Three Immune Boosting Green Smoothie Recipes for Spring Sniffles and Flu Fighting

by Carol Jensen

Kite weather, spring showers, the return of song birds, early blooming bulbs, Easter bunnies and colored eggs: they all mean one thing…another cold!

Even though many people typically associate viral illness with winter months, statistics show that the rate of infection from the common cold remains high in most countries of the northern hemisphere until April.

Children average 6-8 colds per season and adults typically catch 2-4 colds. So although spring is just around the corner, now is not the time to be complacent about guarding the immune system.  If you’d rather stock up on fruits and greens rather than tissues and cough syrup, here’s what you need to know about using green smoothies to avoid your next spring cold.

The Cold-Busting Benefits of Green Smoothies

Green smoothies may be beneficial in preventing and suppressing the effects of the common cold because they

  • Provide vitamin C not available from animal-based diets
  • Increase the body’s energy levels
  • Augment levels of fluid intake
  • Do not put a strain on the adrenal system

Much research has been done to demonstrate the effects of Vitamin C on cold frequency and duration. While there is plenty of debate over how much vitamin C should be ingested, no one is arguing that the vitamin actually works in combating colds. And every one knows you just can’t get vitamins from a steak!

It only stands to reason that if you want to beat a cold, you need to increase the fruits and vegetables in your diet. It’s also common knowledge that fresher is better when it comes to this particular vitamin, since it begins to degrade when temperatures rise above room temperature (70-75˚), so what better way to eat it than in a green smoothie?

Of course, the best fruits with a reputation for being high in Vitamin C include:citrus benefits of Vitamin C

  • lemons,
  • limes,
  • oranges,
  • grapefruit
  • and pineapple.

Other smoothie-enrichers from the fruit kingdom that also rank at the top of the vitamin C charts include papaya, kiwi, strawberries, cantaloupe and guava.

broccoli and vitamin CFrom the vegetable realm, there are:

  • Brussels sprouts,
  • broccoli,
  • kale,
  • kohlrabi,
  • bell peppers
  • and tomatoes.

The vitamin boost of a green smoothie is an obvious benefit. A less obvious benefit for cold-busting is the energy increase most people feel. Higher energy means a greater ability to exercise, especially in aerobic activities. And that means fewer colds!

WebMD reports that “regular exercise appears to have the advantage of being able to jump-start the immune system…. With exercise, the number and aggressiveness of certain immune cells increase by as much as 50% to 300%. In one study reported in the American Journal of Medicine, women who walked for a half-hour every day for one year had half the number of colds as women who did not exercise.”

Perhaps the single most important factor in managing a cold is fluid intake. Water, broth and juices help loosen congestion and moisturize mucous membranes so that air flows more easily through the upper respiratory tract. While smoothies should not replace drinking water, they can supplement daily water intake.

Finally, NOT eating raw foods during the cold season can overload an already fatigued adrenal system. Victoria Boutenko explains that the tendency for most people is to eat heavy, cooked foods when they feel chilly. This stimulates the adrenals so that the blood pumps faster, and the body feels warmer for 10-15 minutes. But after a short period, “the heart requires rest, the nervous system becomes inhibited, and we feel tired, sleepy and even colder than before. However, we remember only the feeling of getting warmer after eating cooked food and repeat such stimulation again and again. This harmful practice wears the body out and by the end of the winter many people feel exhausted and depleted.”

Are these cold-fighting strategies just theory, or do they really work?

My evidence is anecdotal rather than statistical. I have been “raw and green” for three months, while my family continues to eat a fairly typical Western diet. This winter all of them have been sick to the point of missing school and work, but I have not had so much as a cough or a sniffle. So the next time you feel a cold coming on, reach for a green smoothie and see if you can take the tissue box off your next spring shopping list.

