Your immune system is constantly active, figuring out which cells belong to your body and which don’t. This means the immune system needs a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals to keep its energy up and going.

Use a blender
If you don’t have a juicer, use a blender. Add 1 cup of coconut water or nut milk to get the machine going. You’ll also benefit from the fiber content of a blended smoothie.

The following recipes are packed with essential nutrients for everyday health or for fighting off the cold and flu. Learn which immunity-enhancing nutrients each juice has so you can start your mornings off with a refreshing boost to your body’s natural defenses.

1. Apple, carrot, and orange

Carrots, apples, and orange are a winning combination for helping your body protect itself and fight off infections. Click here for a recipe by Taste, Love, and Nourish that’ll get you glowing and going in the morning. The tartness of the green apple really cuts through the sweetness of the carrots and oranges.

thumbs up Notable nutrients
  • vitamins A, B-6, and C
  • potassium
  • folic acid

2. Orange and grapefruit

Citrus explosion
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Source: The Black Peppercorn

Vitamin C has antioxidant and other properties that protect your cells from substances that damage the body. A deficiency of vitamin C can lead to delayed wound healing, inability to properly fight infections, and impaired immune response. Fortunately, this citrus explosion by The Black Peppercorn contains more than enough of your daily intake of vitamin C.

thumbs up Notable nutrients
  • vitamins A, B-6, and C
  • folic acid
  • zinc

3. Homemade tomato juice

Tomato Juice
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Source: The Balance

The best way to be sure your tomato juice is fresh and without added ingredients is to make it yourself. The Balance, a site about frugal living, has a wonderful recipe for homemade tomato juice. The best part? No juicer or blender required, although you’ll want to strain the bits and pieces through a sieve.

Tomatoes are rich in folate, which help lower your risk of infections.

thumbs up Notable nutrients
  • vitamins A and C
  • iron
  • folate

4. Kale, tomato, and celery

kale mary
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Source: Robyn Lee via Serious Eats

Kale is a staple for many green juices, but the Kale Mary — Serious Eats’ take on a bloody Mary — is truly one of a kind. Instead of cutting the taste of kale with fruits, this recipe uses tomato and celery juice, adding more than enough vitamin A. The horseradish in this recipe may also provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Blend it up for a drink that’ll awaken your senses.

thumbs up Notable nutrients
  • vitamins A and C
  • magnesium
  • potassium
  • iron
  • fatty acids

5. Beet, carrot, ginger, and turmeric

This fortifying juice by Gourmande in the Kitchen has four root vegetables that’ll help your immune system and decrease inflammatory symptoms. Inflammation is often an immune response to infections. It can cause flu or cold symptoms like a runny nose, coughs, and body aches. People who have rheumatoid arthritis may especially benefit from drinking this juice, as the turmeric and ginger have anti-inflammatory effects.

thumbs up Notable nutrients
  • vitamins A, C, and E
  • iron
  • calcium

6. Strawberry and mango

Sober Julie
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Source: Sober Julie

Sober Julie’s strawberry mango mocktail is the healthy way to satisfy your cravings for a bottomless brunch. This recipe uses frozen fruits, which have the same nutritional punch as fresh ones. You can also opt for fresh if you have them on hand. The vitamin E from the mangos add extra antioxidant benefits to enhance your immune system, especially in older adults.

thumbs up Notable nutrients
  • vitamins A, C, and E
  • iron
  • folate

7. Watermelon

watermelon mint juice
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Source: Veg Recipes of India

Not only does watermelon help your immune system, but it also can help relieve muscle soreness. Muscle soreness is a common symptom of the flu, especially in older adults. The heavy water content of this fruit may also make it easier to juice (and it feels like less of a waste of fruit). Take a look at Veg Recipes of India’s recipe for watermelon mint juice. You can also include watermelon juice in other plain fruit juices, such as apple or orange, that may not have as much vitamin A.

thumbs up Notable nutrients
  • vitamins A and C
  • magnesium
  • zinc

8. Strawberry-kiwi mint

strawberry kiwi mint
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Source: Home Chef

Strawberries and kiwis are other healthy alternatives for a vitamin C-packed drink. But since it takes about four cups of strawberries to make one cup of juice, you may want to blend these fruits into a smoothie rather than a juice. We love Home Chef’s recipe, which includes Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is a good source of magnesium and probiotics. Probiotics may help cells maintain an antimicrobial barrier.

thumbs up Notable nutrients
  • vitamins A, C, and B-6
  • magnesium
  • zinc
  • folate

9. Pumpkin seed

pumpkin seed milk
Photo: Trent Lanz | www.trentlanz.com Image Attribution

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Source: The Blender Girl

Many pumpkin “juice” recipes online include a lot of added sugars or require store-bought apple juice. This is why we decided to include this pumpkin seed milk recipe by The Blender Girl instead. It’s one of the freshest, most natural recipes available online. And it works as a great base for fruit smoothies.

The extra benefits are also hard to ignore. Not only will this milk benefit your immune system, it may also help your:

  • bone health
  • menopause symptoms
  • urinary health
  • hair and skin
  • mental health
  • prostate health (for men)
thumbs up Notable nutrients
  • vitamins A, C, and B-6
  • magnesium
  • zinc

10. Spinach, lettuce, and kale

spinach, lettuce and kale juice
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Source: Jeanette’s Healthy Living

A vegetable-based green juice is a powerhouse of nutrients for a strong immune system. Jeanette from Jeanette’s Healthy Living has a wonderful recipe that’ll make anybody, including kids, happy to drink their greens. Throw in a handful of parsley for an extra serving of vitamin B-6. This vitamin plays an important role in immune cell proliferation and antibody production. Click here to get the recipe.

thumbs up Notable nutrients
  • vitamins A, C, and B-6
  • iron
  • calcium

Keep your immune system strong

Making juices, smoothies, and nutritional drinks is one of the tastier ways to stay healthy. But no matter what juice you like, you can always add other super foods such as chia seeds and wheat germ for more health benefits. Other ways to keep your immune system strong include practicing good hygiene, staying hydrated, and exercising frequently.

Keep reading: 14 foods that boost your immune system »