Lifestyle, Recipes

Springtime Smoothies to Rejuvenate and Cleanse

The season has finally shifted to a warmer embrace. What better time to cleanse and rejuvenate your body with lighter foods, juices and smoothies?

What’s considered healthy and unhealthy seems to change on a regular basis, which is why it’s helpful to recognize further studies that confirm previous findings. Most recently, a study by Georgia State University microbiologist Benoit Chassaing has further confirmed the destructive properties of an inflammatory diet.

Researchers found that common additives in processed foods including ice cream, margarine, packaged bread and many more may promote the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease as well as a group of obesity-related conditions.

“It’s not only intestinal problems; low-grade inflammation caused by food additives has been shown to contribute to weight gain and blood sugar control problems, as well as a host of other chronic disease,” says nutritionist and juicing pioneer Cherie Calbom, MS, author of The Juice Lady’s Anti-Inflammation Diet, which offers healthy meal options, smoothies and robust juice recipes to help readers live an anti-inflammation lifestyle.

“No matter the kind of diet you may lean toward – vegetarian, vegan, low-carb, no-carb, Mediterranean, Neanderthal or any other kind of diet – any and all anti-inflammation efforts are well worth it!”

Healthy juices and shakes are a convenient way to reduce inflammation, revitalize your cells and lose some of those winter pounds.

“Yes, you can lose weight on the anti-inflammation diet and rejuvenate your body,” says Calbom, who offers just a few of her recipes and discusses their health benefits.

Anti-Inflammatory Cocktail

1 green apple
½ large fennel with fronds
1-inch-piece ginger root
1 large broccoli stem
3 leaves kale
½ cucumber, peeled if not organic

Cut produce to fit your juicer. Start by juicing the apple and finish with the cucumber. Drink as soon as possible.

Benefits

Fennel: anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, analgesic, and antioxidant
Apple: inhibits the development of allergies; rich in histamine-lowering quercetin
Cucumber: analgesic (pain killer); antioxidant that prevents the synthesis of the inflammatory compound prostaglandin
Broccoli: anti-carcinogenic, prevents gastric mucosal damage (suggesting potential histamine-lowering action)
Ginger: as effective as an H2 receptor antagonist prescription drug

Morning Energy

1 – 2 carrots, scrubbed well, tops removed, ends trimmed
½ small beet, with leaves
1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
1 handful spinach or several chard leaves
½ lemon, peeled
1-inch-piece ginger root, scrubbed, peeled if old

Cut produce to fit your juicer’s feed tube. Juice all ingredients and stir. Pour into a glass and drink as soon as possible.

Benefits

Beets contain unique phytonutrients called betalains, which have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification effects.

Antioxidant Power Smoothie

1 cup unsweetened plant milk such as hemp, coconut, or almond milk
½ cup blueberries
1 pear
½ cup baby spinach
1 tsp. Indian gooseberry extract (optional)*
1 Tbsp. flaxseed
Ice cubes (optional, depending on how cold you like your smoothie)

Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth.

Benefits

Berries help prevent damaging effects of free radicals and inflammation by turning off the inflammation signals triggered by cytokines and COX-2s, making them an ideal part of your diet.

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Jenna Bensoussan is an entertainment, lifestyle and wellness writer and editor. She served as executive editor for Smart Talk Magazine, associate editor for Counselor Magazine, and continues to serve as contributing editor for ACED Magazine. She has also contributed to newspapers such as the Boynton Times. Bensoussan holds a B.A. in communication and public relations from Florida Atlantic University.