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Immune-Boosting Tropical Smoothie

This sweet and nutritious smoothie is packed with vitamin C, electrolytes, probiotics, and prebiotics to lift your spirits and your health.

You don’t have to run off to some far-flung island to get a taste of the tropics. This vibrant smoothie incorporates vitamin C-rich fruits with naturally sweet coconut water and a touch of herbs and elderberry to give your immune system a morning boost. 

Papaya and pineapple are both high in vitamin C, with 60.9mg and 58.6mg per 100g serving, respectively. To that we added dragon fruit (AKA pitaya), which has prebiotics to feed the healthy probiotics found in yogurt (just make sure you find a dairy-free brand with no added sugar—or better yet, make some yourself). The pre- and probiotics work together to improve the gut microbiome, and a healthy gut can contribute to enhanced mood and immunity. 

Coconut water gives this beverage a smoother texture, and contains electrolytes like potassium, calcium, and sodium to strengthen the immune system. Look for brands that sell 100% coconut water to avoid additional additives. 

Rounding out this smoothie is a sprinkle of elderberry powder (we used Navitas Organics) to fortify the immune system even more. This little berry has antibacterial properties, contains strong antioxidants that can reduce inflammation, and has shown to reduce symptoms or prevent viral illnesses in several small studies. 

If you’re able to find nettles and rosehips, these two herbs are a great addition to this smoothie. Nettles are high in minerals like the electrolytes calcium and magnesium, while rosehips infuse more vitamin C into this healthful drink.  

TIP: If you’re skipping the herbs, up the amount of coconut water to 1 cup to make up the difference. 

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Details

  • Serves: 2
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
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Ingredients

  • 1/3 cups boiling water (optional)

  • 1 tsp dried nettle leaf (optional)

  • 2 tbsp dried rosehips (optional)

  • 1/2 cups papaya, cubed

  • 1/2 cups pineapple, cubed

  • 1 dragon fruit, cubed

  • 1/2 cups dairy-free yogurt

  • 2/3 cups coconut water

  • 2 tsp elderberry powder

Directions

  1. To boiling water, add nettles and rosehips. Steep for 10-20 minutes.

  2. In a high-speed blender, place papaya, pineapple, and dragon fruit. Add yogurt, coconut water, herbal tea, and elderberry powder.

  3. Blend on high speed until smooth. Divide smoothie between two glasses. Garnish with extra fruit slices and rosehips. Serve immediately.

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