From moms on the go to elite athletes, smoothies have proven time and time again that they are a great tasting way to get all of the nutrients, minerals and vitamins needed to obtain and maintain optimal health in one sitting.  In comparison to smoothies made with fruit juices and fruits such as oranges and strawberries, alkaline smoothies offer a “green” alternative.  They have the amazing ability to kick start our bodies into functioning at peak efficiency while drastically boosting energy levels.  They do this by providing a mega source of the nutrients we need on a daily basis.  Imagine that, getting a surplus of nutrients needed each day in one glass!

Depending on individual tastes there’s a recipe for everyone.  As part of a balanced alkaline diet these smoothies typically contain leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, chard and collard greens which are known for their immunity enhancing abilities.  For individuals who want to enjoy the benefits of great tasting smoothies while managing their health, alkaline smoothies are a fantastic option, especially for vegan focused individuals.  Below is an overview of everything you need to know about this easy to follow diet and how best to incorporate these great tasting smoothies into your daily routine.  Get ready to look at smoothies differently and feel encouraged to take control of your health.

What exactly is the alkaline diet?

To accurately explain the concept of this diet, its best to explain how pH works in our bodies.  Our bodies are tremendously fantastic, mostly self maintaining, machines that are constantly working to keep pH levels at an ideal level of about 7.4.  A drop in this level will lead to increased acidity while an increase will lead to increased alkalinity.  It’s very important to note that we can’t actually change the pH of our bodies BUT the goal of this diet is to help sustain a healthy pH level.

Adopting an overall healthy lifestyle that includes eating alkaline foods is one method of achieving this goal.  Eating 5-7 servings of leafy green vegetables a day is key to successfully following the diet which is why blending vegetables into smoothies is one of the easiest ways to meet the required intake amounts.  Incorporating this into your daily routine will go a long way to improving overall wellbeing and leave you with more energy for longer periods of time.  How is this achieved exactly, you ask.  The focus of the diet is to maximize your intake of alkaline minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, manganese, zinc.  These minerals enable our bodies to process acidity effectively without overworking itself (and leading to our feelings of fatigue) and holding onto excess waste products.

Here’s how to maintain a healthy balance

Green (Alkaline) Smoothies

Smoothies are quick and easy to make and can be stored for short periods of time.  Choosing the right mix of fruits and vegetables will ensure the best taste for maximum enjoyment.  Below is a list of suggested fruits and vegetables that can be used to create the perfect blend of flavors:

FruitsVegetablesBeveragesNuts & Herbs

Avocados, cantaloupe, dates, figs, grapes, grapefruit, papayas, peaches, pears, pomegranates, raisons, ripe bananas, sour cherries, tomatoes, watermelon

Artichokes, Avocado, asparagus, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, celery, collard greens, cucumbers, endive, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes, peppers

Coconut water, almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk

Flax, almonds, walnut and pine nuts. Quinoa and millet. Lentils, beans and peas. Chives and dill.

Dark green vegetables are an especially important addition because they moderate acid levels.  In addition to blending them into smoothies, they can be ingested as a simple side salad during lunch or dinner

Tasty Alkaline Smoothie Recipes

Now that it’s clear which foods are best to incorporate into an alkaline diet, here’s a list of refreshing smoothies to try:

Broccoli and Celery Smoothie

This smoothie is full of vegetables that help reduce stress.  In addition to the types of foods we eat, stress can have a serious impact on how efficiently bodily functions operate.  Try this great tasting smoothie to rid yourself of stress and anxiety.

BLEND THIS:

  • 1 beetroot (medium)
  • 2 radish
  • 3 broccoli heads and stalks
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick of celery

Avocado and Spinach Smoothie

avocado-smoothieThis great tasting smoothie is a fantastic option if you’re on the go and need something filling.  It’s full of vegetables that will give you all the alkaline fighting power you need to stay energized.

BLEND THIS:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 handful spinach leaves
  • 1 lime
  • ½ red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon vegetable stock
  • 1 scoop Mega Greens (optional)
  • 1 scoop Super Soy Sprouts (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Udo’s Choice (optional)

Spinach and Kale Smoothie

If losing weight is the goal, this smoothie will provide the nutrients needed to help.  It’s very easy to make but each ingredient packs in everything needed to stay fit and healthy during your weight loss journey.

