I live for the holidays. I love the decorations. The time with family and friends. The time spent shopping for the perfect gifts. Christmas music on repeat in the house and the car. And of course, THE FOOD. The festive holiday cocktails. The recipes you only make once a year. So many appetizers you aren’t even hungry for dinner. And the buffet of desserts.
I have so many amazing memories centered around the holidays. And the holidays themselves seem to center around the food. But after another amazing holiday season now come and gone, I can feel the effects of all the indulgent holiday meals. And let me clarify one thing, I don’t regret a single bite! But when the holidays are over, I can feel my body telling me it needs a reset. And this detox smoothie is the perfect recipe to do just that.
This recipe is the definition of refreshing. It’s light. It’s crisp. It’s everything the holidays were not, and everything that your body is craving. And it’s super easy and inexpensive to make! Plus, it’s loaded with gut healing and detoxifying ingredients to help get your system back on track. So, what makes this smoothie such a nutritious powerhouse? Let’s start with….
This smoothie calls for 1 tsp of grated ginger. In addition to adding a punch of flavor, ginger is one of the most gut friendly foods available. Ginger has long been used in Chinese medicine for immediate relief of nausea or an upset stomach. More importantly, it soothes inflammation in the intestinal lining and helps fortify the GI tract. Plus, the anti-inflammatory effects don’t stop at the digestive tract. Ginger has also been shown to be effective at soothing inflammation in joints and combatting symptoms of arthritis.
Given how many inflammatory foods are consumed around the holidays (alcohol, excess sugar, processed foods, etc.), the anti-inflammatory effects of ginger are especially beneficial to get your system back on track. To keep this smoothie quick and easy, I love to use the Trader Joe’s frozen ginger cubes, however freshly peeled and chopped works too!
You’ve probably heard that it’s healthy to start your day with a glass of warm lemon water. But what is it that makes it so healthy? Although lemons are quite acidic, a small amount of fresh lemon juice diluted with water (or in this case, coconut water!) can have alkalizing effects when digested. This can help neutralize stomach acid and aid in digestion. Further, lemon juice fights inflammation and keeps things moving through the digestive system.
Spinach is loaded with free-radical fighting antioxidants and fiber. Antioxidants help fight against disease and inflammation while fiber is critical to properly eliminate waste and toxins from the body. Recent studies suggest that spinach may also be a powerful prebiotic, fueling the good bacteria found in the gut and limiting the presence of bad bacteria. This combination of cultivating a healthy microbiome while removing waste and toxins makes spinach a powerful detoxifying agent.
I love using cucumber in this recipe first and foremost for the burst of refreshing flavor. But did you know that nearly 100% of the calories in cucumbers are derived from fiber? As noted above, fiber is essential to detox the body from waste and toxins. Further, cucumbers have a high-water content. This is an excellent complement to fiber as proper hydration is key to keep waste moving through the digestive system. This is actually the first smoothie recipe I’ve ever made with cucumber, but I swear I will never go back now that I know just how refreshing it can be.
To pump up the healing power of this smoothie, I use coconut water rather than regular water or a plant- based milk. The coconut water contributes to the light and refreshing taste of the smoothie while also adding the amazing health benefits that come with consuming coconuts. Coconut water is packed with electrolytes, such as potassium, sodium and magnesium which support proper hydration and other essential bodily functions. A hydrated system is critical to support the detoxification process and replenish the system post-detox.
And finally, the recipe! I promise you are going to have this on repeat in the new year. The refreshing flavor combined with the healing and detoxifying effects will have you feeling pre-holidays healthy in no time.
In a blender combine:
- 1 cup frozen mango
- ½ of a cucumber
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 handful of fresh or frozen spinach
- 1 cup coconut water (look for one with no added sugar)
Blend and enjoy!
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