After last week’s fried ravioli for the Final Four games, the holiday weekend, and the NCAA championships last night, it’s time to get back on track. My overindulgence is over! Smoothies are a great way to sneak extra fruit and vegetables into our diets, and we often feel “healthier” after we drink one. However, most of the smoothies sold at places like Tropical Smoothie or Jamba Juice contain more calories and sugar than people realize. And they are usually gigantic! Yet we justify their size because it’s replacing a meal. Umm…
A little over a year ago, I started making smoothies at home so that I could control their content. I’ve become pretty proficient at maximizing the flavor and effectiveness of my smoothie recipes while leaving out the extra calories and carbohydrates.
Today I want to share my favorite anti-everything smoothie. It’s an anti-inflammatory smoothie, an anti-oxidant smoothie, and (most importantly) an anti-aging smoothie. Every ingredient in this drink promotes health and proper digestion. I’m tempted to call this a “cleanse” smoothie but the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant components truly make this so much more. Below I’ve gone through the ingredients so you can see how each element affects your body.
Make this in the morning and start your day off right. You’ll feel energized, as well as cleansed and refreshed. This smoothie is also an amazing hangover cure, or so I’ve heard. Drink on, friends!
An excellent source of vitamin C, oranges are great for the skin and immune system. They are also a good source of fiber, as well as B vitamins, folate, vitamin A, calcium and potassium.
Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. It is commonly used to treat various stomach problems, while promoting digestion. It has been shown to reduce pain from arthritis and sore muscles, and can also help the respiratory system.
Radishes are a natural cleansing agent for the digestive system, helping to break down and eliminate stagnant food and toxins built up over time. Radishes induce apoptosis – meaning they kill cancer cells. For those of us with more vain concerns, many of the nutrients found in radishes – such as B vitamins, zinc, phosphorus and vitamin C – benefit the skin. The water content helps the skin stay hydrated and the disinfectant properties can clear up skin problems such as cracks, rashes and dryness.
The antioxidant zeaxanthin, found in mangoes, filters out harmful blue light rays and is thought to play a protective role in eye health. It also has plenty of vitamin K, which is key to bone health. Mangos are great for hair because they contain vitamin A and vitamin C, both of which are needed for building and maintaining collagen.
Mint has high antioxidant capacities. It smells great, tastes refreshing, and contains small amounts of potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C and vitamin A.
Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. It’s also a natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, and has been known to help treat seasonal allergies.
1/2 cup orange juice
2 medium radishes, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons honey
3 large mint leaves
1 mandarin orange or 1/2 orange, peeled
1/4 cup frozen mango
1/4 cup ice cubes
Place all ingredients into the blender in the order listed. Blend at a high speed until everything is completely pureed, about 45 seconds. Drink immediately.