BLEND THIS:

  • 3 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • ½ bunch kale (can be any variety)
  • 1 medium beetroot (and leaves if possible)
  • 1 cucumber
  • ½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon

Mango Banana Kale Smoothie

Full of fresh fruits and vegetables, this smoothie will give you a nutritional boost.  It’s great first thing in the morning and it’s also smooth and refreshing.

BLEND THIS:

  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 ripe mango, cubed
  • 1 frozen banana, quartered
  • 1/3 cup water, or more to taste
  • 3 kale leaves, or more to taste
  • 3 ice cubes

Green Peach Smoothie

peach-smoothieThis is another revitalizing way to start your morning.  As part of an alkaline diet, make this smoothie and sip throughout the morning for a nutritional boost…all in one glass!

BLEND THIS:

  • 1 ripe peach
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 handful baby spinach leaves
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup
  • 1 cup coconut water

Coconut Smoothie

If you love coconuts, then this recipe is for you.  The list of benefits coconuts have on your health is an extensive one.  This recipe will clear your skin, give you healthy hair and will also boost your energy levels while keeping you full.

BLEND THIS:

  • 4 oz. fresh coconut meat
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 banana, frozen (optional)

Sweet Potato Smoothie

This smoothie is full of antioxidants that will help cleanse your system.  Sweet potatoes are also full of vitamins such as A and B5 so you’re going to achieve your daily nutritional requirements with a glass full of this savory drink.

BLEND THIS:

  • 1/2 cup raw sweet potato (you can also use cooked if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 1 small banana
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract (non-alcoholic)
  • ½ head butter lettuce
  • 1 cup almond milk

Cucumber Kale Smoothie

kale-smoothieAdding this smoothie to your morning routine is an excellent way to ensure your alkaline diet is on track. Easy to digest, your body will be thankful for the natural supplement.

BLEND THIS:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 medium kale leaves, torn
  • 5 pieces fresh mint
  • 3 pieces fresh parsley
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon udo’s oil
  • ½ tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 2-3 drops stevia or 1 teaspoon of agave

Kale Coconut Strawberry Smoothie

Cancer can’t thrive in an alkaline environment, with this in mind, this smoothie provides the ingredients needed to keep cancer at bay and enhance your immune system.  It’s quick and easy to make and great for freezing and enjoying again later.

BLEND THIS:

  • 2 handfuls of organic kale
  • 1 cup of frozen organic strawberries (or any other fruit high in vitamin C)
  • 1 ½ cups of coconut water
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of hemp oil

Papaya Spinach Smoothie

This is a great recipe to get your day started right.  If needed, substitute E3live with green powder to boost the nutritional content of this smoothie.

BLEND THIS:

  • 1 handful spinach, washed
  • ½ cup of papaya, chopped
  • ¼ cup of pear, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of soaked chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds
  • 1 shot of E3live
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina powder
  • 2 cups of coconut water

Other sources of alkaline goodness

  • Water: staying hydrated with water is key to ensuring optimal functioning of our organs. Most adults should aim to drink at least 8 – 10 glasses of water a day. This absolutely goes a long way to improving and sustaining energy levels
  • Omega 3: this is an essential fatty acid that the body doesn’t create naturally on its own. However, it’s required in order for us to remain healthy.  Omega 3 can be obtained through eating fatty fish, fish oil supplements or foods such as avocados and almonds.  Omega 3 is also added to foods (such as eggs and bread) to give them a boost.

Benefits

Ingesting foods that allow your body to function at its peak has a variety of benefits and positive consequences.

Some of the key ones are as follows:
  • Reduced risk of cancer: studies have shown that “Cancer thrives in anacidic environment, and doesn’t survive in an normal, more alkaline environment”.  Simply put, monitoring foods and drinks is a good way of maintaining optimal pH levels.  This is due to ingesting alkaline minerals that don’t require our bodies to work as hard
  • Halt the damage done by Chronic Kidney Disease: a recent study found that incorporating alkaline rich foods and fruits, along with alkaline rich supplements were able to manage the effects of kidneys producing an excess of acid. This is key because the kidneys are part of the process the body uses to process acid and turn it into waste (urine) to maintain optimal health. It goes without saying that it this process isn’t working efficiently, acidity begins to build up
  • Weight loss: an acidic lifestyle leads to increased stored fat. Our bodies don’t know what to do with the excess waste produced so it holds onto it.  Limiting the amount of foods that are high in acidic content goes a long way to getting rid of fat. A diet high in alkaline foods will allow the body to work more efficiently and start to release fat stores
  • Detox & Cleanse: an alkaline diet allows your body to cleanse itself of toxins that it holds onto while storing fat
  • Reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes: research has shown that eating leafy green vegetables and other alkaline foods lead to fewer cases of this disease. Only small increases added to your diet are needed to see improvements.  Over time the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes is greatly reduced
  • Energy: Living with an abundance of energy allows us to focus on our day ahead and tackle challenges head on. We undoubtedly feel motivated, interactive and happier.  We’re also able to see the bright side of situations and get engaged with the community around us.

