Inspired by her time living in Hawaii, Christin McKamey, better known as the Veggie Chick, cracked the code on creating a brain-boosting smoothie that’s both satisfying and delicious. Her turmeric green tea smoothie is vegan, gluten-free, and contains nutrient-dense ingredients like matcha green tea powder, turmeric, avocado, banana, and spinach. It’s basically a nutritional powerhouse of a breakfast or snack, helping to fuel your body with foods that fight inflammation and enhance cognitive health.
To better understand the benefits of these ingredients, we tapped into Rebecca Ditkoff, RD, MPH, CDN, and founder of health-coaching company Nutrition by RD. “The main active component in turmeric is curcumin, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It works by neutralizing free radicals and suppressing inflammatory agents in the body," says Ditkoff. But since it’s difficult for the body to absorb turmeric on its own, she recommends mixing the spice with black pepper. “In order to enhance its benefits, it is recommended to mix the turmeric with black pepper because it contains piperine, which naturally enhances the absorption of curcumin. Luckily, there’s no need to add any black pepper to this smoothie. McKamey mentions that “the avocado acts as a healthy fat that helps the turmeric get absorbed."
Learn everything you need to know about the benefits of turmeric from an RD by tuning into this episode of You vs. Food:
The next star ingredient in this smoothie is green tea, specifically matcha. This vibrant green powder, often whisked into tea, can help with inflammation and promote brain health as well. “Matcha is found in green tea leaves and contains a polyphenol called EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate," says Ditkoff. "EGCG is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can also help with cognitive function and mind clarity." Consuming foods that fight inflammation are important for our overall health and wellbeing. “Chronic low-level inflammation has been linked with several health conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer,” she says. “Therefore, reducing inflammation may potentially prevent some of these chronic conditioners.”
The other ingredients in the smoothie are loaded with vitamins and nutrients. Almond milk adds protein and vitamin E. Bananas and avocado give it a creamy consistency, while adding vitamin K, potassium, fiber, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. They’re also good for your stomach because they help aid digestion. A heaping serving of spinach is packed with antioxidants, as well as nutrients that help to protect vision and brain health.
Turmeric green tea smoothie recipe
1/2 tsp matcha green tea powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 medium banana
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp agave or maple syrup (add more or less depending on how sweet you like it)
7-10 ice cubes (depending on thickness preferred)
1. Add all ingredients to blender. Blend until smooth.
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