Craving some detox? Start 2016 off the healthy way with these delicious, antioxidant-rich smoothie recipes.
Come January, most of us feel a touch of post-holiday blues when we step on the scale, recalling all the candies, rich foods, and buzzy beverages consumed during the season’s glut. This time, rather than chiding yourself for eating too much or badly, resolve to start the new year with a singular focus on whole food nutrition and how important it is to your health. A smoothie is a simple, convenient way to amp up your nutritional intake and kick off a healthy new year. The antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables aid in counteracting oxidative stress (aka, free radicals, which can cause cell damage and disease) and help promote detoxification the natural way.
And remember: don’t overstress about eating the “right” foods or avoiding the “bad” ones. We all want a magic bullet, but, truth be told, a diet comprised predominately of a diverse mix of fruits and vegetables beats any detox or fad diet.
Sweet Support Smoothie
This smoothie, instead of a milk product, calls for brewed green tea. Green tea is purported to contain the most antioxidants of all foods, which helps to bring up good cholesterol levels and protect the liver. In addition, the high levels of catechins, an antioxidant in green tea, aid in weight loss, according to recent studies. That pair of benefits alone is the perfect countermeasure to overindulgence.
The best part is, not only does this smoothie do your body good, it’s also easy on your taste buds – the flavor is very similar to a berry mojito, without the calories or alcohol!
Pro Tip: Be sure to brew with purified drinking water to avoid water additives like chlorine, which can alter the flavor profile.
Ginger: A known digestive aid; also helps soothe the gut.
Cherries / Berries: Contain some of the highest levels of polyphenol, an antioxidant, which is involved in defending our body from UV radiation and pathogens.
Manuka Honey: Promotes healing and fights infection. While most honey has antibiotic properties, what makes Manuka special is that it also has a high concentration of antibacterial properties.
Cilantro: With high levels of Vitamin K, cilantro helps your body build healthy bones and tissue.
Mint: Includes a wide range of feel-good uses, from aiding with digestion issues (heartburn anyone?) to improved mental function to fighting the common cold.
16 oz green tea, brewed
2 slices fresh ginger (brew with tea only)
1 cup mix of cherries and berries
1 Tbsp Manuka honey
½ cup cilantro
1 sprig mint
3 ice cubes
Blend all ingredients in a blender. Want a little extra crunch? Crush ice cubes into smoothie and enjoy on the rocks.
Veggie Delight Smoothie
Did you know that there’s more calcium in our bodies than any other mineral? Improve calcium absorption the natural way with cruciferous veggies like collards or turnip greens, both excellent sources of vitamin K. These nutritional powerhouses are also high in fiber and water content, which can help promote digestion and keep your digestive tract healthy too.
Prunes: An excellent source of potassium, an important electrolyte that helps the liver rid the body of toxins and the pancreas regulate blood sugar (we’re looking at you, naughty holiday beverages and treats).
Cantaloupe: Loaded with potassium; helps to cut the bitterness of the greens.
Blackstrap molasses: Added sweetness.
D’anjou pear: Adds a creamy, sweet base, not to mention 24% of the recommended daily fiber intake.
Mushrooms: Although they might seem like a strange addition, ‘shrooms blend well, help your body absorb calcium, and contain vitamin D—essential during these winter months when we tend to spend more time hibernating indoors.
½ cup collard or turnip greens
1 cup cantaloupe
½ d’anjou pear
½ cup mushrooms (maitake is preferred, but morel, Chanterelle, or oyster would also work)
½ tbsp blackstrap molasses
½ cup prune juice
¾ cup purified water, chilled
¼ tsp nutmeg
4 tsp Stevia or to taste (optional)
Blend all ingredients together in a blender. Enjoy!
Want more quick and healthy recipes? Read on.