Here are a few green smoothie immune-boosting recipes:

Green Smoothie Cold-Kicker


  • 1 ripe bananagreen smoothie recipe - kale
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 – 3 kale leaves, with stalks
  • 1/2 cup cruciferous greens (leaves of broccoli, cauliflower or cabbage)
  • Optional: a handful of goji berries
  • Water as needed to blend

Green Smoothie Flu Fighter


  • 2 oranges, peeledgreen smoothie recipe - parsley
  • 1/2 lime, peeled
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 inch of ginger root, peeled
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1 cup of your favorite leafy green
  • 1/2 of a ripe bell pepper
  • Water for blending

Green Smoothie Sniffle-Buster

Ingredients:green smoothie recipe - kohlrabi greens

  • 1 cup peeled, seeded and cubed papaya
  • A handful of kohlrabi greens
  • 1/2 cantaloupe, seeded and cut from rind
  • Ice and water to blend



Let’s talk green!  From now until the start of our spring 21-Day Green Smoothie Detox, you can win a chance to join our LIVE, Full-Support program featuring Green Smoothie Girl, Robyn Openshaw, just by contributing your thoughts to one of our “Green Buzz” suggestions on the blog. (Be sure to include a valid name and e-mail address with your blog comment so that we can contact you). We’ll select a winner who shares a thoughtful comment on any new GSQ blog post between April 15th and April 29th, 2011.  All comments will be approved before appearing.  (Attention Facebook/Twitter readers: Comments must be made on the GSQ blog site to be entered in the draw!)


  • Do you have a natural remedy for cold-busting?
  • Do you regularly drink green smoothies?  Have you noticed a difference in your immunity?
  • What are your favourite immune-boosting foods?


  1. Sarah Hill says

    Well I take a lot of supplements I get from and one of them is a green smoothie protein mix. I like to mix that in with bananas and berries every morning.


  2. says

    Since “going raw” I’ve hardly been sick at all. Prior to raw foods I used to get a cold that would last for TWO WEEKS at a time, often spending THREE MONTHS out of the year sick!!! It was insane. I had to get a lot of doctor’s notes for school, and it made keeping a 9-5 job impossible. Since raw food, the longest period of time I’ve been sick was three days, and that only has happened to me once in the three years that I’ve been raw! Sometimes when everyone else around me is sick for a solid week the most I get is a runny nose for part of a day!


  3. Shirley Azevedo says

    My natural remedy for colds is the peel of one lemon, a cinnamon stick and pot of water. Put peel and stick in water and boil. Pour into cup and honey if needed and some lemon juice.


  4. says

    I love green smoothies and have been drinking them religiously for around 5 years. They give me energy, have done some reversing of my graying hair and I just feel like my day is not complete without one. During that time I haven’t had a single cold. Until…

    My blender stopped working and I didn’t put the attention in fixing it. Which means I stopped drinking the smoothies. This was during the time that flu was raging around the world. Two weeks later I had the flu. And was flat out for 2+ weeks. It was humbling. It validated the power of green smoothies for me and inspired me to get mine back in working order.


  5. says

    Q: Do you have a natural remedy for cold-busting?

    A: I usually make one of the following juices (according to Norman Walker’s book “Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices”):
    1. Juice 1 (1 kg carrots, spinach leaves) –> also helps for lowering fever/temperature, tried with my son when he was sick and it worked.
    2. Juice 2 (1 kg carrots, 1 beetroot, 1/2 cucumber)
    3. Juice 3 (1 kg carrots, 1 beetroot, 2 apples, optional: ingver)

    My 6-years old son drinks all of them too.
    I make the juices with a juicer that uses the “dual gear“ technology. However you can make it with any juicer even if it is a centrifugal juicer – in that case for juice1 you need to add more greens (1/4kg of spinach) in order to get at least some green juice from the centrifugal juicer.


    Reply by Stacey on April 18th, 2011

    @Suzana – Wonderful juice recipe suggestions! Thank you so much! Is “ingver” another word for ginger? I wasn’t familiar with that word, but the images I found looked very much like ginger.


  6. Rebecca says

    Do you regularly drink green smoothies? Have you noticed a difference in your immunity?

    I am a new convert to the green smoothie. I have been drinking smoothies for breakfast for about a year or so, but have added in green vegetables slowly. I started with celery, and recently have used kale, spinach and romaine. The amount of fruit I use has been brought down as the greens increase. I’ve also upped my intake to 1 qt./day.

    I have not come down with any illness during the winter while many of my friends have had recurring respiratory problems that they can’t seem to shake. I feel good when I have my greens daily, and really notice when I am not able to have as many greens as I have become accustomed to. My body is craving the greens!

