Nutritionist Lee Holmes shared the ‘immunity-boosting’ smoothie she drank while isolating herself at home during the coronavirus pandemic – and why everyone should add it to their daily diet for optimal health.
Lee from Sydney said there has never been a more important time to build a healthy and robust immune system as coronavirus cases continue to grow both in Australia and internationally.
“I’ve had this regularly in recent weeks. It helps clean and fill the gut, refills your good bacteria, nourishes them with healthy prebiotic rich fiber and also provides the amino acids needed to repair and rebuild the gut wall, ‘Lee wrote of her website.
Nutritionist Lee Holmes (photo) shared the ‘immunity-boosting’ smoothie she drank while isolating herself at home during the coronavirus pandemic
The smoothie (pictured with Lee) is packed with immunity-boosting ingredients like celery, mango, cucumber, and arugula
While you may not understand, the nutritionist and food author explained that as much as 80 percent of your immune tissue and cells are in the intestines.
This means that if you don’t take care of your gut health, you are unlikely to have a good immune system.
To make Lee’s smoothie, you need an assortment of fresh staples, each of which does a different thing to help your gut.
What ingredients do you need for Lee’s smoothie and why?
Celery: For the anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
Root: The prebiotic can inhibit the growth of unwanted bad bacteria, without negatively affecting the good bacteria.
Cucumber: Helps promote the hydration and removal of waste products.
Rocket ship: Naturally anti-histamine and because it is alkaline it helps to balance your body’s optimal pH which is essential for a healthy digestive system.
Kale: Rich in vitamins A, K, C and folic acid, as well as essential minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium and dietary fiber.
Blueberries: Rich in anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can alter the gut flora.
Banana: Under ripe bananas, they serve as good prebiotics for the digestive system, and when ripe, help with bloating.
Mango: Contains a combination of polyphenols and fibers.
Kefir or yogurt: Rocket fuel for good bacteria in the gut.
Golden Gut Blend: A cleaner and primer for the intestines with the addition of turmeric, which has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Vegetable protein powder: Has a beneficial effect on the intestinal environment to improve digestion.
Collagen: Your villi along the gut wall is made up of collagen, and the amino acids can help seal the gut and support the connective tissue.
While you may not realize it, the nutritionist and food author explained that as much as 80 percent of your immune tissue and cells are in the gut – that’s why it’s so important to take care of them during COVID-19 (Lee shown)
“I use celery for its anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as root which is a prebiotic and can inhibit the growth of unwanted bad bacteria,” said Lee.
What are Lee’s wellness basics?
– Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night
– Find ways to manage stress
– Eat good quality fresh ingredients
– Include exercise in your routine
– Enjoy an average amount of time in the sun to increase vitamin D levels
Then she adds cucumber for hydration and rocket, a natural antihistamine that helps balance the optimal pH of the body.
“I throw in some kale for vitamins A, K, C, and folate, then add blueberries for their anti-inflammatory properties,” said Lee.
Finally, the food expert and qualified chef adds a slightly under-ripe banana for prebiotics for her digestion, mango for fiber, yogurt for good bacteria, and a variety of powders, including her Golden Gut Blend, plant-based protein powder, and collagen.
“If you don’t have access to fresh vegetables, you can use anything you’ve frozen,” said Lee.
Lee currently grows kale and rocket in her garden, so uses them and freezes the rest so she always has something on hand.
Which cooking ingredients help boost immunity?
They are a powerhouse for supporting the immune system and have been recognized by oriental doctors for their superpowers for thousands of years. The therapeutic component of these beautiful fungi acts as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and cell regenerating agents.
These ingredients provide antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action to help ease the adverse symptoms of the flu.
Garlic, chili pepper and onion
Supporting your body’s natural defenses. Allicin, a compound in garlic, is known to stimulate the white blood cell’s response to disease. Onions also have multiple immunity-supporting compounds, while green chilies are rich in vitamin C to increase resistance to infection.
When it comes to the other ways you can boost your immunity through food, Lee (pictured) said anti-inflammatory foods are essential to heal the bowels and improve overall immunity
When it comes to the other ways you can boost your immunity through food, Lee said anti-inflammatory foods are essential in healing the gut and improving overall immunity.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our body to prevent foggy brains, help produce energy and boost our immunity. Flaxseed is full of omega-3 fatty acids and high in fiber to promote regular bowel movements, ‘she explained.
“It’s no secret that fatty fish like salmon, sardines and tuna are flooded with omega-3s, but our fish friends can also boost brain dopamine and serotonin levels.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance that increases the level of immune-boosting proteins in our body. These proteins help fight bacteria and viruses when they try to attack. Turmeric is also a natural anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. ‘
Fiber is also important for digestion, and getting the right kind of fiber in your diet will give you the best chance of creating a healthy community of gut bacteria and smooth digestion
Fiber is also important for digestion, and getting the right kind of fiber in your diet will give you the best chance of creating a healthy community of gut bacteria and smooth digestion.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is slower to digest because it attracts water to form a gel. Types include oatmeal, psyllium husks, acacia fiber, berries, lentils (soaked for better digestion), fruits and vegetables, ‘said Lee.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. It passes through the digestive system relatively intact and accelerates the passage of food waste through your intestines. Sources include grains, nuts, seeds, beans, fruits and vegetables.
While insoluble fiber is great for flushing out pollutants from the body, too much of these fibers can be irritating. Too much roughage can also bind to minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron, preventing its absorption.
“On the other hand, it’s soluble fiber you can target for better gut health.”
What are the ingredients Lee recommends for a family of four on their shopping list?
1 bag of rice of 5kg
2 bags of 1 kg quinoa
1 bag of 5 kg oats
1 bag of 1 kg buckwheat
3 x sachets of pasta
1 bag of 5 kg of red or green lentils
1 bag of split peas of 2 kg
1 x 1 kg cannellini beans
7 x garlic bulbs
8 x brown and red onions
Various herbs and spices according to personal preference
9 x can of tuna
5 x tin of sardines
1 x jar of anchovies
3 x dozen eggs
7 x canned tomatoes
1 x bottle of apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 x kg of nuts of your choice
2 sachets x potatoes
2 x pumpkin