Drinking a refreshing smoothie is a wonderful, natural pick-me-up – especially as the weather warms up! Made with fresh ingredients and packed full of goodness, a homemade smoothie can be a great start to the day, a replenishing snack after a work-out, or an energising mid-afternoon alternative to a hot beverage.
Sometimes though a smoothie can do more harm than good. Adding just one ingredient to which you are intolerant can cancel out all of that goodness. For example, if you are intolerant to milk proteins but adding dairy to your smoothies or shakes (in the form of milk, yoghurt or even protein powder), internal inflammation will increase and you may find it difficult to shift any unwanted kilos or get that energy burst you are after.
A lot of people don’t even realise they have a food intolerance, and instead tolerate constant health issues blaming them on ‘personal constitution’ or metabolism.
Once you’ve worked out your intolerant foods though, healthy smoothies will take on a new meaning and begin to produce the positive effects for which they are renowned.
Enjoy this yummy detoxing smoothie recipe (remember to swap ingredients if there are intolerances). First, the main ingredients:
Cranberries – the natural detox
If foods could be given superhero status, cranberries would be at the top of the list. Not only are they high in antioxidants, but they are also vitamin C rich and high in fibre. No wonder they work so well in flushing out toxins from the kidneys, intestines, and lymphatic glands.
The problem with cranberries is that they can have an acidic taste. While they are fantastic as a smoothie base, you’ll want to add in some sweetness…
Apples and bananas
Apples also contain an antioxidant (quercetin) which helps with oxygen flow around the lungs. They contain a multitude of vitamins too which help to boost the immune system. Best of all, apples add sweetness for a great tasting smoothie..
Bananas are high in potassium, which helps boost your energy. And, when blended with other ingredients, bananas add a great texture to a smoothie, as well as extra natural sweetness.
A little ginger and spinach
Ginger is thought to sooth the stomach and will also add just a little bit of zest to any smoothie recipe.
Spinach is full of nutrients, vitamins, and more antioxidants. You don’t have to add spinach to your smoothie, but it is a fantastic way of adding greens into your diet.
How to make the perfect detox smoothie
It doesn’t get any easier than making a smoothie. This smoothie has no added sugars or sweeteners, and doesn’t need yoghurt or milk to bulk it out. This is a perfectly natural detox smoothie and it will only take a couple of minutes to blend…
First take a half cup of cranberries and add to your blender.
Peel and dice one apple, and half a banana. Place these into the blender.
Add one tablespoon of diced ginger, and a handful of spinach.
Finally, add a half cup of water and one cup of ice.
Blend for a minute or two, pour, and drink!
Tip: you might even like to pre-freeze your bananas (peel them first, wrap in cling-wrap, and pop into the freezer). They will keep for much longer!