7 Easy Smoothies That Will Boost Your Mood


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I have mentioned in some of my posts that drinking a green smoothie is among one of my more effective sanity tools. For fear of sounding like an infomercial, I must say that I realize there is no simple cure for depression. However, I do think chugging down two or three of these leafy-green concoctions a day has significantly impacted my health and began the healing process for some of my conditions.

The Benefits of Green Smoothies

Why green smoothies?

“Greens are the primary found group that matches human nutritional needs most completely,” explains Victoria Boutenko in her book Green for Life. They are nutrition powerhouses, packed with vitamins A, C, E, K, and folate; minerals like iron and calcium; carotenoids; antioxidants; omega-3s; and phytochemicals. Greens provide insoluble fiber, which is like a miraculous sponge, helping us to eliminate pounds of toxins regularly. They balance our pH levels, leaving our body more alkaline, and are a major source of chlorophyll, which, according to Boutenko, “heals and cleanses all our organs, and even destroys many of our internal enemies, like pathogenic bacteria, fungi, cancer cells, and many others.” In the book, you’ll read smoothie testimonials from people who have been able to get off breathing machines, sell their wheelchairs, recover from a stroke, and heal from cancer.

We could eat kale, Swiss chard, and spinach, of course, but many of us—and especially those who have been on different medications for decades like me—don’t have the stomach acid required to break down and process all the nutrients from the greens. Even for folks that do, it’s difficult to invest all the time we need to actually chew our food as we really need to in order to get the nutritional value from the greens. When they are chopped and blended into bitty pieces they absorb more easily into our digestive systems.

How many of these things do you need to guzzle in order to feel any benefits? Boutenko recommends that we consume one to two quarts (liters) of green smoothies a day in addition to existing diets. That’s four to eight cups.

My Favorite Recipes

Folks have been asking me for recipes, so I’m starting you off with a few simple ones.

I would recommend you start with more fruit and less greens (at least half and half) and graduate to a smoothie with more greens than sweet stuff. I started out hard core, of course, and was pretty disgusted off the bat. Then I introduced more fruit and eased into this gig. Now I can tolerate more greens. If you Google “green smoothie recipes,” you’ll get over 8 million results! So don’t stick to these if you find you feel better drinking this stuff. There is a whole new world ahead of you. I would start by visiting these two sites dedicated just to smoothies: simplegreensmothies.com and incrediblesmoothies.com.

Unfortunately the smoothies are going to taste a lot better if you prepare them with a power blender, like a Vitamix or a BlendTec, but I realize that is an investment. My husband bought a refurbished Vitamix off Amazon for $500 two years ago. At the time, I was not happy at all about that. But given that I use the thing a few times a day, it has proven to be one of the best investments we’ve made.

Boutenko says it’s important to rotate your greens, to not drink the same smoothie every day. That way you avoid a buildup of alkaloids from the same plant and you get a variety of different nutrients.

1. Eric’s Kale and Pineapple Smoothie

This is my staple, the one I keep going back to, because it’s the easiest and the one with which I began this venture.

  • 4 cups of kale
  • 1 cup of frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup of water
  • Beginners: throw in another cup of either frozen pineapple or frozen strawberries.

2. Spinach Banana Smoothie

This is my second staple because, again, it’s simple. When I’m at the store, I buy a bunch of bananas, peel them, cut them up, and freeze them. I find that the frozen fruit tastes better in the smoothies.

  • 4 cups of baby spinach
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup of water
  • Beginners: add a cup of frozen strawberries or pineapple.

3. Swiss Chard Strawberry Smoothie

When I can make it to Whole Foods, I buy Swiss chard because it always tastes good in a smoothie and it’s incredibly nutritious. I like to blend it with berries, but warning: the color isn’t appealing. Just imagine it is chocolate.

  • 4 cups of chopped Swiss chard
  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup of frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup of water

4. Spinach Cocoa Smoothie

You don’t think of spinach and chocolate as a happy marriage, but let me tell you, this one tastes ALMOST as good as a Dairy Queen shake. Spinach, of course, is a wonder food, but did you know just one tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder contains 3 to 9 percent of the recommended daily intake of essential minerals like iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc? It’s a win-win.

  • 4 cups of baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 frozen bananas

5. Tropic Skin Cleanser Green Smoothie (SimpleGreenSmoothies.com)

To be honest, I’m not really after the skin side effects from drinking green smoothies, but people have told me my complexion looks better. I liked this smoothie from SimpleGreenSmoothies.com because it was, well, simple, and because avocadoes are a mood-boosting food

  • 1 ½ cups of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of unsweetened coconut oil
  • 1 cup of frozen pineapple
  • ¼ avocado

6. Apple-Lemon Smoothie (IncredibleSmoothies.com)

This is one of my favorite green smoothies from the site IncredibleSmoothies.com.

  • 2 apples
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green)
  • 1 whole carrot
  • 1/2 cup of water

7. Igor’s Favorite (Green for Life)

Boutenko includes of 30 green smoothie recipes of her own in her book. This is her husband’s favorite.

  • ½ bunch spinach
  • 4 apples, peeled
  • ½ lime with peel
  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups of water

Join Nutrition & Mood on ProjectBeyondBlue.com, the new depression community.

Originally published on Sanity Break.

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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5 Responses
  1. Ali

    For the Tropic Skin Cleanser Green Smoothie I believe it should be coconut water not oil?
    By the way I love your book and blog which I have recently discovered. I can see so much of me in your story, mostly just the not so good stuff unfortunately. Your blog is now one of my tools to keep me on the right path. Thank you

  2. Ali

    Okay, from reading your book I think you’ll understand this. I hope you didn’t take it the wrong way when I said ” the not so good stuff”. I think you’re great!

  3. 4Moi

    I enjoy blending and am enjoying the healthy benefits. One question though, does blending destroy the fiber benefit?