What happens without a boost of alkaline foods?

As previously mentioned, we can’t change our body’s pH level.  Our bodies are constantly working hard to maintain an ideal level of about 7.4.  Too much acidity, meaning our bodies are unable to rid itself of the excess, leads to a condition known as acidosis.

This is caused by a combination of things such as ingesting acidic foods and drinks as well as sustained periods of no physical activity.  This combination will result in the body working harder than it’s designed to in order to maintain a healthy pH balance.

Factors that contribute to an acidic lifestyle

The following factors lead to decreased energy and more importantly, chronic diseases and disorders:

  • Junk food such as pizza, burgers and sugary snacks
  • Fizzy and caffeinated drinks such as soda and coffee
  • Alcohol consumed in excess
  • Dairy products such as cheese and milk (best when consumed in moderation)
  • High levels of stress for an extended period of time
  • Pollution can’t be avoided all the time but being in environments where this is common has detrimental affects to our healthy and overall well being
  • Lack of physical activity

Effects of an acidic lifestyle

  • Osteoporosis: even though our bodies produce acidity through standard functions, such as the metabolism process, too much acid in your system requires calcium to neutralize it. We’re built to process minimal amounts of acid, however, the release of excessive amounts of calcium in the body, over an extended period of time can lead to   This is concerning because it can eventually lead to weakened bones and long-term injuries.
  • Lack of sleep: this lifestyle can even lead to increases in the level of cortisol produced within our bodies which has a direct impact on a person’s ability to sleep soundly. We all know how hard it is to function if we don’t get enough sleep
  • Obesity over-weight-womanis slowly becoming an epidemic and this is directly tied to poor nutrition and lack of exercise. As a result, the acid waste that the body is unable to rid itself of is stored as fat
  • Eczema, dry skin, psoriasis and acne: this is the result of yeast growing out of control within our bodies. The more acidic foods consumed, the more yeast that grows and the more the body has to work to fight this.  It can only fight so much before physical symptoms start to manifest themselves.  Skin conditions are outward signs that the body is unable to effectively process acid within the body
  • Acid reflux: using our own natural mechanisms to eradicate excess acid the body uses this up fairly quickly. Continued ingestion of acid foods and drinks leads to the product of hydrochloric acid to help with the digestion process.  However, if acid contents in the stomach can’t be counteracted by the body, the contents and the added hydrochloric acid are left there and presents itself as acid reflex

On the flip side, a system that has an excess of alkaline results in alkalosis which is when the pH levels in the body increase above 7.4.  Fortunately, foods alone can’t cause this condition.  Medical conditions such as liver and lung disease lead to this.  This condition can lead to nausea, hand tremors, muscle spasms, dizziness, seizures and even a coma if not treated

Testing your pH

Even though pH can’t be modified based on the foods we eat, it may be worth checking pH levels.   Fortunately, testing at home is relatively easy to do whether using saliva or urine.  Test strips can be purchased at your local pharmacy over the counter.  It’s important to test multiple times through out the day to get an average reading and best to test at the same time each day if taking multiple readings over the course of several days.

For the most accurate readings, wait an hour or two before or after eating prior to testing with saliva.  This is to ensure that there is no food or beverage residue remaining (even rinsing with water is a no no), otherwise the test will be taking a reading of the food or beverage remaining in your mouth.  Generally speaking, whether testing via saliva or urine, a pH that’s 7.2 or higher is considered good.

Keep in mind that this method is meant to be used as a general estimate since these tests are unable to test the pH of blood.  A blood sample is needed in order to give an accurate indication of levels.

Conclusion

The benefits of partaking in alkaline smoothies are numerous and beneficial to your health in both the long and short term.  Choosing from the various alkaline foods will ensure you find a smoothie mix that tastes great and works wonders for you.  So what are you waiting for?  Now’s the time to take hold of your health and boost your energy levels to new and exciting heights.

Milveen Eke-Allen is a freelance writer and blogger with an interest in personal growth, fitness and nutrition. You can find her at www.glitterandglowmom.ca