Thursday 1 October, 2020

Coronavirus: Build your immunity with juicing

istock photo of kale juice.

istock photo of kale juice.

With Meisha-Gay Mattis

Ports are closed, hotels are closed, gyms are closed and the country is in near-total lockdown.

As the number of COVID-19 cases increase locally, with 36 confirmed presently, the government seems to be doubling down on its efforts to contain the virus. We are still uncertain as to how soon we will get past the worst. As it stands, schools will continue to be closed for an extended period, banks are being closed earlier across the island, citizens 75 years old and above are required to stay indoors and no more than 10 people are allowed to congregate in an area.

It looks like we will all be home a little longer now and, more than ever, it is important to take care of ourselves with the plethora of changes unfolding - as we can easily become overwhelmed and consumed by frustration. But could this temporary shift we are witnessing become permanent? Perhaps our focus will shift from meal prep to a heightened importance on stress management. Stress reduces our immunity and the aptitude of our immune system. If you are hardly sleeping, have poor nutrition, are overworked or worry too much, you can become susceptible to illnesses as your immune system will be compromised.

Your immune system needs every little bit of support it can get, especially during this quarantine and social isolation period. Perhaps it's time to turn the news off for a little to help stay focused and grounded. Undoubtedly, we have been wrecking our immune systems for a very long time through our over-consumption of processed foods high in unhealthy fats, salt and sugar and our under-consumption of whole foods; fruits and vegetables.

Studies show that 91 per cent of Jamaicans are not consuming enough fruits and vegetables. Therefore, while you are racing to the supermarket shelves to stock up on supplies, now would be an opportune time to acquire fruits and vegetables as these are proven immunity boosters. These nutrient-dense foods allow for proper absorption of fat-soluble Vitamins A, D, E, and K, minerals and fibre, which aid in getting your immune system healthy and robust to fight chronic diseases. Juicing is a remarkable way to cover all the bases and to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Especially now that you may have a little more time on your hands, what is your excuse?

Strengthen your immune system naturally and reduce your chances of getting rundown with a few great juicing recipes. I took all the guessing out of this one, especially if you are new to juicing and unsure about ingredient pairings. A staple in these recipes is greens. A diet high in greens lowers inflammation which can potentially interrupt immune system function.

Celery Booster Immunity


  • 3 medium-sized apples
  • 1 cup of chopped celery
  • 1 cup of kale
  • 1/2 medium-sized lemon


  1. Wash all ingredients.
  2. Chop into small pieces
  3. Remove seeds from apples and slice into 4 parts.
  4. Remove seeds from your lemon, and make sure to cut them into smaller pieces
  5. Add celery, kale, lemon or lime, and apples into your juicer.
  6. Process through juicer and serve cold. Enjoy!


Popeye Spinach Juice


  • 1 cup of chopped celery
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 3 medium-sized apples


  1. Wash all ingredients.
  2. Chop celery and spinach into smaller pieces
  3. Slice apples into 4 parts and remove seeds.
  4. Add celery, spinach, and apples to juicer.
  5. Process through juicer and serve cold. Enjoy


Easy Green


  • 5 large kale leaves
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 apples
  • 1 lemon
  • A thumb of ginger


  1. Wash all ingredients.
  2. Peel lemon and ginger.
  3. Cut all ingredients into small pieces.
  4. Process all ingredients through juicer.
  5. Serve cold. Enjoy!


Citrus Blend


  • 4 oranges
  • 1 grapefruit
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ lime


  1. Wash all ingredients.
  2. Peel and remove the seeds from the grapefruit, oranges, lemon, and lime.
  3. Cut all ingredients into small pieces.
  4. Add all ingredients to juicer.
  5. Process through juicer and serve cold. Enjoy!

Now is as good a time as ever to stay strong and healthy, and eat (or drink!) enough fruits and vegetables to strengthen your immune system and keep yourself energised as we brace ourselves for the unforeseen.

Contributed by Meisha-Gay Mattis, founder of Bodhi, a Kingston-based holistic wellness company. She is a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer.

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