cups berries (one kind or different kinds as desired)
1 dash lime juice, freshly squeezed
Hint of cinnamon
Garnish (one or more): lime wedge, whole berries, cinnamon stick
Muddle or blend fresh berries until smooth. Pour into a pitcher, stir in other ingredients, then pour into glass and garnish. Salute!
Oranges, tangerines, clementines, grapefruits, pomelos, lemons, and limes are members of the citrus fruit family. They more or less cornered the market on vitamin C. They also contain vitamins A and B9, minerals potassium, magnesium, and copper, flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acids. That lineup positions them to be effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents for immune strength.
1 cup coconut water, chilled
1 cup sparkling water, chilled
1 cup tangerine juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Garnish (one or more): lemon wedge, tangerine wedge, mint leaves
Mix all ingredients in a pitcher. Pour into glass over optional ice (remember ice dilutes) and garnish as desired. Tangerine can be substituted with orange, clementine, or grapefruit. Bottoms up!
Pomegranates have rich supplies of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory polyphenols, including tannins, anthocyanins and catechins, vitamin C, and minerals potassium and magnesium.
1/2 cup organic pomegranate juice, chilled
Thin slice of ginger
1 12-oz. bottle organic kombucha (1 cup of your own), chilled
1 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Raw honey to taste
Ice cubes: optional
Garnish (one or more); ginger slice, lemon wedge, mint leaves
Muddle pomegranate juice and ginger in a pitcher. Stir in the rest of ingredients. Pour over optional ice in glass and garnish as desired. Cheers!
How can kiwifruit benefit our immune system? Kiwis are abundant in vitamins A, B9, C, E, and K, mineral potassium, carotenoids, lutein, and other phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids.
Lemon Pineapple Kiwi Sparkling Mocktail
3 tsp pineapple juice (if prefer, make your own)
1 tsp raw honey (more if prefer sweeter)
*Optional: ice cubes with fresh mint leaves
Peel, slice, and place kiwi into a small food processor or blender. Add the pineapple juice and raw honey (warm honey in microwave to liquify it). Pulse or blend to make thin, smooth puree. Pour ¾ cup sparkling water into two glasses. Add puree. Serve with mint ice cubes, if desired. To your good health!
Experiment with these recipes. Combine the fruits with the veggies. Your immune system will thank you. By the time we can gather again with friends and family, your mixologist skills will be par excellence! Again, there is no medical evidence to support vegetable or fruit mocktails curing, treating, or preventing disease. Always consult your healthcare provider. CHEERS!
One More Mocktail Recipe
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Beverley Byer