Leafy Green Smoothie for Reduced Anxiety

Omega-3sThose that know me know I have bouts of general anxiety disorder (sometimes not so general) So i my reading on finding ways to reduce or eliminate my anxiety I have found that Omega 3s are quite helpful. In studies those that have increased their Omega 3s had shown a reduction in anxiety and depression. Most people get their Omega 3s from fish and fish oil tablets. A better way is in a smoothie!

No not blending your fish, but rather with dark leafy greens!  Leafy greens are a great source of Omega 3s, not as much as that fish but still a good source. Spinach and Kale along with Broccoli tops the list of good sources. Flaxseed is also rich in Omega 3s so that is why I try adding it to every smoothie I can!

Here is a great green smoothie to help with your anxiety and depression.

  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 4 stalks fresh kale
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 large orange
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  • 2  bananas
  • 2 tablespoon ground flax seed

Blend in the veggies with the milk first, then add each of the fruits and finally the flaxseed. Blend until creamy and smooth! Serves about 3.

Kale Green Smoothie

Kale GreensKale is very high in beta carotene, potassium, vitamin C and fairly high in calcium. So it makes a great addition to a breakfast smoothie to start your day with a healthy meal. As with most green smoothies, be sure the fruit out wieghs the veggies and it will taste great!

  • 1-1/2 cup of rice milk (of course you can use almond or soy)
  • 3 Pitted dates
  • 1 Cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 Lg banana
  • 1 Cup chopped Kale
  • 1 Cup baby spinach
Blend it all together in your favorite blender and should make 2-3 servings. Lots of protein, low fat and no cholesterol!

Carrot Berry Smoothie

Carrot Smoothie

Last post we were inspired by Popeye, this time we will be inspired by bugs bunny and add some carrots to our delicious breakfast smoothies! Carrots are great for improving vision, nourishing your skin and anti aging antioxidants!

2 medium carrot
1 cup frozen Cranberries
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 whole apple (cored and sliced)
1 cup baby spinach
1 Tablespoon ground flax seed (optional)
1-1 1/2 cups water

If you have a weaker blender you may want to slice up the carrots and grind them up first. You can even substitute fresh carrot juice if you wish (just decrease the water by same amount) Even with a Vitamix its a good idea to grind them up a bit first before adding the rest. This does have a slight carrot taste but you really don’t notice it with the berries. If you do just add some more berries or peaches. Oh and have to remind you again to check for stickers on your apples (I forgot again).

Let me know your thoughts, and if you liked it please share!

Spinach in Smoothies? Yes!

spinach in smoothiesWe all grew up watching the Popeye cartoons where he would eat a can of spinach then whoop ass on Bluto. Well you wont get exactly that effect but adding spinach to your smoothie is a very healthy additive! Most or you are most likely turning your nose up at the idea thinking ‘ugh drinking spinach? that would taste terrible’. well when mixed with the right ratio of fruit you wont even notice it. Best fruit to mix it with is pineapple, you will taste nothing else!

Spinach his is a very nutrient-dense food. Low in calories yet a very high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially raw in a smoothie. It is a rich source of vitamins A, C, E, K, B2, B6,  manganese, folate, betaine, iron, calcium, folic acid, copper, protein, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. And I know I left some out!

Spinach is also loaded with flavonoids which act as antioxidants, protecting the body from free radicals. Studies have discovered many flavonoid compounds act as anti-cancer substances. Spinach is also a heart healthy veggie as its loaded with  folate (good for a healthy cardiovascular system), as well as magnesium (helps to lower high blood pressure) and potassium (which promotes heart health).

Whats also great about this little green leaf? Its everywhere! You can get it at any supermarket, farmers market or health food store practically anywhere in the world. This also makes it an inexpensive food item since it dosen’t need to be brought in from any great distance. In fact it is very easy to grow in your own backyard! I know when we start up our garden again we will have lots of spinach plants. Till then I always keep a bag of baby spinach on hand in the fridge.

Spinach in a smoothie is also the best way to get the most out of all these nutrients. When you cook the spinach most of the vitamins and minerals are depleted and lost. This doesn’t mean that cooked spinach is bad for you, as cooking does increase other health benefits from our leafy friend. But to get all the vitamin goodies throw a handful of raw spinach into that blender and knock out one of your daily servings of veggies. When adding spinach it is typically best if its one of the first ingredients put into you blender container (remember the softest and liquids go first) your fruit chunks will then weigh the spinach down to the blades making it easier to blend.

So whats your take? Going to start adding spinach?

 

Avocado Green Smoothie

green_smoothieYes avocado! Avocados are rich in vitamin B and E, great for cancer protection and cardiovascular health. So why not add it to your morning smoothie for a great nutritional boast. I recommend 1/4 of a avocado or so for your smoothie, maybe half if you are making a large amount. As mentioned in another post the key to green smoothies is the having a higher ratio of fruit. In this one I added pineapple as it tends to dominate any other flavors.

1/2 cup of non fat greek yogurt
1 banana
1 cup packed baby spinach
1/4 – 1/2 pealed and pitted avocado
1 cup frozen peaches
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1/4-1/2 cup of water (add as needed if to thick)

Makes about 4 8oz servings, or 2 large glasses :)

Mango Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

Green Breakfast Smoothies

Most people when the think green smoothie they think ‘eeewwwww!’ Well the secret to green smoothies is to be sure to use 60-70% fruit and you won’t even taste the green stuff and you will still have all the rich nutrients of it. My favorite green to add is spinach as in its raw state it dosent have much flavor and is easy to hide with the fruit. Green smoothies make a great breakfast smoothie and a perfect and healthy way to start your day.

1 cup rice milk (or your alternative of choice)
1 banana
1/2 mango (frozen if you can)
2 handfuls of baby Spinach (ya not to precise measurements huh)
1/2 ice

Throw everything in and blend away until smooth. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Sweet Green Smoothie

Sweet Green Smoothie

Sweet Green Smoothie with Cucumbers

Ohh this one is good! Just had it with my lunch after finding it in the Vitamix cook book. May not sound appealing at first with all the spinach but you dont even taste it, just the strawberries and a little bit of the cucumber. Of course I added the flax seed to it and a couple ice cubes as well.

1/2 Cup of water
1/2 Cup of cucumber, pealed and chopped (dont know if you really have to peal it)
1 Cup of spinach
1 Cup frozen strawberries
1 Tablespoon flax seed

Blend to smooth and creamy. you can add a couple ice cubes as I did to it a bit

I may have added to many cucumber slices :) but it was very good! Oh and the smoothie will not be green in the end due to the strawberries!