Tropical Anti-Inflammatory Green Smoothie
For quite a while now I’ve been very much one-track-minded when it comes to my smoothies – Chocolate Peanut Butter all-day, every-day. I did take a very small break earlier in the year for a Peanut Butter & Jam themed smoothie, but realistically, I was back to my old-faithful in less than a week. I’m clearly a creature of habit.
So now that the weather has started to warm up, and the Canadian summer is finally on the horizon, I thought it was about time to inject some tropical vibes into my morning routine. This smoothie recipe does not only immediately transport you to a beach, but it is jam-packed with super beneficial, anti-inflammatory ingredients. Trust me, it packs a serious punch.
What really is inflammation and what’s so bad about it anyway?
Let’s start at the beginning, because although this smoothie really does taste like heaven, it’s always important to understand how incorporating certain foods into your diet affects the body. We are all likely aware of acute inflammation; this is what happens when you hit your head and have that immediate hot, red, swollen effect on the area in question. Acute inflammation can also occur internally when the body is attempting to fight an infection, such as strep throat or pneumonia. Your body recognizes something is wrong and sends white blood cells to the area, or areas, in an attempt to protect the wound or fight the bacteria in your tissues or blood stream. This reaction is a good thing and it means that your body is doing its job.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is something very different and much more serious. Chronic inflammation occurs when those same white blood cells produced by the body to fight infection, never end up retreating. Instead, they are left attacking healthy tissues and organs. When this occurs, you will begin to notice problems, pain and issues in various different areas of the body: your digestive system, your gut, your joints, your energy levels, weakened immune system, the heart, the brain…the list goes on. In a nutshell, chronic inflammation is detrimental on the body.
The good news is, research shows that chronic inflammation is preventable.
“One of the most powerful tools to combat inflammation comes not from the pharmacy, but from the grocery store.”
"Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects," says Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Inflammation Fighting Machines
As I mentioned, this smoothie recipe is jam packed with ingredients that help the body fight inflammation. Pineapple, Ginger, Turmeric and Spinach all have some serious anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as a slew of other benefits such as boosting immunity, aiding with digestion, and providing an array of antioxidants and vitamins. The addition of the dates provides just enough sweetness and the coconut water provides some fantastic electrolytes as well. I've also added some coconut oil for some additional fats, and some hemp hearts for a boost of protein. (This recipe can be made with or without protein powder, but if you are going to add it, try using a vanilla vegan protein which would work well with these flavours and is easier to digest than its whey counterpart.)
Without further ado, here is the recipe. I can’t wait to hear what you think!