Home Recipes All about green smoothies with recipes

All about green smoothies with recipes

by shedboy71

Energy and Defence Smoothies

Okay, so you know why smoothies are so good for you, you know how to make them and you know how to avoid the common pitfalls…

So I guess it’s time that we started looking at some actual recipes to help fortify your health and transform your energy and looks.

We’re going to start out with an ‘energy and defence’ approach. The smoothies we’re looking at in this chapter are all about providing you with lots of energy and at the same time, strengthening your immune system to provide you with better protection against illness and disease.

This is your basic smoothie and it’s the kind of purpose that most people associate with smoothies to
begin with.

So what should you put into a smoothie designed for energy and defence? Here is one suggestion:

Morning Wakeup Smoothie

First up, the recipe. Then we’ll dive into why it works:

½ a cup of cold water
1 Beet
Lemon juice to taste
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 cups of mixed frozen berries

If you’re used to having coffee first thing in the morning, then you might find that you rely on using something as a pick-me-up. The problem though is that coffee a) doesn’t have all that much nutritional value and that it is addictive.

Caffeine works by blocking the receptors in the brain that respond to adenosine – which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that we produce as a by-product of the energy process.

The more time we spend working, the more adenosine builds up and the slower and less cognitively able we become. By blocking these receptors, caffeine can prevent adenosine from having any impact and this in turn means that the brain feels more awake.

The problem is that the brain responds to this. How? By creating more adenosine receptors! The result is that you now need even more caffeine to feel its effects. Worse, is that when you aren’t consuming any caffeine you will feel slow, lethargic and prone to headaches!

When you are asleep, you of course aren’t getting any caffeine and some people now believe that the morning grogginess we all experience (sleep inertia) is actually often caused by caffeine withdrawal!

Then there’s the fact that caffeine stimulates the release of stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine. It would be a fairly accurate description to say that caffeine is like ‘stress in a cup’. As you can probably work out by now then, coffee isn’t a healthy choice for a morning boost!

This smoothie on the other hand is and it has a ton of different ingredients that do a world of good to wake you up in the morning, provide you with energy throughout the day and to protect you from harm.

Let’s examine each ingredient:


A mixture of berries is a fantastic way to improve your immune system and to protect yourself against a number of health problems – cancer in particular. That’s because berries are absolutely packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that combat the action of ‘free radicals’ in the body. Freeradicals meanwhile are compounds that damage cells when they come into contact with them. These can cause visible signs of ageing as the damage becomes visible in our skin and in our hair. But more concerning is what happens when those free radicals break through our cell walls and all the way to our nuclei – the centers of the cells that contain our DNA. When this happens, they can damage those strands of DNA enough to cause small mutations. And if those mutations are copied, this is how we get cancerous growths.

In short, a diet high in antioxidants is one of the very best things you can look for to improve your health. Adding berries to a smoothie is one of THE best ways to accomplish this by far.

Beet Juice
What you’re really going to feel when you drink this smoothie though, is the power of the beet juice. Did you know that beet juice is actually such a potent performance enhancer that it is used by a number of different athletes?

That’s because beet juice acts as a ‘vasodilator’. A vasodilator is something that widens the blood vessels (veins and arteries) and thereby helps more blood and oxygen to travel around the body. This means more blood and oxygen to your brain, which in turn translates to better concentration, mental energy and cognitive performance. It also means you’re likely to enjoy better energy in general and you may experience considerable performance improvements if you head out for a long run!

Honey is a great choice for energy because it provides its sugar in a number of different ways. Specifically, honey contains both fructose and sucrose which are absorbed into the bloodstream at different rates. This means that honey can give you a little sugar hit right at the start of the day but will also serve as a slower supply to keep you going until lunch. This can help prevent snacking. Of course honey also lends our smoothie a bit of sweetness!

Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another very powerful inclusion in this smoothie – everything is there for a reason!

Coconut oil is a good choice because it contains a very specific type of fat: medium chain triglycerides. This fat is absorbed differently from other types of fat in the body and will head straight for your liver, where it will stimulate the production of ketones. Ketones are interesting to us because they serve as a ‘secondary’ form of energy for the body.

