Fruits and vegetables are the most nutrient-dense foods particularly dark green leafy vegetables. One of my daily rituals to ensure that I get as many green vegies into my diet as possible. This simple remedy is perfect for people who are busy and want to ensure that they get loads of antioxidants and anti flammatory benefits. I started this habit about 3 years ago when I decided to transition to a wholefood plant based diet and have never looked back.
By blending your greens into a smoothie you are breaking the cell walls to enable the nutrition to get straight into the bloodstream. Chewing is good, but blending is better, in terms of digestive efficiency and absorbing nutrients. The ideal way to consume your greens is in whichever way you’ll eat the most of them, for people who are time poor and want a quick and portable nutrition punch smoothies are the answer.
However, my taste buds have definitely changed as I kicked a sugar addiction and I now enjoy my smoothies with a really strong ginger and turmeric hit. But I know that this doesn’t happen overnight so I have put together 3 recipes for beginners, intermediates and hard core smoothie drinkers.
The Core Ingredients!
Kale: One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as: Iron, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and contains antioxidants. Kale also protects against cancers, contains omega 3 fatty acids, assists in lowering cholesterol
Apple: Last year, the Iowa Women’s Health Study reported that, among the 34,000-plus women it’s been tracking for nearly 20 years, apples were associated with a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Some years earlier, Finnish researchers studying dietary data collected over 28 years from 9,208 men and women found that frequent apple eaters had the lowest risk of suffering strokes compared with non apple eaters. Experts attribute the heart-healthy benefits to antioxidant compounds found in apples, which help prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and inhibit inflammation. (Jennings, K-A. (n.d.). 5 health benefits of an apple. EatingWell Magazine. Retrieved on 22.02.2017 at 17:30 from http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/5_health_benefits_of_an_apple)
Berries: In a study of 72 middle-age people published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating just under a cup of mixed berries daily for eight weeks was associated with increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure. (Wright, B. (2008, July-August). The total-body benefits of berries: Learn about the surprising ways berries boost health. EatingWell Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/the_total_body_benefits_of_berries)
Ginger: Eating ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body. Ginger also has anit inflammatory properties and assists with nausea.
Turmeric: The antioxidant properties of turmeric reduce the damage free radicals have in the body and alleviate inflammation.
Spirulina: Contains 4 grams of protein in a single tablespoon making it a more concentrated source of protein than red meat and only 20 calories. With a high concentration of bio-available iron, it is excellent during pregnancy and for those with anemia as it will not cause constipation.
Makes 2 large servings
- 2 cups of kale (remove stems)
- 800ml water
- 1 apple (cored and deseeded)
- 1 orange (peeled)
- 1/2 cup frozen berries
Add the following for a beginner:
- 1/2 thumb size piece of ginger
- 1/2 thumb size piece of turmeric
- 1/2 tsp spirulina
Add the following for intermediate:
- 1 thumb size piece of ginger
- 1 thumb size piece of turmeric
- 1 tsp spirulina
Add the following for a hard core green smoothie:
- 2 thumb size piece of ginger
- 2 thumb size piece of turmeric
- 3 tsp spirulina
Place all ingredients into a high powered blender and blend until smooth. I normally blend my smoothie for 4 mins.
Don’t be afraid to try different fruit like pears instead of oranges or grapes….use fruit that is in season.
Berries can be purchased cheaper frozen and I always like to keep them in my freezer.
Buy ginger and turmeric in bulk and chop into pieces in a container in the freezer. They will soften easily in the microwave in under a minute or thaw them the night before.
Remember this is a base recipe and you can change or add more or less fruit depending on your preferences.