When most people hear talk about downing shots they think of those crazy nights at the bar or the beach during spring break. But the shots we’re talking about are good for you! Instead of numbing your mind with tequila, rum, vodka or what have you, these shots are loaded with nutrients that will improve your health in many different ways.
Whether you’ve come down with a cold or the flu, are feeling fatigued, suffering from digestive problems or want to boost your athletic performance, there’s a healthy shot for you. Whatever the reason, chances are you could use a boost of nutrient-rich goodness right now.
Health-boosting shots have become all the rage at juice bars. They’re basically juices that include a variety of fruit, vegetables, spices and occasionally other ingredients that come together to create a very nutrient dense drink that offers a diverse array of health benefits. They aren’t meant to replace a meal, rather something you should do when you want to flood your body with a quick burst of nutrition.
But you don’t have to go to a juice bar to enjoy all of their benefits – health boosting shots like these are easy to make right at home.
1. The Wellness Shot: Lemon and Ginger
This two-ingredient shot combines ginger and lemon to create a nutrient-dense powerhouse that can stop the flu or a cold in its tracks. Ginger contains antibacterial and antiviral properties to help fight off a virus, while its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties can relieve the pain, irritation, and discomfort caused by the flu. Gingerol and shagol compounds found in ginger help to trigger perspiration, lowering body temperature and flushing out toxins through sweat to help prevent infection. Ginger’s expectorant properties soothe lung tissues as well as loosen mucus from the sinuses and lungs.
Lemon juice also offers powerful benefits, being rich in vitamin C, it supports healthy immune functioning and improves digestion to combat tummy troubles too. Although you might think lemons would be acidic, they’re actually alkalizing to the body, and help to create an alkaline-forming environment which slightly alters pH. When lemon and ginger come to together, it makes one of nature’s ultimate treatments for enhancing the immune system and fighting off a cold or the flu.
To make it, you’ll need:
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 large knob ginger root
Peel the ginger and then put it into a juicer and juice. Squeeze the lemon by hand or use a citrus press and then combine the juice of the ginger with the lemon juice and drink. Don’t sip it, drink it like you would a shot as the taste isn’t the best, but the rewards are well worth the slight unpleasantness.
2. The Hangover Cure: Coconut Water, Ginger, Honey and Turmeric
If you’re suffering from the effects of one too many drinks, don’t turn to the “hair of the dog,” as they say, instead, drink a healthy shot. This one is just what you need as the ginger helps with an upset stomach, the coconut water offers potassium and electrolytes to rehydrate and re-energize, while the vitamin C and antioxidants in the lemon work to detoxify, cleanse and enhance the immune system. Raw honey not only adds a touch of sweetness, it’s rich in minerals and easily digestible sugars that signal the body to down-regulate the production of stress hormones like cortisol. Finally, turmeric is a liver-protecting Indian spice with potent anti-inflammatory effects and a multitude of other health benefits.
For this recipe, you don’t even have to have a juicer, it’ll work in a high-speed blender too.
To make it, you’ll need:
- 2 cups coconut water
- A 2″ knob of fresh turmeric or 1/2 to 1 tsp dried turmeric
- 1″ fresh ginger root
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 to 2 tbsp raw honey
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, fresh ground, optional
Place the first three ingredients, the coconut water, turmeric and ginger root, into your blender and blend until the turmeric/ginger is finely shredded. Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a jar. Add the lemon juice and honey. Add the black pepper for enhanced absorption, if desired.
3. Alkalizing Morning Shot: Lemon, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Cayenne Pepper
On those mornings when you just don’t want to get out of bed, your body is stiff, tired, and all it wants to do is stay tucked in the covers, you probably reach for the coffee immediately to get that jolt of caffeine to get going, but that’s really not the healthiest way to do it. Instead, turn to this healthy shot that will alkalize your body and provide you with natural energy that will get your morning off to a great start.
To make it, you’ll need:
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 oz water
Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar help to get your blood to a more alkaline pH level, while the cayenne provides a great wake-up kick that also gets your metabolism going at its max, which can support weight loss too. The water is important for this one as downing straight lemon juice and cider vinegar could burn your esophagus.
4. Spicy Energy Boosting Wellness Shot: Celery, Apple, Lemon, Ginger and Cayenne Pepper
Running low on energy, or feel like you’re about to come down with something? The pinch of cayenne in this shot can stimulate your body from the inside out, while the lemon, as we mentioned, offers a high level of vitamin C and antioxidants to boost your immune system and the ginger contains antibacterial and antiviral properties which can aid in fighting off a virus.
Ginger also increases brain levels of important neurotransmitters, which are chemicals used by brain cells to communicate with each other. They control your ability to focus, concentrate, remember, regulate your mood, cravings, sleep and more. Apples are loaded with vitamins, including vitamin A, C and B6, while celery contains both B and C, and also helps to balance potassium and sodium levels while reducing inflammation in the body.
To make it, you’ll need:
- 3 celery stalks
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- 1 lemon, peeled
- 2″ fresh ginger root
- Cayenne pepper
Add all ingredients except the cayenne pepper to your juicer and juice. Pour it into shot glasses and then top each one with a couple of dashes of cayenne pepper.
5. Tummy Soothing Shot: Carrot, Ginger, Lemon and Garlic
If you’re stomach isn’t feeling so great, try this tummy soothing shot. Carrot juice forms its base, as well as adding natural sweetness and a potent dose of beta carotene to help protect and support the immune system. While ginger soothes away nausea, and lemon further boosts immunity and balances the body’s pH level, garlic is the real star here, with its antiseptic, antifungal and even antibiotic-like properties. The ingredients all come together to help restore the body and take away those stomach troubles too.
