Minimizing Heart Disease Risk with Green Smoothies

By Jennifer Thompson

To reduce your risk of heart disease, eat a healthy diet that’s low in salt, low in animal-based fats, and high in fresh fruits and vegetables. Choose foods that help strengthen your heart and increase circulation, including dark leafy bitter greens (think green smoothie), cayenne pepper, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, raw apple cider vinegar, oranges, avocados, almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and berries.

The following green smoothie recipes can help you fight heart disease.

Almond Blueberri-licious

Preparation time: 3–4 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

1/4 cup raw almonds

2 cups water

2 ripe bananas, peeled

1 cup blueberries

1/2 cup raspberries

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

4 mint leaves

3 large Swiss chard leaves

  1. Combine the almonds and water in the blender and secure the lid.

  2. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 30 to 45 seconds or until the mixture is smooth.

  3. Add the bananas, blueberries, raspberries, and flaxseed and blend again at medium speed for 45 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high.

  4. Remove and discard the stems of the Swiss chard. Add the Swiss chard and mint and blend again at medium speed for 30 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. Blend on high speed for another 15 to 30 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  5. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 303 (From Fat 117); Fat 13g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 51mg; Carbohydrate 47g (Dietary Fiber 11g); Protein 8g.

You can use a drop of pure peppermint oil instead of fresh mint leaves.

Use blackberries or strawberries instead of blueberries or raspberries.

Delightful Orange Cinnamon

Preparation time: 3–4 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

1 orange, peeled and seeded

1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted

1 Medjool date, pitted

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1-1/2 cups water

4 large romaine lettuce leaves

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the lettuce in the blender and secure the lid.

  2. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 30 to 45 seconds or until the mixture contains are no visible pieces of fruit.

  3. Add the lettuce and blend again at medium speed for 30 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. Blend on high speed for another 15 to 30 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  4. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 155 (From Fat 72); Fat 8g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 10mg; Carbohydrate 23g (Dietary Fiber 7g); Protein 3g.

If you don’t have Medjool dates, use 1 tablespoon of raw honey instead.

Add a dash of cayenne pepper instead of cinnamon. For an even sweeter flavor, replace the orange with 2 tangerines.

Sweet Walnut Ginger Apple

Preparation time: 3–4 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

2 red apples

1 ripe banana, peeled

6 whole raw, unsalted walnuts or 10 walnut pieces

2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon manuka honey

1/2 -inch piece fresh ginger (peeled)

2 cups water

2 cups fresh dandelion greens, loosely packed

  1. Cut the apples and remove the cores, keeping the skin intact. Cut the flesh into quarters.

  2. Combine all the ingredients except the dandelion greens in the blender and secure the lid.

  3. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 30 to 45 seconds or until the mixture contains no visible pieces of fruit.

  4. Cut away the stems of the dandelion greens. Add the dandelion greens and blend again at medium speed for 30 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. Blend on high speed for another 30 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  5. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 310 (From Fat 81); Fat 9g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 57mg; Carbohydrate 59g (Dietary Fiber 9g); Protein 5g.

Use baby spinach or baby kale leaves if you don’t have dandelion greens. If you don’t have fresh ginger, use 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger instead.

Use 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric instead of or along with the ginger. For a spicy kick, add a dash of cayenne pepper. Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon for a sweeter, dessert-like flavor.

Pineapple Turmeric Surprise

Preparation time: 3–4 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

1-1/2 cups pineapple chunks

1 ripe banana, peeled

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 -inch piece fresh ginger (peeled)

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1-1/2 cups water

5 baby kale leaves

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the kale in the blender and secure the lid.

  2. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 30 to 45 seconds or until the mixture contains no visible pieces of fruit.

  3. Remove and discard the stems of the kale. Add the kale and blend again at medium speed for 30 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. Blend on high speed for another 15 to 30 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  4. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 289 (From Fat 90); Fat 10g (Saturated 6g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 39mg; Carbohydrate 49g (Dietary Fiber 6g); Protein 4g.

If you don’t have fresh ginger, use 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger instead.

Instead of pineapple, add 1/2 cup of fresh mango or 2 kiwis, peeled and quartered. Or, for a sweet and spicy twist, try adding a small dash of cayenne pepper and a pinch of Himalayan salt.