I made this smoothie for the first time on Christmas Day morning, keen to get as much of the green stuff in me as possible before all the feasting began. To make it even more tempting I added some goji berries and coconut to make it look a little festive.
This smoothie isn’t just for Christmas though; I’ll be adding it to my post-workout drinks, as well as being super nourishing, both goji berries and cucumber can provide vital natural nutrients and minerals to our bodies which help them recover quicker.
- One apple
- Handful of spinach
- Two sticks of celery
- A third of a large cucumber
- Fresh mint
- Handful of goji berries
- Water or a nut milk of your choice
Forget blueberries, goji berries have ten times the amount of antioxidant power – add this super berry to your list this winter, naturally supporting your immune system and heart health.
They’re also known to give our muscles a helping hand in two ways – providing the nutrient betaine to help our muscles grow and beta-sitosterol which helps to alleviate muscle soreness.
If you want to feel full after eating, celery makes a great addition because it is high in water leaving you feel comfortably full after your meal. It’s low in calories and high in fibre. Its water content has diuretic properties which can help to balance hormones in the body including the stress hormone cortisol – much needed if you’ve been rushing around all of the festive season. Surprisingly it’s also full of calcium and potassium which support the health of our bones, nervous system and blood pressure. In Eastern medicine celery stalks & roots have long been used to manage high blood pressure, through their coumarin content. I’d never heard of coumarin so I did some research. It’s a natural phytochemical found in some plants and is a natural blood thinner; it can support the body to reduce the risk of blood clots and strokes.
The apple adds a little sweetness to this smoothie but unlike some other fruits it is low on the Glycemic Index (GI) and in calories so it won’t send your blood sugar levels rocketing. I just decore my apple and pop it straight in to my NutriBullet with the skin still in tact because this part of the apple is full of nourishing plant chemicals.
Peeling an apple can remove more than 50% of its fibre, vitamin C and iron content!
Apples also contain excellent levels of pectin which is a soluble fibre which helps regulate and support a healthy digestive system. Amazingly it can also give our bowels a helping hand depending on the problem, soothing both constipation and diarrhoea. Pectin can also help our bodies to manage any unhealthy cholesterol and help to actually reduce it.
Mint is brilliant at rescuing an upset or unbalanced stomach. At this time of year it’s easy to consume lots of rich and acidic food and drink. Mint is one way of soothing your tummy.
Similar to apples, mint can adapt its super powers depending on our internal needs. To assist our body in re-balancing it can soothe by acting as a sedative or act as an energiser.
I add spinach to a lot of my smoothies – even the chocolate ones, it doesn’t have a strong flavour so it’s an easy one to add with a ton of health benefits. It’s super high in antioxidants and also has anti-inflammation super powers. Because it’s raw I add half a lemon which helps our bodies digest and absorb more of the vital minerals like calcium and iron. It’s also rich in carotenes and vitamin K which is good news for our eyes and bone health.
Not many people know that cucumbers are a good source of electrolytes which you should try to replace after a workout. As well as being a good source of B vitamins, it’s also hydrating as it’s full of water – save yourself a fortune on energy drinks and add cucumber to your smoothie or juice instead. Read more about cucumber in my Scrumptious Green Juice post.
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year,