Spring sunshine always gets me energized to spring clean the house and get organized. The change in seasons also gets me thinking about cleaning up my diet. Our bodies have their own build-in detoxifying organs – the liver especially. But as often happens, our not-so-great eating habits get the best of us. There are all sort of things that can leave us feeling a bit sluggish and in need of a recharge. I drink a green smoothie for breakfast every morning, and it’s a great way to give my body a boost for the day. Here’s a detox version of my daily smoothie to give your system a boost.
Green Detox Smoothie
This detox smoothie is FULL of healthy, naturally detoxifying ingredients. 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. Eating a diet rich in cilantro can also have great anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits. 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 catchins. Catechins are a group of antioxidants that stop cell damage and fight disease and are even more powerful than vitamins C and E. Green tea appears to also help lower the risk of certain kinds of cancer and help prevent 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 anti-cancer benefits. (source)
Pineapple is one of the best sources of vitamin C around. Just one 8-ounce serving provides 131% daily value of vitamin C. It is also an excellent source of bromelain, an enzyme which aids in digestion, as well as several b vitamins. Pineapple is an excellent source of manganese.
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. Ginger contains gingerol which can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. It also helps with circulation and gives your metabolism a big boost. (source)
Avocados are an excellent source of numerous vitamins and minerals including high amounts of potassium, vitamin E and B vitamins, as well as other antioxidants. It can also help replenish liver cells, making it a great detox food. The high (healthy) fat content makes it a great companion to other foods containing vitamin A, as it helps the body absorb the other vitamin. Adding in some avocado each day will also help add fiber to your diet, which in turn helps with digestion.
Lemon juice is a natural diuretic with great cleansing and detox properties. It’s high in vitamin C, citric acid, magnesiun 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 and can help balance pH levels and clear the skin. (source)
Raw honey contains phytonutrients with antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help the boost the body’s immune system and fight illness. 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. (Don’t give to babies under one though. That’s true for raw or pasteurized honey.) Raw honey is a source of the enzyme amylase which helps with digesting carbohydrates properly. (source) Another benefit of honey, particularly local honey, is that it can help combat spring allergies.
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
- 1/2 avocado
- Place ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.