Springtime Smoothies: A Nutritional Boost for Mesothelioma Patients

Health & Wellness

Spring is here, and that means an abundance of fresh fruits and greens will be filling your farmers markets and grocery stores. Depending on where you live, you may even be able to pick your own. 

Fruits and vegetables come in a variety of colors, and each color provides our bodies with a different antioxidant as well as a variety of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

For patients with mesothelioma, getting a good intake of plant foods is vital for a healthy immune system. It can be a challenge, though, especially when appetite is low due to stress, treatment or general fatigue. 

Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get nutrition into our bodies because they can be sipped slowly and don’t need to be chewed. It is a good idea to pair fruits and greens with a protein such as milk, yogurt or nuts so you get a drink that adds calories in addition to all those nutrients. 

The following recipes will provide some ideas, but you can use any fruit you have available. Frozen fruit is great because it blends into a perfectly cold smoothie. It also lasts much longer than fresh fruit, so you don’t have to rush to use it all.

Blueberry smoothies in glasses with berries
Blueberries give this Blueberry Blast smoothie an antioxidant boost.

Blueberry Blast Smoothie

This recipe is perfect for blueberry season. If you are lucky enough to pick your own you can freeze the extra to use in drinks such as this one.

  • 2 cups frozen unsweetened blueberries (do not thaw)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
    (calcium-fortified preferred)
  • 3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 medium frozen banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Place blueberries, orange juice, yogurt, banana and vanilla into blender.
  • Cover securely and blend for 30 to 35 seconds or until thick and smooth. For thinner smoothies, add more juice; for thicker smoothies, add more frozen fruit.
  • Pour into two glasses and serve immediately.

Recipe: American Institute for Cancer Research

Green smoothie with strawberries and kiwi
Spinach brings extra nutritional value to this smoothie with berries.

Berries and Spinach Smoothie

This smoothie incorporates spinach, which sounds unusual, but you don’t taste the greens and it gives your beverage a wonderful pop of color.

Experiment with different fruits if you don’t have all these handy, and try adding spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger for an extra antioxidant boost.

  • 2 cups frozen unsweetened strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 banana cut into chunks
  • 1/2 kiwi, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes
  • 1 cup milk (of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup 100% apple juice
  • Combine strawberries, blueberries, banana, kiwi, spinach, ice cubes, milk and apple juice in blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Serve in a cup (serves four).

Recipe: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Strawberry blueberry smoothie in a glass with chia seeds
Try adding seeds or spices to a smoothie for additional health benefits.

Smoothies are easy to make and you won’t go wrong blending any combination of fruits, greens and proteins. 

For nutritious twists, try adding some of the following foods:

  • Flaxseeds (1 teaspoon to start)
  • Hemp seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Kale
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg or other spice blends
    such as pumpkin spice/apple spice

For additional protein, try the following:

  • 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter

To make sure the calories are high, try to use full-fat milk, yogurt or coconut milk. If you need your smoothies a little sweeter, use natural sugars such as maple syrup, honey or even a few pitted dates, which will blend smoothly in a high-powered blender.

Try these recipes and your own today and find the perfect springtime smoothie for you!

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