This recipe for a tropical smoothie – what I call the “anti-inflammatory booster” – tastes great and provides a huge boost of inflammatory busting antioxidants, vitamins, and other substances. It is a vegan, nutritarian (“Eat to Live”) friendly recipe that uses tasty ingredients to make a healthy snack or breakfast.
What Is Inflammation?
I suffer from bouts of what I’ve dubbed “flare-ups” when my arthritis kicks into high gear and makes my life miserable. My doctor can’t figure out what causes them but I have found that using homeopathic remedies as well as focusing on dietary adjustments helps me enormously.
Inflammation is the body’s healing response. It’s what triggers special cells to rush to the site of a cut or scrape or to tackle an infection. When it’s needed for wound healing, it’s life-saving.
But when we suffer from chronic inflammation…it can cause pain and lead to illness. In my case, chronically inflamed tendons, due to some structural oddities in my feet and legs, gives rise to osteoarthritis in my knees, bone spurs, and hip and knee pain.
When these flare-ups occur, my body acts as if it’s undergoing an enormous inflammatory response. The better I take care of myself over time, the fewer these flare-ups I get, and the easier I find it to move, walk, garden, and just enjoy my life.
Enter the tropical smoothie…
Tropical Smoothie Recipe or Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie
This fruit smoothie recipe is loosely based on one that came to me via the Nutritarian Women’s Health Study. I am a participant in the health study, which tracks women of all ages following a nutritarian diet. The nutritarian diet is predominantly whole food, plant-based. It does not have to be 100% vegan or vegetarian, but we limit meats of all kinds, eliminate dairy, and drastically reduce unprocessed food consumption so that it is less than 10% of total calories.
This diet is based on the work of a physician who I greatly admire, Joel Fuhrman, M.D. Dr. Fuhrman has spent a lifetime studying diet and health. He’s combed through thousands of research studies to determine what, in his opinion, is the optimal diet for health and longevity. For more information, read his book, Eat to Live. I have linked to it below via my Amazon Associate account. I’m an affiliate, so if you buy the book, I receive a small commission, which does not affect your price.
I used dollar store bags of frozen pineapple and “tropical blend” which is mango, papaya, pineapple, and banana. I diced up a fresh banana too. The flaxseeds I purchase are from Wal-Mart (no expensive fancy brands here!) which I grind up in a coffee bean grinder. It takes me less than five minutes to make this smoothie and it tastes fantastic.
Use a coffee bean grinder to grind fresh flaxseeds. Freshly ground flaxseeds contains more of the healthy oils you need to fight inflammation.
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb, as is ginger. Flaxseed provides omega-3 fatty acids and other ingredients to reduce inflammation; pineapple contains bromelain, another chemical identified as an anti-inflammatory substance.
One word of caution: this smoothie turns out a sort of weak puke green color. Don’t be alarmed! It tastes wonderful!
Tropical Smoothie – Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie
- 1 tablespoon whole flax seeds
- 2 teaspoons Sugar optional
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 cup frozen mango or tropical blend fruit
- 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1.5 cups raw spinach
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- Place whole flaxseeds in a coffee bean grinder and grind until powder. Add to blender.
- Add sugar and spinach to blender.
- Peel and cut the banana into slices and add to blender.
- Add spinach to blender and almond milk.
- Add frozne fruit. Cover. BLEND on smoothie setting for 1 minute.
- Pour and enjoy!
More Healthy Smoothie Recipes
Jeanne Grunert is a certified Virginia Master Gardener and the author of several gardening books. Her garden articles, photographs, and interviews have been featured in The Herb Companion, Virginia Gardener, and Cultivate, the magazine of the National Farm Bureau. She is the founder of The Christian Herbalists group and a popular local lecturer on culinary herbs and herbs for health, raised bed gardening, and horticulture therapy.