Spring sunshine always gets me energized to spring clean the house and get organized. The change in seasons also makes me start thinking about cleaning up my diet. Our bodies have their own built-in detoxifying organs—the liver, especially. But as often happens, our not-so-great eating habits get the best of us.
There are all sorts of things to eat and drink that can leave us feeling a bit sluggish and in need of a recharge, especially over the holiday season. I decided to start drinking a green smoothie for breakfast every morning because it's a great way to give my body a vitamin wake-up call for the day. Here's a detox version of my daily smoothie to give your system a healthy boost.
Green Detox Smoothie
This detox smoothie is FULL of healthy, naturally detoxifying elements. Let's take a look at each ingredient.
Cilantro contains phytonutrients, flavonoids, and active phenolic compounds. It helps your body get rid of heavy metals by binding to them and moving them out. Eating a diet rich in cilantro can also have great anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits [source].
It is a potent antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from the aging effects of UV light exposure [source] If you're one of the thousands of people who can't stand cilantro, try adding it in small amounts to pesto or smoothies to reap the benefits without being overwhelmed by the flavor.
Green tea is high in flavonoids (antioxidants) and is the best source of catechins. Catechins are a group of antioxidants that fight disease by stopping cell damage in its tracks. These guys are even more powerful than vitamins C and E.
Through these powerful compounds and others, green tea appears to lower the risk of certain kinds of cancer [source], treat chronic inflammatory diseases [source], and help prevent bone loss [source] and heart disease [source].
Cucumbers don't get as much attention as they should—they are great sources of vitamin C, K, beta-carotene, and molybdenum. They are full of phytonutrients that provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer benefits.
Pineapple is one of the best sources of vitamin C around. Just one 8-ounce serving provides 131% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C. It is also an excellent source of bromelain, an enzyme that aids in digestion [source]. Pineapple is also an excellent source of manganese, as well as several of the B vitamins.
Ginger has long been known to help with digestive troubles, but more recently, studies have shown that it also has many anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties [source]. Ginger contains gingerol, which can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis [source]. It also helps with circulation and gives your metabolism a big boost.
Avocados are a superfood, serving as an excellent source of numerous vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, and high amounts of anti-inflammatories and antioxidants [source]. The high healthy fat content in avocados helps the body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K. Adding in some avocado each day will also help add fiber to your diet, which in turn helps with digestion [source].
Lemon juice is a natural diuretic with cleansing and detox properties [source]. It's high in vitamin C, citric acid, magnesium, and calcium, all of which give the immune system a boost. Starting the day with lemon juice will help improve digestion. It works with the liver to cleanse the body, balance pH levels, and clear the skin.
Raw honey contains phytonutrients with antibacterial and antiviral properties that can boost the body's immune system and help to fight illness [source]. It also contains trace minerals, enzymes, and antioxidants. Pasteurizing can destroy the benefits of honey, so it's best to consume it in its raw state [source].
Raw honey is a source of the enzyme amylase, which helps the body to digest carbohydrates. Another benefit of honey, particularly local honey, is that it can help your immune system to combat spring allergies [source]. (Don't give any type of honey to babies under 12 months of age, though, due to the risk of infant botulism [source].)
Spring Detox Smoothie
- 1 cup green tea chilled
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro
- 1 cup loosely packed organic baby kale or another baby green
- 1 cup cucumber
- 1 cup pineapple
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- ½ avocado
- Place ingredients into a blender along with some ice.
- Puree until smooth and pour into a glass.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Gina Jansheski, a licensed, board-certified physician who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Learn more about Hello Glow's medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.590