    Even my cat likes greens. He comes to beg for Romaine, Spinach and even Broccoli Rabe greens when I am tearing the leaves up to blend every morning.

    I would be up for the 21 day challenge. It would be great to learn more about what greens can do to heal the body. I would like to know more about protein and greens, as well as more of the wild greens that may be right out in my yard.


  7. Dorothy in Kansas says

    I am just starting at this whole new world. Just ordered my Blendtec blender! I can’t wait to get it! Would love a chance at a free 21 day challenge. All money tied up in blender! :) Thanks for all that you do!


  8. says

    Parsley for the Common Cold and flu
    One of my all-time favorite uses of parsley is in a tea to clear up mucus during the first stage of colds and influenza.
    To make the tea, steep one tablespoon of parsley leaves and two tablespoons of raspberry and one tablespoon peppermint leaves in four cups of boiling water (do not boil after herb is in water) for ten minutes. Strain and sweeten as desired. Drink a quart a day until you feel well.
    Several cups of this tea have stopped many colds short in their tracks, making this one of the most simple, reliable cold remedies to use for children and adults alike. And the best thing about it is, you have parsley flakes in your cupboard for cooking.
    Now if you want all the raw enzymes – simply do this in your blender – Make, sweeten with honey and chill 2 cups red raspberry/peppermint tea.
    Pour it into the blender – add a bunch of fresh green parsley, and a few sprigs of fresh mint(optional)leaf and a handful of ice. Blend on high and drink this refreshing flu and cold buster.
    Both red raspberry and parsley are incredible aids in helping the body’s immune defense system work well. And fresh is definitely better!!!


    Reply by Stacey on April 19th, 2011

    @Rachel – FANTASTIC! Love the resources that you all are sharing here. hehe… *almost* makes me want to get sick so I can try them out… hee hee!


  9. Julia Blackford says

    Hello, my name is Julia. I was just reading that you were having another detox! I have wanted to participate and then I saw this opportunity to win :)
    I do drink green smoothies! I have four boys, five counting my amazing husband! I feel a total difference in my immune system. I feel as though I am never sick and when I do start to feel run down or like my body is fighting something I am very careful with what I eat and I most likely win the battle!
    I would LOVE to be a part of your detox to get more information to share with my boys and my husband who is type 1 diabetic. We are trying so hard to do things the raw, real and natural way! Especially for my husbands health!
    Iam in need of some recipes and more information on raw and vegan diets! Thanks for considering me for the detox winner :)

    Also thank you to you both for your blogs and websites and emails! So encouraging to keep going!


  10. Catherine says

    I am kind of new to this but so far they have been wonderful. They are pretty filling. I have been able to get my daughter to try them but not my son. I showed him photos of kids drinking smoothies and he still said ‘ew’. I am feeling lighter from drinking smoothies and green juices. I wish I had a smoothie blend to make me not want rolls anymore but a step at a time.


  11. Kathleen Quayle says

    I just completed 2 stem cell transplants for Hodgekin’s Lymphoma and I am now in remission. Now, I need to detox. But, with no income and hospital bills I can’t afford to join the 21 day detox. I’d love to win the opportunity to detoxify and cleanse my body from all of the chemotherapy. I just signed up for my first half marathon (walking) and would love to boost my nutrition.


  12. Dale says

    I’m kinda new to green smoothies. I just started adding the greens to my regular fruit smoothies this week. It’s been a surprise to find my kids are starting to drink them too. My favorite green smoothie includes spinach leaves, kiwi, cucumber, flax seeds, a few ice cubes and some agave sweetener (for the kids).
    If nothing else, I feel healthier. I have more energy, am not so anxious about stuff and just have a more positive outlook on life.


  13. Marjorie says

    I bought a blendtec 2 months ago and have been drinking green smoothies almost every morning. I’ve tried a bunch of recipes and love adding big handfuls of spinach or kale, it makes me feel like I’m doing good for my body. I work with kids and was constantly sick the first half of the school year, but have been healthy for the last two months! I’m starting to think it is the smoothies! I hope I can take out more of the sweet fruits and do savory smoothies one day, but I tried mustard greens and collard greens and couldn’t even swallow a second sip. Maybe one day!


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