Loving the BITE: Lemon Ginger Smoothie
Is it just me, or does a lemon, ginger, mint smoothie sound like the most deliciously refreshing dang summer smoothie you’ve ever heard of? In the whole world? Well, we’re about to find out, and here’s why you may just want to give it a whirl yourself.
Recipe of the Week: Green Lemon Ginger Mint Smoothie
- 1 1/2 cup fruit – fresh or frozen – any mixture of strawberries, mangos, peaches or pineapple (I went with 50/50 strawberries & mangos)
- juice of 1/2 lemon (usually 2 Tbsp) + 1 Tbsp grated rind
- 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed or chia seed
- 1 cup spinach or other greens
- 6 oz. plain yogurt or 1 scoop favorite protein powder
- 1/2-1″ slice ginger or 1 tsp ginger
- 2-4 Tbsp chopped fresh mint, optional (required if it’s growing like a weed around your home)
- 1-2 tsp organic and/or local honey
- 1/2-1 cup water, as needed for desired consistency
- ice, if desired for consistency
Place all ingredients in the blender and process until smooth. Enjoy as a meal, a recovery, or as 2 snacks. Oh, and here is a good article on what blenders are best for making smoothies.
First things first:
1) In the pictures, this smoothie is obviously not green. It’s more beige. I call it “green” because it includes a whole cup of greens. The other colors (especially that delicious organic ginger powder) overpowers the color. Either way, it’s not easy being green, but it’s all good stuff.
2) This is not jamba juice. If you want your smoothie to taste like jamba juice, you’ll have to go there and enjoy a smoothie much higher in sugar (or sugar subs) and processed ingredients. If not, I think you’ll feel refreshed and satisfied having started your day with some ginger, greens, and lemon. I know I do!
Next, here are 3 of the nutrition all-stars making their way down the hatch:
Lemons are great for high levels of Vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant), anti-nausea properties, anti-bacterial compounds, mucus-busting action, and anti-cancer properties. For more on lemons, just follow the link.
Ginger: To a cyclist, joints are supremely important. They are required to make the pedals go round. And when they hurt, they put the ride to a halt fast. Revolution after revolution, you need healthy, happy joints. And, believe it or not, some foods are pro-healthy-joint. Ginger is loaded with anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, and phytochemicals (trust me, all good things!), and specifically it has benefits for joint pain and joint health. Additionally, studies in the last few years show that it’s effective in reducing muscle soreness in athletes. In fact, in one study, participants took either 2 grams ginger or placebo each day for several days before strenuous exercise, and the ginger participants had a 25% reduction in soreness indicators vs. those on placebo.
Reduced muscle soreness is great, but what else do you get from ginger? You’ll get strong anti-inflammatory nutrients with (anti) inflammation score of +129, slightly better than garlic. Since inflammation plays a role with almost every chronic disease, oxidative stress, obesity, and fatigue, it is very beneficial to include as many anti-inflammatory foods in our diets as possible. Ginger also promotes gut health, may be anti-cancerous, is immune boosting, and anti-inflammatory.
Spinach: One cup of Spinach contains about half of your Vitamin A for the day, and two days’ worth of Vitamin K! This means improved eye sight, and protection from osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, inflammation and arthritis. In fact, the vitamin A is from carotenoids – beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. This trio of carotenoids are night-vision super-nutrients. What’s more, lutein and zeaxanthin are the primary antioxidants in several regions of the eye – they are believed to prevent eye-related problems like macular degeneration. Spinach contains similar quantities of beta-carotene as carrots, but is vastly superior in lutein and zeaxanthin than carrots. I don’t have anything against carrots – stick one of these in your smoothie as well! – but just giving a benchmark since most of us think of carrots as the eyesight vegetable.
Additionally, spinach contains another category of health-supportive nutrients called “glycoglycerolipids.” These fat-related molecules help protect the lining of the digestive tract from damage-especially damage related to unwanted inflammation. Although this is only emerging science at this point, many believe that gut inflammation has implications in the rise of food allergies and food intolerance we are experiencing today.
In one smoothie, you’ve got nutrition for your joints, eyes, and literally every cell in your body. C’mon, fight those free radicals, clear your sinuses, improve your eye health and soothe those joints. And oh yeah, enjoy your smoothie.
Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.
If you’d like to work with Kelli one-on-one with a Custom Nutrition Plan & Coaching, or download one of her acclaimed Instant Download Plans like Fuel Right Race Light, click here: Apex Nutrition Plans for Endurance Athletes. Be sure to use coupon code lovingthebike for a 15% discount!