The health benefits of making smoothies
Smoothies are a great way to get all of the fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants that are found in fresh produce and you also have the ability to add a variety of super-foods to turn them into nutritional powerhouses. Inexpensive blenders can easily handle making smoothies from most fruits and greens, however if you are interested in blending solid vegetables (i.e. carrots, beets, etc) you will need to have a high powered blender that is capable of grinding them.
This is a basic green smoothie recipe
My favorite smoothie recipe has a variety of fruits combined with leafy greens, but this recipe can be modified by adding a variety of super-foods to give it more of a nutritional kick.
- 1 cup of leafy greens. Leafy greens are some of the most nutrient dense foods that you can eat. Look for spinach, Swiss chard, kale, arugula, bok choy, watercress, and dandelion just to name a few. Read an article on nutrient density.
- Add your favorite fresh or frozen fruits. Raw fruits have astringent qualities that work to specifically target and cleanse the lymphatic fluids which is extremely important when you are healing from cancer. If you are excluding fruit from your diet, you are missing out on an abundance of antioxidants, flavonoids, and anthocyanins that can prevent an reverse cellular damage and reduce overall inflammation. Some powerful fruits to include are: blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, grapes, cherries, pomegranates, cantaloupe, papaya, pineapple, watermelon, lemons, limes, and oranges. Fruits are very easily digested, therefore they should be eaten separately, or about 1/2 hour before your main meals, or they can easily be blended into smoothies.
- 2 T hemp seed oil to help those fat soluble vitamins absorb
- Some green foods powder for the benefit of wheatgrass and chlorella.
- Add some super-foods (your choice of any of the following): raw cacao nibs, maca root powder, bee pollen, hemp seeds, camu camu powder, freshly ground flax seeds, or chia seeds.
- Add ice if you are not using frozen fruits. Smoothies taste best when they are ice cold.
- Add enough liquid such as filtered water, almond milk, coconut water, coconut milk, etc to give your smoothie the desired texture.
- Blend until smooth
Recipe to Make a Green Smoothie for Two
- 1 Cucumber
- 1-2 pieces fruit such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, cherries, pomegranates, cantaloupe, lemons, limes, and oranges.
- 1 handful of greens: kale, romaine, spinach, chard, watercress, etc
- 1 avocado
- purified water or coconut water
- sprinkle of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Organic Pomegranate Powder or Organic Amla Powder
- Add a couple tablespoons of unrefined hemp oil, or coconut oil
- Add your choice of superfoods: raw cacao, maca, bee pollen, hemp seed, camu camu, freshly ground flax seed, or chia seeds
- Blend until smooth.
Recipe to make a protein-rich meal replacement shake
It is important not to drink packaged meal replacement shakes (such as Ensure or similar products), as they are loaded with added sugars, chemical additives, soy, and poor quality fats which are all inflammatory to the body. Here is a simple recipe to make a healthier version, but feel free to add whatever works for you.
- milk kefir, almond milk, coconut milk, or organic yogurt
- 2 Tbsp of almond butter
- Add 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen berries
- 1 banana
- A scoop of a quality Organic Hemp Protein Powder
- your choice of superfood: raw cacao, maca, bee pollen, hemp seed, freshly ground flax seed, or chia seeds
- 1-2 tablespoons of urefined hemp oil.
- a few cubes of ice if you aren’t using frozen fruits.
- blend until smooth
How to make a green smoothie
- Rotation: Use this chart to help you rotate between the various plant families, this should be done about every 2 weeks. Rotation is necessary because all leafy greens contain small amounts of toxins that work as the plants defense mechanism from predation. For example, goitrogens in kale and other brassicas can interfere with the thyroid hormone function in susceptible individuals, and oxalic acid, which is found in spinach, can also be problematic in high amounts. Regular rotation between the families helps to keep this from becoming an issue. You can read more about thyroid health with this post.