When the body doesn’t have glucose, it relies on ketones instead. Thus, your body can survive on ketones and actually the brain prefers ketones for certain tasks. Any mixture with coconut oil is going to give you a big boost and will help you to feel more alert and alive!

Finally, we have lemon juice which is a great source of numerous vitamins and minerals, as well as
several other things. In this particular smoothie, the role of the lemon juice is to provide vitamin C and
B6, as well as to give us that refreshing wakeup call that you can only get from citrus!

Stress Buster Smoothie

Not a fan of that last smoothie? The next one will help to support your immune system and fight stress but without quite so much fuel in terms of ketones or vasodilation.

Again, let’s do the ingredients first:

2 bananas
1 cup organ juice
1 peeled orange
¾ cup of almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 carrot peeled

This is another great one for combating morning fatigue and giving you some get-up and go. The bananas are a great source of energy and also of potassium, which will help to fuel you for a lot longer than just those morning hours!

The carrot is key because it contains good quantities of B6 (as does the banana) and this helps the body to process energy from food. This means that you’ll get more use out of the carbs that you consume and out of the very sugar in this smoothie! Better yet, recent research suggests that lutein (which is found in carrots) might be effective at improving the energy efficiency of our mitochondria.

Mitochondria are the small ‘energy factories’ in our cells that have the job of turning glucose and other forms of energy into ATP, then using that ATP to drive the movement of muscles and fuel our cells. In one study, it was found that when mice were given lutein, they would run further on their wheel and actually burn a lot more calories – with no prompt from the researchers! Lutein requires a source of fat because it is fat soluble. The good news is that the almond milk in this very smoothie will do that job just nicely.

Vanilla extract meanwhile is another potent antioxidant, as well as providing anti-inflammatory properties and combating cholesterol it’s a very good tool for making our smoothie a little sweeter on the way down.

Finally, we have the orange which is really the ‘stress busting’ part of the equation. There’s a lot of orange in here and that’s going to provide a lot of vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a vital role because it is what the brain uses to make serotonin. Serotonin meanwhile is the ‘happiness hormone’ and our very own ‘natural’ anti-anxiety medication.
By keeping your blood sugar steady and providing serotonin, this drink can set you up in a good mood
and provide the perfect start to the day!

Brain Fuel Smoothie

Got a challenging day up ahead? This ‘brain fuel’ smoothie should provide your grey matter with everything it needs to ace any challenge that comes your way!

Protein powder
½ banana
1-2 tsp coconut oil
1t cinnamon
1-2tsp yerba mate green tea

This combination is a powerful smoothie for anyone looking to boost their concentration and focus. The first thing of interest in here is the protein powder. Protein is brain food because it is where we get our amino acids – with amino acids being key players in the creation of numerous neurotransmitters. In short, our brain need protein to function properly and protein powder (whey protein) is a great place to get it.

Next up, we have banana and coconut oil, which we have already seen the benefits of. Coconut oil in particular is crucial for brain power and it’s actually the key ingredient in a lot of products designed to enhance brain performance – like ‘Bullet Proof Coffee’ and like ‘Brain Octane’ oil.

Cinnamon meanwhile is a very healthy way to add more flavor to our drink. It not only lowers blood sugar but also helps to reduce the likelihood of heart disease. In fact, the ability of cinnamon to reduce blood sugar is so potent, that it is often recommended for diabetic patients. This makes it perfect for us to once again avoid those spikes and drops in blood sugar that can ruin our performance otherwise.

Cinnamon also packs a lot of antioxidants to help support the brain for the long term.

The final ingredient here though is the yerba mate green tea. Green tea is a fantastic option for anyone looking to enhance their brain power and is a better choice than coffee. For starters, the caffeine content is considerably lower in green tea, which means you can get the slight boost without worrying as much about stress, jitters and addiction.

