Green smoothies are one of those things that can improve anyone’s health, but if you’re an expecting or new mother, they may be more beneficial to you than most.
New moms are usually always short on time, and even more short on energy, but it’s vital that they stay nourished – not just for themselves, but for their growing or newborn baby.
“When a woman is pregnant, it’s crucial that she get adequate amounts of many vitamins and minerals,” says Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, a Harvard & Yale-trained ER doctor and mother of two. “She needs folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin C, B vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and choline… all of which you can get in a smoothie.”
If you or someone you know is expecting a bundle of joy, or currently staying up all night with a new one, we’ve got a list of ingredients that will provide the energy, vitamins and minerals you need to be the best mom you can be! And the best part – they all blend perfectly into smoothies.
“Ginger contains so many amazing properties that might be especially helpful for pregnant and expecting mothers,” says Lisa Samuels, a registered dietician and founder of The Happie House, a nutrition and yoga center in New York. “Ginger is a natural remedy for stomach pain and other issues of the digestive tract. Therefore, it’s a wonderful aid for nausea (especially during morning sickness), heartburn and indigestion.”
This spicy root is also a potent anti-inflammatory and helps to increase circulation. Better circulation for mom means healthy blood flow to baby, and lowered inflammation means less on both mother and child.
As Ms. Samuels notes, make sure to only use fresh ginger root in your smoothie (unless advised otherwise by your physician) as the dried and supplemental version “may increase your risk of miscarriage.”
Smoothie Recipes With Ginger
Gingerols, the compounds found in ginger root that have proven, potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, are the main reasons ginger is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Add in extra antioxidants from kiwis, and healthy fat and protein from cashews, and you have a creamy, nutritious smoothie that is not only good for chasing away colds, but for keeping your joints healthy as well.
If you’re looking for the perfect snack to strengthen your immune system, this anti-inflammatory powerhouse is it. Both cranberries (vitamin C and fiber) and ginger are known anti-inflammatories, and spinach is full of vitamins A, C and K. Walnuts provide the healthy fats our metabolism craves, and dates are full of natural sugar, providing ample, sustained energy. Take the flavors of the holidays to the next level with this fresh, sweet drink.
If you’re feeling a few sniffles coming on, this vitamin-C packed, anti-inflammatory powerhouse smoothie is for you! With 100 percent of your daily vitamin C needs per serving, plus immune-boosting ginger and hempseed, you’ll be able to chase any nagging germs away while enjoying a sweet blast of creamy, topical citrus. And a healthy dose of iron and vitamin K from spinach isn’t too shabby, either!
Plain Greek Yogurt / Fortified Nut Milks
Calcium is a critical nutrient for everyone, but especially for pregnant mothers, because babies need a healthy dose of it to help their bones and teeth mature properly. If women don’t get enough calcium during their pregnancy, the maturing fetus will start borrowing from stored calcium, which can put mothers at risk for bone loss.
Plain greek yogurt is a fantastic source of calcium (as well as protein), and includes healthy probiotics. Adding plain, unsweetened yogurt to smoothies won’t really change the taste, but will amp up the creaminess and the volume, and help turn any smoothie into a meal replacement.
Pregnant mothers who are avoiding dairy can find calcium-fortified nut milks, or even make their own nut milks at home (as homemade nut milks contain more vitamins and minerals than pre-packaged brands).
Smoothie Recipes With Yogurt /
Mango Wake-Up with Wallaby
With tons of healthy protein (thanks to Wallaby nonfat plain yogurt, an organic, small batch greek yogurt with a deliciously different taste), as well as tons of healthy fiber (thanks to a whole mango and spinach), this smoothie is the perfect meal replacement. Relatively low in sugar, it’s still as creamy and as sweet as an orange creamsicle - with the added benefit of vitamins and antioxidants.
If you love Almond Joy candies, you’ll love this smoothie -- and the best part is, it’s low in sugar! Fiber-filled zucchini and vitamin-infused collard greens virtually disappear in a rich, sweet smoothie base made from banana (magnesium and potassium) and cacao (fiber, iron, and anti-inflammatory properties). Add in some coconut flakes and almond milk (both of which contain healthy fat), and you have a sweet treat you can feel good about drinking first thing in the morning.
