Wellness shots are concentrated, nutrient-rich drinks that claim to offer nutritional benefits. They’re commonly consumed in servings of just two ounces. They are also referred to as immunity shots, health shots, power shots, or functional shots.
Whatever you call them, wellness shots are big business. From mid-2018 to mid-2019, they racked up nearly $366 million in total sales.1 But what’s so great about these juice shots?
Read on to learn more about these powerful juice shots and their potential health benefits.
Wellness Shots Vs. Smoothies: What’s The Difference?
Although wellness shots are somewhat similar to smoothies, they work quite differently.
Smoothies are made by blending together a variety of fruits and veggies. They often include both the pulp and skin, which contains soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.2
Wellness shots are concentrated versions of cold-pressed juices or vinegars. This process leaves behind the pulp and skins, and therefore the fiber. Wellness shots contain just the nutrients and enzymes. They’re designed to deliver a concentrated dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants into the bloodstream quickly and efficiently.3,4
Note: Organic, cold-pressed and functional juices have flooded supermarket shelves. Their nutritional characteristics make them potential replacements for whole fruits and vegetables in terms of nutrition. In some ways, that’s true, Although wellness shots can provide some essential nutrients and be included as part of a healthy diet, they are not a replacement for whole fruits and vegetables. You will still need other nutrients in order to have a balanced well-rounded diet.5 It’s also important to note that the natural sugars found in fruits are contained mostly in the juice itself. This means wellness shots can contain high amounts of sugar. Try customizing your wellness shots with low-sugar fruits or go heavy on the vegetables to lessen the sugar content.
Health Benefits Of Wellness Juice Shots: Antioxidants, Vitamins, And Other Nutrients
This is due to the abundance of nutrients provided by the fruits, vegetables and other common wellness shot ingredients. Let’s take a look at each.
Antioxidants help our bodies fight off damaging free radicals. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, are present in fruits, vegetables and other plants. Juices rich in polyphenol flavonoids have been shown to increase antioxidant capacity in human blood.6
Additionally, some of the highest antioxidant-containing fruits and veggies include apples, plums, apricots, red beets, and kale. Spices are also high in antioxidants. Black pepper, in particular, is necessary to enhancing the antioxidant activity of turmeric in a wellness shot.7,8
Vitamins And Minerals
In addition to antioxidants, the fruits and vegetables in wellness shots often contain concentrated amounts of common nutrients such as beta-carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, vitamin E, and magnesium.9,10 These are important in supporting overall health, immunity and body function.11
Common Wellness Shot Ingredients: Ginger, Wheatgrass, Lemon Juice, Cayenne Pepper, And More
You’ll find a wide variety of different kinds of wellness shots in stores – each with many different kinds of ingredients. These are a few of the more common wellness shots ingredients. As you’ll see, each offers its own unique potential health benefits.
Ginger root contains vitamins B6 and B5, and minerals such as potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.12 In addition to its nutritional profile, and its reputation as a potent antioxidant, ginger has been used since ancient times to help with everything from stomach upset to nausea to supporting healthy blood-sugar levels.13,14
Wheatgrass is ubiquitous among farmer’s market vendors. It contains a multitude of beneficial vitamins, minerals, active enzymes, and phytochemicals that the body easily absorbs. When it’s juiced, its nutrients may be even more efficiently absorbed.15
Lemon juice is high in the antioxidant vitamin C. This vitamin has been found to support immune function and collagen production.16,17,18 It also helps the body absorb iron from plant-based foods.19
Cayenne pepper does more than enhance flavor, provide aroma and add color to wellness shots. It also has a high concentration of healthy antioxidants.20
Research suggests that capsaicin, a key ingredient in cayenne pepper, may help with discomfort due to nausea and congestion.21
Nutritionally, cayenne pepper has a large amount of vitamin A.22 This essential vitamin supports healthy skin cell turnover, immune function and eyesight.23
Apple Cider Vinegar
As a frequent component of wellness shots, apple cider vinegar has a number of potential health benefits including supporting healthy blood sugar levels as well as your weight loss goals. And the probiotics found in ACV are great for your gut. Additionally, apple cider vinegar is high in B-vitamins and polyphenols.24
Turmeric was traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for a host of common health issues. Today, it’s often used as a dietary supplement.
Turmeric contains the polyphenol curcumin, which is a potent antioxidant that has been shown to support a wide range of bodily functions including heart health.25 It is also a very good source of vitamins C and B6, as well as iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, and magnesium.26
Wellness Juice Shot Recipe: Try This Organic Wellness Shot Using Fresh Fruits And Vegetables
Store-bought wellness shots may come with unwanted additives and sugar. But if you make your own, you’ll know exactly what goes into it.27
If you have a cold-press juicer, here’s a wellness shot to make in your kitchen. If you just have a blender, then you can strain the juice after blending using a cheesecloth.
- 1 lemon, peeled
- ¼ cup fresh ginger root, peeled
- ¼ cup fresh turmeric root, peeled
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- Add lemon, ginger, and turmeric root to either the cold-pressed juicer or a high-speed blender.
- Once everything is well-blended (and strained if you’re using a blender), add in the two peppers and drink.
If you prefer your shots with some coconut water, here’s another recipe to try:28
- 2 cups coconut water
- 1 oz fresh turmeric root
- ½ oz fresh ginger root
- A whole lemon, juiced
- ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt
- 1 – 2 tbsp raw honey
- 1 pinch black pepper (optional)
- Either juice or blend the coconut water, turmeric and ginger root.
- If blending, strain the mixture into a jar through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
- Add lemon juice, sea salt, and honey.
- Finally, add some black pepper and drink.
Add Wellness Shots To Your Diet
With such a rich palette of vitamins and minerals, you might consider adding wellness shots to your diet. When using the correct ingredients and watching the sugar content, this liquid nutrition may help you increase your intake of essential nutrients. Just remember, wellness shots are not to be used as a replacement for whole fruits and vegetables. You’ll still need to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet full of plenty of fruits and veggies. If you have any concerns or questions about wellness shots, talk to your doctor.
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