Moreover, green tea contains the ideal combination of caffeine and fellow xanthine ‘l-theanine’. Ltheanine has an effect on the brain that is somewhat the ‘opposite’ of caffeine in that it is gently inhibitory. Many people find that when they combine caffeine with l-theanine, the two complement each other perfectly. The caffeine helps to wake people up and make them more alert and focussed, while the theanine helps keep them calm and prevents stress levels reaching an all time high!

Green tea is also once again very high in antioxidants too. Any green tea will do the job nicely but we
chose yerba mate because it has perhaps the perfect balance of all the key ingredients. In fact, Darwin himself is reported to have described green tea as ‘the most perfect stimulant’. Can’t argue with that! This should also serve to be neuroprotective and reduce the likelihood of Alzheimer’s, dementia or
other forms of cognitive decline.

Breakfast Smoothie

Finally, let’s take a look at a breakfast smoothie that has one job – to fill you up and keep you going until lunch for those big days!

½ avocado

150g strawberry
4 tbsp low-fat natural yogurt
200ml semi-skimmed milk
Lemon or lime

This is a smoothie designed to see you through the day until lunch, which will help boost your performance and prevent cravings. The best part of this smoothie is the avocado, which delivers a delicious base but which also helps to release energy very slowly throughout the day thanks to its status as a healthy saturated fat.

It was once thought that saturated fats would cause weight gain and heart problems. More recently though, studies have shown us that this is not in fact the case. While saturated fats do contain more calories, they are also actually better for us thanks to their slow release of energy, which makes them very effective in providing us with a steady supply of energy and avoiding sugar spikes in the blood.

We’ve also seen that honey has a similar effect when it comes to releasing energy slowly. And that low fat yogurt can help to get your gut bacteria in check, which is very important for digestion.

Hopefully, this has given you a few ideas for great morning smoothies you can use to start your day right. And by sharing the reasoning behind each one and the reason they are so potent, you will hopefully now have a better idea of how to bring about similar effects while still experimenting with the ingredients as you see fit!

More importantly, I hope that this chapter has now opened your eyes to the real power of smoothies. We’re talking game-changing improvements in performance and health here. These smoothies don’t just give you a bit of energy and nutrition – when you stick with them they’ll help to protect your brain
as it ages, protect your cells from cancer and more. And we’re just getting started!

Sleep Aid, Digestive and Hangover Smoothies

You’ve seen a bunch of smoothies that you can rely on as your morning pick-me-up and any of these will help you to improve your general health while also starting to feel much more energetic not just in the mornings but throughout the entire day.

Remember: one smoothie will make you feel better for a few hours. But it’s by drinking smoothies regularly that you start to see the benefits build up over time and really change your life. You need to stick with it!

That said, you might find you want to experiment with some different ingredients to see if you can enjoy some of the many other possible benefits of smoothies. This chapter then is going to look at some more general positive health effects of drinking smoothies. In particular, we’ll discover how you can boost your sleep, aid your digestion and even combat a hangover!

The Bed Time Smoothie

This bed time smoothie will help you to not only sleep more deeply and get better restoration but will also help you to be more anabolic through the night so that you build more muscle!

2 cups whole milk
½ a banana
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey

There’s a whole lot of good stuff in this smoothie that will help you to sleep more deeply and wake up feeling more energized. For bodybuilders and athletes, this smoothie will also help to put you in a more anabolic state, meaning that you’ll produce more testosterone through the night and wake up with enhanced energy.

So how does it all work?

First up the whole milk. Whole milk is an ideal choice for drinking before bed and especially for men. That’s because whole milk can drastically increase testosterone production and the majority of our testosterone production occurs during sleep. Specifically, we produce the most testosterone at 4am!

Why is whole milk so important for testosterone?

Simple: testosterone is made from healthy saturated fats. And whole milk contains lots of saturated fat. Women meanwhile can just enjoy the soothing benefits of milk which should help put them in the mood for sleep!

The peanut butter is in here partly because it will provide a source of protein as well while you’re sleeping, so your body can put that testosterone to good use and build muscle!