Lucuma Pecan Pie
With a caramel-like flavor, lucuma powder adds sweetness without calories, and is known for its anti-inflammatory and skin-healing abilities. Cinnamon and nutmeg also provide some anti-inflammatory benefits, and grapes are full of polyphenols, which have been shown to have cancer-fighting effects. Even though it’s not as familiar as kale, broccoleaf is a superfood in its own right, with almost 100 percent of our daily recommended amount of vitamin C per serving, and a good burst of vitamin D as well. Looking to add a little glow to your insides as well as your outside? This smoothie will definitely do the trick!
Lauren Manaker, a registered dietitian and certified lactation educator-counselor, recommends that new moms add pinch of spirulina (a green algae) to their smoothies. “With the changes a women’s body undergoes during pregnancy and during the postnatal period, her needs for the amino acid glycine are increased,” Manaker says. “Additionally, glycine will support baby’s developing bones, hair, skin, and nails. Supplementing with spirulina can help mom get the appropriate amount of glycine she needs.”
Spirulina is also rich in protein, Omega-3s and chlorophyll (along with a whole host of other nutrients), which means it’s great for supporting natural energy during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
One word of caution: It’s extremely important to make sure the spirulina supplement you’re using is organic and harvested in a safe, natural way. As with any supplement, it’s best to talk to your personal physician before starting, especially if you didn’t take it before pregnancy.
Smoothie Recipes With Spirulina
Spirulina is an algae that grows in the salty waters of subtropical climates and has significant amounts of calcium, iron and magnesium per serving. It’s also been shown to help lower cholesterol. Flaxseed is a great vegan source of Omega-3s and fiber, which is a great combination for athletes. Mix those two superfoods with nature’s VIP, avocado, and the cancer-fighting polyphenols from grapes, and you’ve got a drink that does everything from light detoxing to helping you glow from the inside out. Drinking one of these before heading into the mall for an early shopping trip is like putting a force field around your immune system (something we could all use right about now).
Key Lime Pie
Native to Southeast Asia, key limes are smaller and have a stronger aroma than the typical grocery store lime. Full of collagen-producing vitamin C, key limes add a boost of vitality to both the immune system and the skin. Rich in fiber, key limes are also helpful in regulating blood sugar spikes and easing digestion. Mulberries are full of antioxidants, iron and even a little bit of protein, and spirulina is rich in B vitamins, vitamin D, and copper.
Almond Honeydew Avocado
This creamy-nutty-sweet-green treat packs in so many nutrients and flavors. After walnuts, almonds have the most omega-3 fatty acids of any nuts. These fatty acids are not naturally produced by the body, and in addition to many other health benefits, give the skin radiance! Coconut water and honeydew are a super-hydrating duo. Avocados contain omega-9, which is yet another skin-smoothing oleic acid. Spirulina boost energy with micronutrients!
Many women don’t get enough iron in general, and pregnant mothers actually require twice as much iron than they previously needed. Iron is essential for creating healthy blood flow, and for moving oxygen from mother’s lungs to baby.
Spinach, as well as other dark, leafy greens, is high in iron, which means it’s the perfect ingredient to throw into a smoothie. Spinach is also high in folate, another essential nutrient for pregnant mothers. The great thing about spinach is that it blends easily, and is relatively tasteless when mixed with sweeter fruits.
Smoothie Recipes with Spinach
Watermelon Strawberry Lime Cooler
This fresh, light, and hydrating drink embodies the taste of summer. Few foods symbolize summer more than sweet strawberries and hydrating watermelon. Add some tart lime to bring out the flavors and add a bit of tropical zest. (And ward off scurvy, in case you’re concerned about that.) Coconut water adds electrolyte-rich hydration, and baobab powder provides calcium, B vitamins, and more vitamin C than a serving of oranges! Combine the fat-burning potential of high doses of vitamin C (from the strawberries, lime and baobab), with the high fiber and omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed, and you’ve got a light smoothie that can make a big dent in your daily weight loss journey.
