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Influenza, simply “the flu” to most of us, is a contagious respiratory viral infection. As a matter of fact, most of us have had a bout with it at one time or another know it can cause an array of symptoms, from head and body aches to fever to more serious conditions including life-threatening pneumonia.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say that data on the number of deaths each year from influence and related complications are very hard to assess, but estimate that it may contribute to about 35,000 deaths in the United States each year. You can read more about these statistics in this study published by the CDC in The Journal of the American Medical Association: 

While yearly flu vaccines are available and recommended for children, health workers, the elderly and those with certain chronic conditions that can compromise their immune systems, but is not 100 percent effective since the influenza virus can mutate fairly quickly and the vaccine may not be effective against the particular strain any one persons contracts. So what can we do to lower our chances of getting laid up with the flu? Other than getting the vaccine, health recommendations include the common sense approaches to hygiene and immune-boosting habits.  One tip that constantly comes up is washing hands – and commonly touched items such as pens and computer keyboards – thoroughly and often, as recommended in this webMD article describing steps doctors take to avoid getting the flu: 

 The story goes on to state that other than that, the only thing we can do to avoid flu is build our immune system, which of course involves proper nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress reduction. “I use echinacea and goldenseal because they help boost the immune system and fight off microbes,” says Lauren Richter, DO, assistant professor of family and community medicine at the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine. “I like the teas, but a lot of people don’t like the taste, so pills are fine.”  Other foods that benefit immunity include yogurt, oats, garlic and sweet potatoes due to their overall health benefits as well as specific components that fight infection. You can read more here:

Raspberry Coconut Smoothie


  • Raspberry+Coconut-smoothie-682x1024 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (plus a sprinkle for garnish)
  •  1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 6 coconut ice cubes (made by freezing coconut water)
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  •  Truvia (optional for a sweeter taste)


For the coconut-yogurt layer:   Blend coconut flakes, 1/4 cup yogurt and ice cubes until smooth. Pour in a glass and rinse blender. For the raspberry layer:  In rinsed blender combine raspberries, banana and 1/4 cup Greek yogurt.  Add Truvia, if desired, for a sweeter taste.


About MatchaGT by ShelleRae

Welcome! I am ShelleRae and I am very excited you are here. I joined the Smoothie Essentials team about 5 years ago now. Always health conscious and into prevention versus medication it seemed natural when the opportunity came up to take on the creation of this blog and the Smoothie Essentials blog as well. As mother to three and surrogate to many more I've practiced much of what I write on sometimes with great success and other times with a bit less. My friends and family are my test kitchen and my facts are most often from WebMD - they seem to have a fairly accurate and conservative approach. MatchaGT – the super premium Matcha Green Tea Introducing Matcha GT, the super premium Matcha Green Tea. Matcha GT is nature’s natural source of energy and antioxidants. Used for centuries in Japanese tea ceremonies, Matcha provides a powerful pick-me-up plus antioxidants and other health benefits to keep the body, mind and spirit in perfect balance. While many forms of green tea are strained or brewed, Matcha GT uses the whole tea leaf providing the full benefits and bold taste of whole green tea powder. My inspiration comes from others who also are striving to live a better life through lifestyle changes. More information is available at or by emailing Benefits: Natural Caffeine – longer lasting energy Antioxidants – to fight cancer causing free radicals Chlorophyll – powerful blood cleanse Coffee concepts and juice bars across North America including Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Smoothie King, and Booster Juice have recently started selling Matcha Green Tea smoothies, frappes, and lattes, promoting the great taste and health benefits of green tea.

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