4 Detox Smoothie Recipes
By: Brandi Black, RHN
Many of us try to stick to our health goals during the holidays, but I'm sure you'd agree that December just wouldn't feel the same without the traditional chocolate treats, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and other comfort foods.
As a nutritionist, I believe that regardless of what you decide to eat, guilt is one ingredient that should never accompany a meal. In fact, I also believe that when you feel guilty after eating a certain food, your body responds to that emotion and metabolizes it in a different way. So, enjoy every bite, and don't let a few treats stop you from continuing with your health and/or natural weight loss goals.
Now that the holidays have come and gone, you may be feeling a little tired, sluggish and bloated. This is likely because many of the foods that accompany popular holiday dishes are rich in animal protein, which is slower to digest. Meat, dairy products (oh, and that eggnog!) and refined sugar can all contribute to the feeling of heaviness in your digestive system (and add on a few extra holiday pounds as a belated Christmas gift). As you may already know, the substances found in dairy products, alcohol, refined sugar and animal protein can make your body feel sluggish.
To get back on track with your health and wellness (and get rid of the post-holiday food baby), it's always a good idea to drink a green smoothie every morning on an empty stomach to help give your digestive system a boost to do its job more efficiently. Drinking smoothies on an empty stomach allows for optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients, and provides long-lasting energy to sustain you throughout the day.
Here are four post-Christmas purifying smoothie recipes that incorporate specific ingredients to support your liver. The combination of nutrients in each smoothie will help improve your digestive function to take away the bloat so your energy levels can soar.
Detox Smoothie Recipe No. 1: Minty Fresh
1 cup spinach
handful fresh mint leaves
1 frozen banana
½ avocado, pitted
1 cup almond, coconut or cashew milk
3 tbsp hemp hearts
the juice of ½ lime
Place the spinach and mint in a blender with nut milk and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend again. Add small splashes of water to reach desired consistency if necessary.
Spinach is high in fiber and the antioxidant vitamins A and C, three nutrients your body requires to help promote safe elimination of toxins from your body.
Avocado is a fruit full of healthy monounsaturated fats that promote cardiovascular health and healthy digestive function. Avocados also contain more potassium than a banana, which is an electrolyte that gets depleted by eating high amounts of sugar or drinking alcohol. Mint is an herb that is used commonly in alternative medicine to alleviate digestive upset and promote overall digestive health (and fresh breath!).
The hemp hearts and avocado in this smoothie act as a source of healthy fats and protein to slow the release of the natural sugars from the fruit into your bloodstream. This mechanism will prevent the dreadful blood sugar crash and spike, and instead provide you with steady energy throughout your entire morning.
Detox Smoothie Recipe No. 2: The Baby Kale, Pineapple and Coconut Cleanser
1 cup baby kale
the juice of ½ a lemon
½ cup fresh or frozen pineapple
1 green apple, chopped
½ cup filtered water to reach desired consistency
½ cup coconut milk
Blend kale, coconut
Just like spinach, kale is a powerful dark leafy green that helps assist the liver with its purification process. Kale also provides the body with the fiber it needs for "housecleaning”, as fiber acts as an intestinal "broom” to help gently clear out waste from your digestive tract.
The citric acid in lemon juice helps your body digest food more efficiently by promoting the production of stomach acid. The pineapple in this smoothie contains the antioxidant vitamin C and also provides your body with the plant enzyme, bromelain which further aids in digestion.
The coconut milk in this smoothie is high in healthy fats to slow the release of natural sugar into your bloodstream. Coconut milk also contains fiber, as well as the antioxidant vitamins E and C that act as immune system boosters.
Chlorella, a superfood, freshwater algae, is the shining star of this smoothie. Known for having one of the highest amounts of chlorophyll, chlorella is one of the best superfoods for health (especially after holiday indulgence) because it contains a unique nutrient called Chlorella Growth Factor, or CGF.
Chlorella Growth Factor is the reason why chlorella can multiply by four times every 20-24 hours. The fact that an algae can reproduce at such a rapid rate only implies how beneficial it can be to the cells in the human body. CGF helps with cellular repair and regeneration. The benefits of chlorella go even further, as chlorella growth factor also helps your body utilize proteins efficiently, which can promote a restful sleep.
Chlorella Growth Factor is such a beneficial nutrient to receive from your diet because it promotes healthy cells. Without good cellular health, you may feel sluggish and tired. Chlorella adds nicely into any recipe and adding this simple green superfood to your smoothies and juices will bring peace to your mind and body.
Detox Smoothie Recipe No. 3: Luxurious Liver Elixir
1 cup spinach
1 cup dandelion greens or watercress
2 stalks celery
1 inch ginger root
1 green apple
1 cup frozen mango
1 cup filtered water
the juice of ½ lemon
Blend water and greens until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and enjoy.
Your liver and gallbladder favor bitter foods, so dandelion greens or watercress act as the perfect ingredient for post-holiday detoxification.
Celery, spinach, apple and mango contain plenty of fiber, antioxidant vitamins, minerals and plant-based proteins that support the safe elimination of waste through digestive health. The ginger in this smoothie recipe also acts as a natural digestive aid, which is especially helpful if you're experiencing post-holiday occasional bloating and flatulence.
Detox Smoothie Recipe No. 4: South Beach Sunset
2 medium sized carrots
1 frozen banana
the juice of one small lime
1 cup filtered water
3 tbsp hemp hearts
Place all ingredients in
The carrots, bananas and lime not only make a refreshing combination, but also provide several key nutrients to the body for gentle cleansing and energy. Carrots contain plant-based flavonoids and the antioxidant vitamin A, which both help promote efficient liver function.
The hemp hearts in this recipe slow the release of the natural sugars from the fruit into your system while providing omega-3 essential fatty acids that are also required for liver detoxification .
While life is about balance and it's good to have treats in moderation, it's always important to keep the health of your cells and digestive system in mind. Since your overall health and wellness stems from the health of your gut, you can't have a healthy body or feel your best without taking good care of your digestion. It's remarkable how much better you can feel in terms of energy, motivation and digestive function when you provide your body with the nutrition it requires for your overall health and wellness.
You can use these cleansing smoothie recipes all year long to support your health and promote body purification after a day or weekend of indulgence. The nutrients in these smoothie recipes will help give your system the support it requires to help eliminate the build up from your body, and support vibrant health. You may also find it helpful to regularly take natural health supplements such as chlorella to support your immune system and promote long-term health and wellness.
About Brandi Black, RHN
Brandi Wagner is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist from Vancouver, B.C. Experiencing her own health challenges at a young age led her to become passionate about educating on the healing properties of food, and how to achieve hormone balance, clear skin and sustainable weight loss naturally. In her spare