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Flu Busting, Lung Stimulating Smoothie

With the rising incidence of viral and bacterial infections plaguing children, there is one smoothie combination that works extremely well to increase the immune system and stimulate the lungs. It has all the necessary ingredients which even children won't mind consuming once they feel how quickly it improves their symptoms.

(Makes Just Over 2 cups)

- 1 cup fresh orange juice (2 large oranges)
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 1 piece of ginger (peel removed) 2" long up to 1" thick
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped pineapple (can be fresh or frozen)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp peppermint oil (or 5 peppermint leaves)

Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and serve immediately. You can also store half the smoothie in the fridge for later consumption.

Oranges and lemons reduce the production of free radicals. They can help reduce phlegm; and can also help you breathe properly in periods of congestion. Thanks to it's antibacterial properties, lemon water can fight throat infections.

An enzyme found in pineapples called bromelain does, in fact, have scientifically proven medicinal benefits. Two molecules isolated from an extract of crushed pineapple stems have even shown promise in fighting cancer growth. Studies have shown that bromelain reduces swelling, bruising, healing time and pain. The juice from fresh pineapples can even suppress coughs five times more effectively than cough syrup.

An even more potent anti-inflammatory is ginger whose analgesic properties have been proven stronger than ibuprofen. Combine the two in this smoothie recipe and you have deliciously balanced beverage at any time of the day.

Daily consumption of honey strengthens your immune system. Combine that with coconut oil, the superfood of all oils, and you have the perfect duo to combat bacteria and viruses.

Where you need more lysing power, cayenne pepper will give you that extra punch, especially when combined with citrus. It can provide instant relief from sore throats and sinus congestion.

Finally, peppermint, and peppermint oil, contains menthol -- a soothing ingredient known to relax the smooth muscles of the respiratory tract and promote free breathing. Paired with the antihistamine effect of peppermint, menthol is a fantastic decongestant.

Tis smoothie is safe to consume multiples times per day, every day until symptoms resolve.

John Summerly is nutritionist, herbologist, and homeopathic practitioner. He is a leader in the natural health community and consults athletes, executives and most of all parents of children on the benefits of complementary therapies for health and prevention.

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