If you are looking for a little boost to your morning smoothie, this Inflammation Busting and Immune Boosting Spice Blend may be just the thing for you!

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Immune Boosting Spice Blend

It’s no secret that I drink a collagen smoothie every day for breakfast.  I use the term breakfast loosely because it is actually around 11am or so that I drink it.  I get up daily around 5am, do some work and get kids ready for school, drink my keto (i.e. no carb) preworkout around 8am, work out from 8:30-9:30 and drink my collagen smoothie at 11am.

My base collagen smoothie is collagen, unsweetened almond butter, and unsweetened almond milk.  Check out my variations:

keto almond butter collagen smoothie

keto salted caramel smoothie

keto collagen pumpkin spice smoothie

Recently, I’ve added to my daily smoothie to help my immune system and to also act as an anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic.  Now, I am making no claims here, but I’m simply going to talk about why I decided to add these spices to my daily routine.

For those that don’t know, I was diagnosed with Adult Onset Type 1 Diabetes.  Type 1 is the autoimmune diabetes where the immune system attacks the insulin producing cells until they are all gone and insulin production is zero.

I’ve been eating keto for the last 2 years in order to keep my insulin requirements low.  Adult Onset Type 1 Diabetes has a slower onset than when children get it.  My son has Type 1 Diabetes and it came on fast and severe.  For adults, this means it is often misdiagnosed as Type 2 initially and it also means our bodies are slower to shut off insulin production completely. 

Eating keto allowed me to not have to take insulin for a while, but I am not on insulin. Keto does, however, greatly reduce the amount needed.

The other thing is that I’ve been having some inflammation issues ever since my bladder surgery.  You can guess where the inflammation is occurring.  Let’s just say there have been a lot of bladder infections as well as a lot of times where I felt like I had one, but didn’t, yet still had the symptoms.  Let me tell you – it is not fun.  But, hey, I don’t pee my pants anymore (thank you 4 children), so there’s that ….

Spice Blend

The spices I use are: turmeric, ground ginger, garlic powder and ground black pepper.The following benefits are all according to Healthline (and many other sources too).

Turmeric

Turmeric

The first is turmeric.   Turmeric is like the super spice of spices.  The king of the jungle.  The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin and that is what we are going to focus on.  Curcumin just happens to be fat soluble, so it is a pretty perfect addition to my fatty keto smoothie.

A common mistake, actually, is when people don’t take turmeric with fat.  Take it with fat folks!

According to Healthline:

  1. Curcumin is a natural anti-inflammatory, and in fact, some studies have been done that suggest it is as powerful as some anti-inflammatory drugs.
  2. Curcumin increases the body’s antioxidant capacity. This lovely thing neutralizes those darn free radicals that wreak havoc on our bodies.
  3. Curcumin can lower your risk of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
  4. Curcumin shows promising benefits against depression. In fact, the results were similar to Prozac.

Turmeric may help boost the immune system [6] and that is exactly what I’m looking for!

Like I said, turmeric (more specifically curcumin) is a powerful compound.

Ginger

Let’s talk about ginger now.  I don’t know about you, but I love ginger – especially fresh ginger.  Just like with turmeric, ginger has a component that has powerful medicinal properties.  It is called gingerol. 

Like curcumin, gingerol has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It has also been known to have anti-viral properties too.

I think most people are aware of ginger’s ability to help with nausea.  Ever drink ginger-ale when you were sick with a stomach ache or suffering from morning sickness?

Another super cool benefit is that ginger may reduce blood sugars.  WHAT???  I’ll take that! And ladies – it can also reduce PMS pains.

Lastly, ginger just might lower cholesterol levels, help prevent some cancers and Alzheimer’s disease AND help fight infections.  The infection part I’m especially interested in.

A lot of overlapping properties with curcumin, don’t ya think?

Garlic

Alright, on to garlic we go!

Just like with turmeric and ginger, garlic also contains components with medicinal properties.

Garlic is known to be able to help with sickness and the common cold. AND it contains compounds that can help boost the immune system [7].

It can also reduce blood pressure just might lower the risk of heart disease and help prevent Alzheimer’s.

Here’s a big reason that I like garlic and that is that may help detoxify the body of heavy metals.

And ladies – garlic has also been shown to help with bone health in women.  As I get older, I definitely could use this!

Pepper

Lastly, let’s touch on pepper.  I’m sure black pepper has some nice properties, but the reason I add it in is due to turmeric. 

The curcumin in turmeric is not absorbed very well in the system.  According to Healthline,  “…curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000%”.

So, there ya go!

How to Make my Immune Boosting Spice Blend

Now, I will say that I do not take nearly the therapeutic dose of each of these, but I don’t think that is necessary.  And I also think easing into it is better.  So, maybe 6 months from now, I’ll be taking a lot more.  Who knows.

Anyway, I make a concoction ahead of time so that I’m not measuring 9 million things each day. 

In a small glass jar, I’ll mix 6 tablespoons turmeric, 3 tablespoons ground ginger, 2 ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, and 2 ¼ teaspoons ground black pepper.  I mix it up well and am working up to taking 2 teaspoons in my smoothie each day. 

It roughly equates to 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1/8 teaspoon garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ginger and 1/8 teaspoons black pepper.  For those good at math, you’ll notice that only adds up to 1 1/2 teaspoons. So you get a bit more of each spice, but you get the idea!

All in all, I am trying to take back my health, slowly and deliberately.  Keto kept me off insulin for a while, unfortunately not anymore, and now I need to focus on some other areas of inflammation and immune system issues.  Healing my gut plays a big role too since I’ve had 4 rounds of antibiotics in the last 6 months which is more than the last 20 years.  My poor microbiome.

This is just a step towards natural health for my body!

Immune Boosting Mix

Immune Boosting Mix
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

30

Serving Size:

1 teaspoon

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 8.5Total Fat: 0gSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 1.7gNet Carbohydrates: 1.2gFiber: .5gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Nutrition is calculated using a third party plug-in. It is best to always validate!

References:

[1] https://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-queries/black-pepper-with-turmeric-for-absorption

[2] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/turmeric-and-black-pepper

[3] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-garlic

[4] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric

[5] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-ginger

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17211725

[7] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/garlic-fights-colds-and-flu

[8] https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/ginger-root-immune-system-7529.html

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