Next up comes that tablespoon of honey, which is once again perfect for supply energy both slowly and quickly. This actually has a particular benefit while you sleep though because you need energy while you sleep in order to enjoy the greatest restoration. One reason a lot of us wake up feeling groggy and unwell (other than the aforementioned caffeine withdrawal), is that we have such low blood sugar.

If you recall how rough you feel when you haven’t eaten anything for a while, imagine how your body must feel after not eating for 8 hours! Honey can solve this problem by ensuring you have a steady supply throughout the night and several health writers like Seth Rogen highly recommend it right before bed.

Cherries are the cherry on top. That’s because – other than being great sources of vitamin C and excellent antioxidants – they also happen to provide us with a natural source of melatonin. And if melatonin is familiar, it’s probably because you know it as the ‘sleep hormone’.

This is what the brain produces to get us ready for bed and it can thus make us fall asleep faster and also enjoy a deeper rest when we eventually get there!

Why is kiwi in here? Well actually, it is carefully chosen for its synergistic effects with the peanut butter and banana. Across these three ingredients we have ample sources of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 – the very same ingredients that make up the popular supplement ZMA.

ZMA is a supplement that is used by athletes to encourage deeper sleep and also to produce more testosterone. The magnesium and zinc will also likely have powerful beneficial effects on ‘brain plasticity’– in other words, they will help your brain to rewire itself and form new connections, cementing everything that you learned during the day!

Hangover Smoothie

The above smoothie will also work very nicely as a hangover cure, or you can simplify it and just use the most important ingredients:

Peanut butter

In fact, I would recommend that you do this and also replace the milk with water. Milk is not terribly friendly after a hangover as it can curdle somewhat in the stomach and make you gag. Add a little salt and lemon too, to create this:

Peanut butter
Pinch of salt
Pinch of lemon

The other three ingredients though are perfect for making you feel much better after a big night out.

Firstly, the bananas will provide you with a natural alkaline. This will help to counteract the unwanted effects of the acidity in the stomach and provide a natural antacid. Good start. At the same time though, it will also help you to replenish your potassium. Increasing potassium is very important as you will have lost your electrolytes from drinking.

This is partly what is causing your headaches and it’s also why you experience cramping in the night. This is also why we’ve included a little salt so that you get the sodium and potassium balance back up to scratch – it’s a little like drinking an isotonic sports drink!

Next up is the honey, which is incredible for hangovers. Yes, it will improve your blood sugar and give you back some much-needed energy. But at the same time, it will also provide you with a way to counteract acetaldehyde.

Acetaldehyde is the main toxic substance that the body creates when it breaks down alcohol – this is precisely what is causing the majority of your symptoms and it needs to go. Guess what gets rid of acetaldehyde? Fructose!

The water meanwhile will rehydrate you, while the protein in the peanut butter will help you to replenish your neurotransmitters and also get rid of those munchies!

How to Create a Smoothie to Improve Digestion

Why drink a smoothie to improve digestion? Of course this can be helpful if you have any digestion troubles that lead to acid reflux etc. but it’s also just a good idea for your general health.

You know all those nutrients you’re getting through your smoothies? As it happens, they’re only going to be any use if you can actually digest them and put them into action. And unfortunately, a lot of us have poor digestion and struggle with this. That’s particularly true if you are someone who experiences a lot of stress in their life.

The reason that stress prevents digestion is because stress causes blood flow to be directed toward the functions that are considered critical for survival – for ‘fight or flight’. These include the likes of the muscles, the brain and the senses – but not digestion or immune system.

What’s more, is that we require a lot of particular elements in our diet in order to be able to digest food properly and many of us just aren’t getting these crucial things. For example, certain fruits will contain enzymes that naturally help you to break down foods. One of the best known examples of this is pineapple, which contains bromelain (which is also very good for your teeth!).

At the same time, fermented foods, raw vegetables and things like yogurt are helpful to us because they contain live cultures of ‘friendly bacteria’. They’re referred to as friendly bacteria because they have positive roles in the body, including the ability to create a lot of important micronutrients and to help us create digestive enzymes.