Spinach in pancakes? Trust us. The most classic of the super greens blends perfectly into this breakfast (or anytime!) treat. Spinach has so many vitamins and minerals, that it’s an easy way to supplement your diet. Walnuts provide omega-3 and vitamin E, both critical to healing the skin. Lucuma powder has anti-inflammatory powers and a caramel flavor that complements the oats. Strawberries finish it off with a summery sweetness.
Mint Chocolate Chip “Nice” Cream
This drink does it all! First it cools you with the mint, then it adds pep to your step with chlorella and cacao. Your immune system will also get a kick of vitamin C from both the spinach and the orange. To get an ice cream consistency, peel and freeze the banana prior to blending. Want a little extra crunch? Add the cacao nibs after everything is blended and blend for about 10-30 seconds.
Vitamin C is a vital nutrient for both mother and baby, and because this vitamin is water soluble, it constantly needs to be replaced in our bodies. Collagen, which is a protein that provides structure to the bones, cartilage, muscles and blood vessels of babies in utero, is dependent on vitamin C – so the more vitamin C a mother can get, the better (to a healthy degree, of course)!
Citrus fruits are some of the best ways to bring a pop of vitamin C to your smoothie, and because of their light flavors, they’re perfect for cutting through the “green” taste of veggie-heavy blends.
Smoothie Recipes with Citrus
Lemon Carrot Creative
With almost 200 percent of your daily vitamin A requirement per serving, this smoothie is a dream come true for the complexion. Ginger is another fantastic food for skin, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, and lemon helps to alkalize the body - which is also great for your face. Who needs wrinkle cream when you’ve got this sweet and refreshing breakfast?
Lime in the Coconut
Need a tropical vacation right this very minute? This low calorie smoothie will transport you with natural coconut water and a whole fresh lime (whole, raw limes contain a nice serving of vitamin C and fiber). A pear provides additional fiber, grapes add a mellow sweetness and cancer-fighting polyphenols, and hemp seeds are full of protein, more fiber, and healthy Omega-3s (which are great for reducing inflammation).
Orange Berry Basil
Quite high in vitamins K and A, basil adds a grounding, earthy flavor to smoothies. There's over 35 varieties of basil worldwide, and it has a long history in folk medicine. In addition to being a low sugar fruit high in vitamin C, many people believe strawberries can help naturally whiten teeth. And collard greens are great additions to smoothies because of their unusually high protein content! Drink this smoothie, feel fresh and clean from the inside out!
Because of the increased caloric demands of breastfeeding, as well as all those sleepless nights, new moms can feel both hungry and exhausted at the same time, which can make whipping up a balanced meal pretty difficult.
Adding half an avocado to a smoothie not only enhances the creaminess factor, it also provides around 10g of healthy fat, a few grams of protein, and about 4 grams of fiber. Avocados also contain vitamin C and potassium – two essentials for new moms!
Create a nourishing, balanced meal in a snap with an avocado smoothie.
Smoothie Recipes with Avocado
Mint Chocolate Shake
Thanks to banana, avocado and dates, this St. Patrick’s day themed smoothie is high in fiber, and thanks to the cacao powder (which is chocolate in its rawest form), this sweet treat is relatively low in sugar. The addition of stomach-soothing mint adds a pop of flavor, while swiss chard provides a healthy serving of vitamins A, K and C, as well as magnesium and potassium. If you’re craving something fresh and hydrating at the end of the day (or even first thing in the morning), this is the perfect way to give your body want it wants -- and needs!
Maple Carrot Cake
One of the most iconic spring desserts, carrot cake isn’t typically considered a healthy breakfast, but with this smoothie, you’ll get all the flavors without any of the processed sugar or dairy! Pea protein, half an avocado and a banana provide lots of fiber, healthy fats and plant-based protein, carrots give a boost of vitamins C and A, and maple syrup sweetens things up while also adding calcium, magnesium and potassium. Get into the spring spirit with this dessert in a glass!
