A smoothie is a quick, easy and delicious way to start your day with anti-inflammatory nutrients and do so with little effort or time, perfect for the busy morning rush (and if you are being sure to add nutrients and eat healthier as part of your New Year’s resolutions, this will keep you in compliance)! There are many recipes and variations of smoothies. This recipe uses matcha, a finely ground powder made from tea leaves, which is steam briefly then dried and most often used to make tea and as flavoring.
When matcha and green tea is part of a smoothie recipe, the epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have indicated that matcha/green tea and EGCG suppress the gene and/or protein expression of inflammatory cytokines and inflammation-related enzymes. Also in this recipe are ingredients that contribute to the smoothie’s nutritional value:
- Almond milk is an excellent source of vitamin E and is a powerful antioxidant that can combat inflammation and stress in the body. A half of a cup naturally contains 22% of the recommended daily vitamin E requirement.
- Mango provides dietary fiber and contains several bioactive compounds and antioxidant nutrients, such as polyphenols, carotenoids, and ascorbic acid, that have exhibited anti-inflammatory properties.
- Spinach reduces inflammation and helps the body to recover more rapidly from excess inflammation. In addition to Vitamin E, these leafy greens provide anti-inflammatory compounds, B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Yogurt protein and probiotics, such Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory roles. Interventional studies support that daily yogurt consumption prevents gut microbiota alteration, a common consequence of chronic opioid use.
- Cinnamon is loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as polyphenols, which protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. In addition, it has potent antioxidants have potent anti-inflammatory properties
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
2 cups frozen mango chunks
1 ½ medium ripe bananas, frozen in chunks
2 cups fresh baby spinach
½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Add almond milk and matcha powder to the blender and pulse 3 times until combined.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Using frozen fruit (mango and bananas) keeps the smoothie nice and cold and eliminates the need to add ice.