Are wellness shots good for you?
When pressed juice shots first showed up on the street corners of suburban America, only health nuts and yoga instructors were seen giving them any thought. Today? You can find a respectable selection of ”wellness shots” for mental focus, immunity, and more at your neighborhood gas station. Yet the question remains, are they actually that good for you?
When you break down your traditional “wellness shot” you’ll find high concentrations of nutrient rich fruits, vegetables, roots, peppers, and so on. And those ingredients do contain important and valuable nutrients in high quantities. “The ingredients are vegetables, fruits, roots, and herbs,” says Alka Gupta, M.D., co-director of integrative health at New York-Presbyterian Medical Center. So if this is the case, we simply need to know which of these ingredients are actually benefiting you, and which ones are just wasting your time...and money.
We put together a few standout ingredients to keep an eye out for when looking for a legitimate “Wellness Shot” or Immunity Shot. And unsurprisingly, Ginger has won quite a few hearts. Healthline Magazine goes as far as to say, “Ginger is among the healthiest spices on the planet.” And “It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.” And while we’d have to agree with these statements, it’s important to understand what component of Ginger is responsible for these benefits. That component is called Gingerol. Joe Leech, MS, RD, writes for Healthline that “Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties.” And “It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.” Compounds like Gingerol and Curcumin (the active compound in Turmeric) help build your immune system and aid in fighting off infections by preventing the growth of bacteria. The only problem is, that incredible Gingerol, doesn’t taste quite so incredible...and as you may already know -it’s spicy. But if you’re looking to get your Ginger kick in (pun intended) we just might know someone who can help....
Our next all-star team qualifier to seek out in your wellness shots as well as your diet comes as an even tougher challenge for picky eaters and the faint of stomach. These little red beauties pack as many nutrients as they do scovilles...and if you’re thinking we’re talking about Cayenne Pepper, you’re absolutely right. People have been utilizing Cayenne “for thousands of years, to help treat many health problems” writes Ryan Raman -an MS, RD dietician and writer at Healthline. Much like Ginger and Turmeric (and basically every other wellness ingredient worth eating) Cayenne gets a majority of its benefits from a single bioactive compound. This compound is called Capsaicin. Capsaicin is credited with natural pain-relieving heat, metabolism boosting enzymes, and cardiovascular aiding effects. But what we’re more interested in when it comes to an Immunity Shot, is the pepper’s intense amount of free-radical fighting antioxidants. ReaserchGate hosted a study that concluded “By inhibiting intracellular invasion and haemolytic activity, capsaicin could thus prevent both formation of a difficult to eradicate intracellular reservoir, and infection spread to deep tissues.” Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to have any idea what that means. But luckily for you, we do. So to put it in Layman’s terms, Capsaicin protects the body from infection and prevents the spread of disease by helping prevent contaminants and viruses from clinging to cells.
There are a host of other notable commonly used ingredients that are worth doing your research on. If you’re looking for a place to start, try Reishi Mushrooms, Strawberries (in high Vitamin C quantities), Kefir, Turmeric, Green Tea leaves, Blueberries, Black Pepper, and basically any dark leafy greens -though in this case, it may be just as easy to mix leafy greens into your diet as it would be to get them from any wellness shot.
Now, when talking about ingredients to stay away from, it is very unlikely that you’ll find anything in a “wellness shot” that will actively harm you. The more realistic scenarios are either that the benefits of the ingredient aren’t proven, it isn’t present in a high enough quantity to matter, or it provides nutrients that are satisfied by a standard diet. Ingredients like activated charcoal, sea salt, rose hips, and rosemary exist more to aid in the taste of a beverage than to add nutrients to it. And while many of them boast a Vitamin or two, they’re likely not going to have an effect on your everyday health.
11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger
Marini, Emanuela & Magi, Gloria & Mingoia, Marina & Pugnaloni, Armanda & Facinelli, Bruna. (2015). Antimicrobial and Anti-Virulence Activity of Capsaicin Against Erythromycin-Resistant, Cell-Invasive Group A Streptococci. Frontiers in Microbiology. 6. 10.3389/fmicb.2015.01281.
"This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Ryla."