This superfood smoothie is sweet, tart, and refreshing. It’s the perfect way to start your day, especially if you’re trying a new diet or performing a cleanse. With just five ingredients, this recipe is a breeze to whip up in the morning. And, it’s best with fresh pineapple. If you’ve never cut a whole pineapple, don’t be intimidated. With the pineapple upright, use a sharp chef’s knife and shear off the rough, outer peel. Then, cut the fruit into slices or chunks.
Pineapple is a nutrient powerhouse. A single fruit contains over 400 grams of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C, as well as the phytonutrient bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that offers many benefits. It soothes irritation, promotes systemic function, supports the immune system, and may encourage normal cell development.[2,3]
Coconut water has enjoyed a lot of positive attention the last few years. One of the most impressive characteristics of coconut water is that it is as good, if not better, than plain water for rehydrating after exercise. In fact, some studies report that coconut water is more palatable and easy on the stomach than plain water.
The lemon juice takes the nutritional profile of this recipe to the next level. Lemon juice is useful for at-home detoxing and research suggests that it supports normal liver and kidney function. In fact, adding lemon juice to smoothies or water is one of the easiest and most effective strategies for supporting normal kidney function. Limonin, a phytonutrient found in lemons, soothes irritated tissue and reduces oxidative stress. Lemons are a significantly better source of citric acid than other citrus fruits.
Finally, cucumber is a hydrating and detox-promoting vegetable that adds a delicious, refreshing kick that balances out the sweetness of the other ingredients.
Superfood Smoothie with Pineapple and Cucumber
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Yields: 3-4 servings
- 1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled (the peel can be left on if the cucumber is unwaxed)
- 8 ounces coconut water or plain water
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Raw maple syrup to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until completely smooth.
- Check the flavor, add raw maple syrup for desired sweetness.
- Serve at room temperature or over ice.
What functional foods or secret ingredients do you add to your smoothies? Leave a comment below and share your tips with us!
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- “Pineapple, raw, all varieties nutrition facts & calories.” Nutrition Data. 2014. Web. 6 Jan. 2017.
- Bhui, K, et al. “Pineapple Bromelain Induces Autophagy, Facilitating Apoptotic Response in Mammary Carcinoma Cells.” BioFactors (Oxford, England). 36.6 (2010): 474–82. Web. 6 Jan. 2017.
- “A Guide to Integrative Oncology for Clinicians.” University of Washington. 2008. Web. 6 Jan. 2017.
- Saat, M, et al. “Rehydration After Exercise with Fresh Young Coconut Water, Carbohydrate-Electrolyte Beverage and Plain Water.” Journal of physiological anthropology and applied human science. 21.2 (2002): 93–104. Web. 6 Jan. 2017.
- Mahmoud, MF, et al. “Hepatoprotective Effect of Limonin, a Natural Limonoid from the Seed of Citrus Aurantium Var. Bigaradia, on D-Galactosamine-Induced Liver Injury in Rats.” Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s archives of pharmacology. 387.3 (2013): 251–61. Web. 6 Jan. 2017.
- Penniston, Kristina. “Citric Acid and Kidney Stones.” N.p.: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007. Web. 6 Jan. 2017.