To make it, you’ll need:
- 4 carrots
- About a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger root
- 2 lemons, peeled
- 2 to 4 garlic cloves
Add each ingredient one at a time to your juicer, and then divide the mixture into six shots; drink as needed. If you won’t drink them all within a couple of days, simply half the recipe.
6. The Ultimate Flu Shot: Mint, Cucumber, Apple, Lime, and Kale
This is truly the ultimate flu shot in that it can battle just about every flu symptom imaginable, including an upset stomach, thanks to the mint, which not only gives it a refreshing flavor, but is known to relieve all sorts of digestive ailments. The kale is a powerful superfood that is loaded with antioxidants and other nutrients that boost immunity too. Cucumber helps balance acidity in the blood, rehydrates the body and provides nutrition that is easy to digest. The result? A flu shot with a minty taste that is sure to get you back on track in no time.
This is also a great shot to take when you’re around people that have the flu to prevent it from hitting you.
To make it, you’ll need:
- 6 kale leaves
- 2 limes, peeled
- 2 apples
- 2 cucumbers
- 5 sprigs of mint
Add each ingredient one at a time to your juicer and then pour into shots.
7. Joint Pain Relieving Shot: Turmeric and Cherry
This shot pairs tart cherries with turmeric, which when paired together, offers some of the most potent inflammation-fighting properties and recovery boosting power you can get. Cherry juice has to found in studies to reduce muscle damage immediately after an intense workout or a long endurance session like a marathon, lower levels of inflammation, and help one recover muscle strength significantly quicker. Turmeric is famous as a highly anti-inflammatory compound that can help manage joint pain and the pain of arthritis.
A 2012 study that was published in Phytotherapy Research showed that patients with rheumatoid arthritis who were treated with curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, exhibited the greatest percentage of improvement overall, compared to those that received conventional treatments. In fact, the researchers discovered that it was actually more effective in relieving issues like joint swelling than NSAIDS, without any side effects.
For the maximum benefits, be sure to choose tart rather than sweet cherries.
To make this joint pain relieving shot, you’ll need:
- 1/2″ fresh turmeric root, or 1/2 tsp dried turmeric powder
- 1 cup fresh tart cherries, pitted and juiced
- Dash fresh ground black pepper (to increase turmeric absorption)
Combine all ingredients (if you have a shaker, it works well for this), and enjoy.
8. Spirulina Energy Shot: Spirulina and Orange
While we probably wouldn’t want to, it has been said that we could actually thrive simply by eating spirulina and drinking pure water. Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, detoxifying chlorophyll, healthy omega-3 fatty acids fats, and more. In fact, spirulina is so nutrient dense that scientists have started working on ways to use spirulina to cure world hunger. It is 60% protein (meat contains, on average, 27%), and it’s a complete source, with all of the essential amino acids required for life. Its impressive range of nutrients provides the body with a host of health benefits, like suppressing the growth of unhealthy bacteria, promoting better digestion and relieving symptoms related to chronic fatigue as well as balancing blood sugar.
To make this energizing shot, you’ll need
- 2 oranges, juiced
- 1 tsp spirulina powder
Add the orange juice to a pitcher or large cup and then whisk until the powder is completely dissolved. Pour into 3 one-ounce shot glasses and fuel up!
9. Morning Green Smoothie Shot: Spinach, Blueberries and Ginger
This is another great shot for those who don’t have a juicer, as you can make it just like you would a smoothie, in your blender. Plus, you can prepare a large batch and keep in the refrigerator for an easy morning wake-up shot that help get your body alkalized.
This is a green nutrient powerhouse – the spinach contains amino acids, carotenoids, potassium, iodine, magnesium, iron, Vitamin C, A, E, K. and B complex vitamins which all help maintain the pH level balance in the body. Blueberries are one of the healthiest fruits there are, rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and other antioxidants that lead to its numerous health benefits like boosting brain health, slowing the aging process, fighting cancer and beautifying the skin.
You’ll notice that ginger is a favorite ingredient in many of these health shot recipes – after all, it has been said that “a ginger shot a day keeps the doctor away,” or something like that anyway! Ginger is extremely beneficial for gut health and it can significantly lower inflammation, in addition to a long list of other benefits.
To make this smoothie shot, you’ll need:
Add all ingredients to your blender and blend well. If it’s too thick, you can add a little water to thin it out – blend again afterward.
10. Sweet Tooth Satisfier Shot: Carrot, Ginger, Romaine and Lemon
This is one of the best health shots you can take when your sweet tooth hits. You’ll satisfy it in a good way so that you won’t be as tempted to turn to the junk. Not only does it contain a significant amount of magnesium, from both the romaine and carrot, it offers plenty of natural sweetness. The magnesium helps by lowering blood sugar and curbing that sweet tooth as well as offer multiple other benefits like increasing energy, calming nerves, aiding digestion, relieving muscle aches and more. Plus, the ginger and lemon, as we’ve mentioned numerous times, not only adds lots of healthful nutrients of their own, but just the right zing to the juice so that it doesn’t taste like a boring, bland veggie juice.
To make it, you’ll need
- 1/2 head Romaine lettuce
- 2 carrots
- 1/2″ to 1″ chunk fresh ginger root
- 1/2 lemon, peeled
Add ingredients to your juicer, one at a time. Pour mixture into shots.
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