Anti-Cancer Green Smoothie
I love sneaking greens into my smoothies. It’s such a quick and simple way to pack more veggies into my day. Research shows that diets rich in fruits and vegetables are very effective in reducing the risk of developing cancer. This is likely because fruits and vegetables are rich in beneficial nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. These nutrients are known to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and slow the growth of cancer. Fill your plate with mostly plants to reap these health supporting benefits.
In an effort to add more greens into my meals I’ve been experimenting with flavorful smoothie combos. Adding veggies into your diet in an easy way, like blending them into smoothies, is such a great way to boost your intake effortlessly. My Anti-Cancer Green Smoothie recipe is the perfect balance of fruits and vegetables with a little twist: jalapeño! Adding a slice of jalapeño to this smoothie gives it a nice kick to really spice it up in an unexpected, but delicious way. Below, I’m breaking down this recipe for you so you’ll know exactly how to make it on your own.
Spinach Fun Facts
I love adding all types of veggies to my smoothies, but I have to say that spinach is my absolute favorite. Spinach is a perfect green to use in smoothies because it’s not as bitter as other greens like kale or arugula and it is soft so it blends better than other lettuces. Spinach provides so many great nutrients to smoothies without overpowering the taste. Plus, it provides smoothies with such a great, vibrant green color that you won’t get with other types of green vegetables.
Spinach is certainly a nutrition powerhouse and an excellent source of vitamins A, E, K, and B vitamins including folate. Spinach is also an amazing source of minerals such as iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and calcium. In fact, spinach is one of the best forms of bioavailable plant-based calcium! Spinach is also a great plant-based source of iron, allowing you to get an excellent amount of this essential nutrient without needing to eat meat.
Spinach has been found to help improve eye health, decrease blood pressure, and help prevent certain cancers. It is packed with numerous plant compounds, such as lutein, nitrates, and kaempferol, which help to improve health and even prevent risks for certain chronic diseases. Spinach is rich in antioxidants, which help to reduce the number of free radicals in the body, a major role in the prevention of cancer. Spinach is packed with so many nutrients that it is super beneficial to incorporate into any dish, especially this Anti-Cancer Green Smoothie.
One of the ingredients that makes my Anti-Cancer Green Smoothie unique and different from typical green smoothies is the addition of jalapeños. They are not normally an ingredient in many smoothie recipes but I like to add them because they contain capsaicin, an alkaloid that gives peppers their spicy taste, which has been seen to help boost metabolism and prevent the risk of cancers and infections. They are a great source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, C, K, and B vitamins, such as folate, and potassium. Plus, they are also a great source of carotene, which is an antioxidant that helps reduce the amount of free radicals in the body, helping to reduce inflammation and prevent risk for other diseases.
Jalapeños also provide a little kick, but don’t let them scare you away from trying this smoothie. Feel free to individualize and add as much or as little jalapeño as you would like - none could be the answer for you, too.
Making the Anti-Cancer Green Smoothie
The milk is the first ingredient to focus on when making this smoothie. I love using non-dairy milk in my smoothies, such as almond or soy, to get some additional plant-based protein into my diet. But any type of milk will work with this smoothie, dairy or non-dairy, so feel free to use whatever kind of milk you prefer. I just recommended using unsweetened milk, rather than sweetened, to avoid any added sugars as we want to keep our added sugars limited while undergoing cancer treatment. This smoothie already contains natural sweetness from the fruits, so using sweetened milk is unnecessary and may lead to overpowering the smoothie.
If you’re new to green smoothies, give this one a try because it’s sweetened with fruit for added antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. My go-to frozen fruit for smoothies is a frozen banana. Frozen bananas offer the perfect balance to a fistful of spinach. I love adding frozen bananas to my smoothies because they provide such an amazing, creamy texture and consistency to the smoothie! Plus, frozen fruit also provides a touch of natural sweetness to the smoothie to help balance out the flavors from the other ingredients.
Aside from adding spinach to this Healthy Green Smoothie with Fresh Herbs, I incorporated some herbs and other veggies for some additional health benefits. I threw in some fresh mint as well as some green tea matcha powder and even a slice of jalapeño for a kick. Mint is such a good addition to this smoothie, helping aid in digestive health along with being rich in nutrients. Matcha adds additional antioxidant properties and also provides a little caffeine boost to the smoothie. Having a veggie-packed smoothie in the morning or post-workout is a great way to start my day to replenish after a hard workout. Plus, sneaking all these veggies into a delicious smoothie provides a simple, easy way to get all your veggie intakes for the day!
If you need some other easy, delicious smoothie recipes, try one of my favorites below:
¼ cup raw baby spinach
1 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk, use dairy milk if desired
1 small frozen banana
1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
2 leaves fresh mint
1 slice fresh jalapeno, more or less to taste
½ cup ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a large blender and puree until smooth.
Add more liquid if needed for consistency.