Smoothies! Everyone loves them, right? But it’s not just great taste and sweet fruit – a smoothie, particularly this vegan superfood green smoothie, can be a nutritional, cancer-fighting, health-boosting, powerhouse! How awesome is that? Read on!
At Full of Beans household we have smoothies pretty much every morning. They are a perfect way to start your day with plenty of calories (and carbs!) to carry you through your morning and get a nutrition packed meal that is super quick to make. If you have a busy life and need to get out of the door and off to work early, like we do, then this is a WIN! Healthy, happy, energized, and at work on time – that’s what I am talking about!
Getting Started with Smoothies
But not all smoothies are created equal. There are a few key ingredients that you should consider working into your smoothies because of their unique and exceptional qualities. After all, if a few great tasting additions can transform a smoothie into a cancer preventing, cholesterol lowering, digestion improving meal, what’s not to love about it? Plus all you need is a decent blender! If you really get into smoothies (and other blender requiring recipes) we swear by Vitamix – they are fantastic.
The Green Smoothie Base: Spinach and Banana
One of our go-to smoothies is a classic green smoothie: bananas and spinach. The good news here is that we are already off to a great start. Why? Because spinach is one of the truly big players in the nutrition game. (Remember Popeye and how he would get all pumped up as soon as he had his spinach? Turns out that’s only a slight exaggeration). Here is a small list of the wonderful qualities of spinach:
- fiber for cholesterol control
- high in iron (important for red blood cell production)
- anti-oxidant vitamins like A and C to promote healing
- high in vitamin K, essential for bone-building and osteoporosis prevention
- also high in many minerals including zinc (essential to growth and sperm regeneration – are you listening, guys?)
- and more (Nutrition and You link)
Our Superfood Smoothie Packs a Nutritional Punch!
Clearly spinach is a heavyweight in the nutritional foods scene. But this super smoothie has a few additional ingredients that really make it something special. They are avocado, flax seed, and mango!
- Very high in vitamins A, B6, C, E
- high in alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, copper and potassium
- keeps your skin and mucous membranes healthy
- protect you from lung and oral cancers
- help you fight infection
- maintain vision health
- help prevent stroke – and more
- rich in fiber
- good source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids which help lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol)
- tannin in avocado acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, and anti-oxidant
- excellent source of iron, copper, magnesium, and manganese. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and has a cardiac-protective role. Iron and copper are required in the production of red blood cells
- rich source of potassium (same for bananas). Potassium helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure, countering bad effects of sodium
Flax seed benefits
- lowers blood pressure
- reduces melanoma risk
- high in docosahexaenoic and eicosapentanoic acids (natural anti-depressants)
- reduces liver disease risk factors
- significantly reduces cancer cell creation rates
Incredible, right!? A quick to make, simple drink with all these benefits? Let’s have some! It is pretty quick to make and the balance of sweet ripe bananas, tangy mangoes, creamy plant milk, and the creamy avocado makes this a particularly delicious smoothie.
Let’s Make That Green Smoothie!
- 3 bananas ([url href="http://www.fullofbeans.us/4-signs-your-bananas-are-ripe/" target="blank"]make sure they are ripe!)[/url]
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 2 cups frozen mango
- 1/4 avocado
- 1 tbs coconut sugar (we like
organic Khadrawy dates when we can get them)
- 1 tbs ground flax seed
- 1 cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk (almond, soy, cashew - you can also use water)
- Grind your flax seeds in a coffee grinder for 10-15 seconds
- add plant milk (or water) to blender (a Vitamix works great)
- add flax and coconut sugar (or dates)
- blend for about 30 seconds on high
- turn off blender and add spinach, bananas, avocado, and mango (in that order)
- blend on high for 30 - 45 seconds
- The avocado thickens the smoothie, particularly if it is frozen.
- We love the organic dates that we can get and use coconut sugar when they are sold out. Dates add another level to the nutritional makeup of the smoothie for sure!
- This makes a LOT! So, for some of you it may be a smoothie for two. 🙂
More Health Benefit Info
Sources and more reading regarding nutritional benefits of the main ingredients in this vegan superfood green smoothie.