Extremely high in vitamins K, A and C, with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, kale is one of the best dark leafy greens you can eat. Combine it with the additional vitamin C (and natural sweetness) of a tangerine and pineapple, as well as the healthy fat and protein of half an avocado, and you have a super green smoothie that tastes like a dream. And with only 10 grams of sugar, you’ll feel energized and satisfied without having to worry about your blood sugar.
There are certain foods out there that many new moms say help promote breast milk, and turmeric root is one of them. While there isn’t a lot of research behind it, turmeric is powerful anti-inflammatory that has been shown to help help boost moods, which may mean it can help breastfeeding moms fall into calmer, more aligned states.
As with ginger, too much of the powdered, supplemental turmeric can be disruptive to a pregnant or new mother’s system, so it’s recommended that the raw root is consumed, and that women talk to their physicians before they start blending it up.
Smoothie Recipes with Turmeric
Orange Turmeric Gumdrop
A potent anti-inflammatory, turmeric has been studied as a natural defense against everything from cancer to arthritis - it’s definitely what you could call a “superfood.” The immune boosting power of this smoothie is increased by adding orange, banana and pineapple, and walnuts bring a touch of healthy fat and protein. Start your morning off bright and cheerful, and scare those wrinkles away!
Pucker up for our vitamin C-infused version of the Lemonhead. With a slightly sweeter taste than red beets, yellow beets are high in antioxidants, calcium and fiber. They’re also extremely low in calories. Turmeric is a fantastic anti-inflammatory superfood, and has even been scientifically proven to help ease the symptoms of arthritis. Chia seeds, another superfood we love, are great vegan sources of Omega-3s, fatty acids most people usually get from fish or fish oil. If you’ve ever wondered, “Could there be a detox drink that tastes like candy?” We’re here to answer that question with a resounding YES.
Carrot Orange Creamsicle
Orange you glad we created this smoothie? Ataulfo mango is also known as "honey" "baby" or "Champagne" mango. As the names imply, this smaller variety of the tropical fruit is sweet, soft, and non-stringy. Most ingredients in this smoothie contain skin-healthy vitamins C and A. Turmeric contains curcumin, a natural anti-inflammatory compound that can help reduce puffiness. The omegas in hemp seed provide even more anti-inflammatory oomph!
Another food that has been linked to higher breast milk production is oats. Like turmeric, the benefits of oats are currently unsubstantiated by science, but many lactation specialists believe their helpfulness could be due to their high levels of iron – since many new moms can be lacking in that nutrient.
Oats also contain a healthy serving of fiber and protein, which means they’re a great option for turning a smoothie into a balanced meal replacement.
Smoothie Recipes With Oats
All the heart healthy benefits of oatmeal in a cup, this low calorie smoothie will keep you satisfied for hours thanks to pumpkin seeds, which are little powerhouses of plant-based protein, fiber and healthy fats. Add in some skin-loving cinnamon and lucuma, and feel yourself glow from the inside out.
Almond Oat Elixir
Banana, yellow squash and coconut cream are all rich in magnesium, an essential mineral that helps support melatonin and serotonin, two chemicals responsible for a healthy sleep cycle. Magnesium may also help soothe muscle soreness, as well as occasional constipation. Lucuma is a natural sweetener that’s full of fiber, cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse, and oats provide cholesterol-lowering properties as well as additional fiber. If you want to feel full and satisfied for hours, this is the snack for you!
Oatmeal Protein Cookie
High in fiber and protein, this smoothie calls to mind a sweet oatmeal cookie. Oats are fantastic for helping to lower cholesterol and for keeping you fuller for longer, with a banana and apple working the same way (thanks to their high amounts of fiber). Spinach provides iron and vitamin K, and cinnamon is a great, sugar-free sweetener that has anti-inflammatory properties. If your sweet tooth is calling out for something, try this delicious, nutrient-dense breakfast!
GreenBlender and New Moms
New moms are some of the hardest working women out there! GreenBlender wants to help make their lives a little easier by delivering all the fruits, vegetables and superfoods they need to make delicious, nutritious smoothies at home. Learn more >>>