This delicious Stress Relieving Green Smoothie is made with superfoods that may naturally reduce stress and anxiety.
I’m a bit behind in kicking off this new year. To be honest, life has been pretty stressful. No one is immune to moments like this. This. Is. Life. We juggle a multitude of responsibilities and stress ourselves out over giving each one our very best. Throw current world events on top of it all and it becomes no wonder we are all seeking ways to manage stress.
I’ve done some research on this and have found that certain foods can actually help reduce stress. By no means does this imply that drinking this smoothie alone will banish any stress or anxiety in your life, but, combined with a plan that works for you, this is a healthy and tasty added bonus. Let’s look at the ingredients and see what makes this work and why…
Spinach – Leafy greens are a great source of folate, a B Vitamin that can help your body produce serotonin and dopamine. Spinach is also rich in magnesium. Many of the ingredients in this smoothie are also high in magnesium for good reason. When our bodies are under stress, we become at risk of being deficient in magnesium. Magnesium can reduce stress hormones, reduce inflammation, and relax our nerves. “…Magnesium plays an important role in biochemical reactions all over your body.”
Yogurt – Adding yogurt to this smoothie is beneficial for several reasons. Yogurt is a type of fermented food. Fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria that impact your mood. Yogurt is also a great source of magnesium. Use a high quality full-fat plain Greek yogurt.
Avocado – Creamy avocado is loaded with nutrients like B Vitamins, such as folate, Vitamin E, potassium and magnesium. Avocados also keep us feeling full. That paired with glucose regulating magnesium, can keep glucose levels steady, preventing mood swings.
Banana – High in potassium and a great source of magnesium, the banana in this smoothie is a perfect way to add a bit of sweetness.
Almond Milk – Almonds are a good source of Vitamin E and magnesium. Use unsweetened almond milk to control sugar.
Cinnamon, Turmeric and Nutmeg – Each of these spices have health benefits. Cinnamon can regulate glucose levels. Turmeric, considered a super superfood, is loaded with antioxidants and can increase blood flow. Nutmeg has been used over the ages to ease anxiety.
Let’s face it…no matter what voodoo magic this smoothie may have, if it doesn’t taste good, who cares, right? When developing this recipe, my first focus was finding the right ingredients, but I will say, I was so pleasantly surprised by how delicious this was. The avocado gives the smoothie a silky texture and it tastes perfectly sweet from the banana with hints of spice. I love it so much…I usually drink both servings!
I’ve compiled a list below of things I personally utilize to naturally manage stress. Although there is no magic wand on that list that will forever remove stress, anxiety or depression, there are some useful and comforting techniques that have helped me. I hope they help you, too.
So, while it’s still sort of the New Year…let me wish you all peace, happiness, good health…and a big fat hug from me.
- 2 cups fresh spinach, packed
- ½ cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
- ½ medium avocado, peeled and pitted
- 1 frozen medium banana
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Place all ingredients into your blender. Blend on high speed for about 45 seconds or until smooth and creamy.
- Pour into two serving glasses.
To create a vegan version, omit the yogurt and increase the almond milk to 1¼ cup.
My favorite ways to reduce stress:
- Yoga – I’ve been doing Yoga with Adriene for several years. Adriene is so chill. She makes yoga fun, doable for any level and has videos targeting specific needs. Just type “stress” into the search bar on her YouTube channel…I guarantee you’ll find a few moments of bliss.
- Aromatherapy – Head to your local health food store or take a peek at this lavender oil. The scent of lavender can be so relaxing (so can chamomile). I put some in a spray bottle with distilled water and witch hazel to create a natural room spray. I spray everything with it…even myself! I also just got an awesome oil diffuser from my sweet daughter for Christmas. I LOVE it! I run it ALL day long!
- Meditation – Taking even just a minute out of your day to find a quiet spot, close your eyes, take some slow, deep long breathes can do wonders. It can be as simple as that or you can find some great resources for easy guided meditation for all levels. I’ve found some great apps that make it easy to meditate anywhere. Look for: Headspace or Stop, Breathe & Think. I love them both.
- Gratitude – Acknowledging what we are grateful for can be as simple as writing a single word on a piece of paper at the end of each day. I personally don’t always write it down…but I try to think of one thing that I’m thankful for each day. I usually do it when I’m meditating, at the end of a yoga session or simply when I feel the need to find some goodness.
- Exercise – As much as I’d rather just do yoga all day long…cardio does wonders for my mood. Admittedly, the first fifteen to twenty minutes in, I’m calculating how much longer I’m going to last, but after that twenty minute mark…I start feeling so much better!
What are some of your favorite ways to reduce stress?
Information is based on my own experiences, beliefs and extensive research. The information contained in this post is not intended to be construed in any manner as medical advice. All diet decisions should be made with approval of your health care provider.