If you suspect you need a little help with your digestion, the try making a smoothie that contains any of the following ingredients, all of which have very positive effects on digestion:

Hami Melon
Chinese Yam
Probiotics like yogurt and fermented foods

This time, I will leave the precise mixture up to you! This is a great option though for creating a green smoothie that will also be low in sugar and provide you with lots of further nutrients.

Weight Loss, Muscle Building and Performance Smoothies

Smoothies can help with practically every aspect of your health and that includes boosting performance for gym rats and other people interested in building muscle or losing weight.

If you want a smoothie that will take you beyond just being ‘healthy’, these are some of the best options for reaching your weight loss goals or muscle building…

The Long Distance Smoothie

The long distance smoothie can help you to get more out of your runs and improve your performance in all kinds of aerobic exercise. The precise ingredients are:

1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 cup coconut water
2 tbs chia seeds
2 medium frozen bananas
Pinch of salt

This combination has a ton of different benefits that will help you to run further and faster and lose more weight as a result – some of which you’ll already be very familiar with. We’ve seen that beats help to improve vasodilation for example to help you get more blood and oxygen around the body for weight loss. We’ve also seen that coconut oil (and thus water) can provide you with a whole lot of energy in the form of ketones.

The decision to use a water rather than a milk is important to prevent bloating and to keep you feel light when you hit the tarmac. Just make sure that you give yourself plenty of time before you go for the run – ideally consume this around an hour before you head out.

Then there’s the blueberries which will fuel you with vitamin C and the bananas which provide plenty of good, usable energy. You might also have guessed that the salt and the bananas are in there to replenish electrolytes as you run and to avoid cramping. All that remains is the chia – what’s this all about?

Chia seeds are some amazing seeds that have the ability to hold several times their volume of water.

You can then consume them and they will then slowly release all of that fluid inside the stomach. What makes this so amazing is that it allows you to have a steady supply of hydration as you run.

If you have ever heard of the ‘Tarahumara Tribe’– a tribe of people who are known to run marathons on a highly regular basis – then it might interest you to know that chia seeds are thought to be one of the keys to their amazing abilities!

Muscle Building Smoothie

2 cups whole milk
1 helping of chocolate protein shake
½ a banana
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey

This is that same smoothie we had for sleep but with the addition of the protein shake. Again, you will likely want to choose whey protein, which will release readily into the bloodstream and which comes from milk and so is very healthy and natural.

Drink this smoothie straight after a workout and you’ll replenish your muscles by providing the amino acids they need to repair microtears caused by training. What’s more, is that the sugar in the smoothie will head straight to the muscles to restore glycogen – rather than being stored as fat.

Better yet, consume this smoothie just before bed and you’ll have another anabolic window where you’ll see enhanced muscle growth. In this case though, you may want to use a casein protein instead of whey. Casein releases protein much more slowly and this in turn means that it will provide a steady supply as you are sleeping.

Fat Burning Smoothie

How can a smoothie filled with sugar possibly help you to lose weight? Read the ingredients and then we’ll get down to the mechanics of how this one works…

The key ingredients are:

2 kiwi
1 green apple
A handful of spinach
1 leaf kale
1 banana
½ cup of fresh apple juice
Macha tea
Pinch of ground cayenne pepper
Lemon juice

Firstly, this is a vegetable smoothie that will provide you with much less sugar for each glass and thereby be less likely to lead to fat storage. This is one for those who are worried about their teeth too!

Meanwhile, the apple that is present will provide you with vitamin C. Vitamin C is important because – as we’ve seen – it can increase serotonin. What we didn’t mention about serotonin though, is that it helps to suppress the appetite!

Meanwhile, the macha tea, ground cayenne pepper and lemon juice are all thermogenic to some extent. That means they actually raise your metabolism to help you burn more calories throughout the day.

If you can use this smoothie instead of having your regular breakfast, you should find it does a ton of good to help you burn through calories. This is especially true if you have it within 30 minutes of waking up – the spinach will supply you with a good amount of protein and studies show that consuming protein as soon as you wake up can lead to weight loss!

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