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Super Salad Smoothie Recipe

February 10, 2014 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

During my recent health crisis, I began looking into new ways of getting more fresh fruits and vegetables into my daily diet. One option that immediately came to mind was eating salad. This isn’t my favorite way of enjoying vegetables, but, admittedly, it is a healthy and practical way to eat more of them. After a few days of having salad after salad, I began to wonder: Could I get more nutrition from similar ingredients if I blended them up? A crazy idea, I know. However, in theory, the end result could be something like a combination of a salad and soup. In practice, it became known as my “Super Salad Smoothie”.

By now, I think most of you know about the long list of health benefits associated with green leafy vegetables. So, instead of recounting the virtues of these powerful foods, I want to focus on several of the other ingredients I’ve carefully selected for this recipe. But, before I move on, I want to share some pertinent information about the types of green leafy vegetables I’ve chosen to use. For the sake of simplicity, I use organic, triple washed salad blends which are commonly available at health food stores and markets. In my neighborhood, I found two candidates which I think are excellent choices and listed below. They contain a wide array of nutrient dense, popular and uncommon salad ingredients including: organic baby arugula, red chard, spinach, green swiss chard and tat soi.

  • Taylor Organic Power Greens (the least expensive option)
  • Organic Girl Super Greens (pricier, but equally nutritious)

Healthy Fellow’s Super Salad Smoothie

5-6 oz Organic Greens
1 Organic Garlic Clove *
1/2 Organic Lemon
1 Tbs Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil **
1 Organic Button Mushroom
5 Organic Black Peppercorns
6-8 oz Purified Water

Nutritional Content: Calories: 185. Protein: 5 grams. Fat: 14 grams. Fiber: 7 grams. “Net” Carbohydrates: 8 grams. *** Vitamin A: 340%. Vitamin C: 160%. Vitamin K: 1,080%. Percentages are based on Percent Daily Values.

* Smashing garlic causes an enzymatic reaction which results in the formation of allicin, a phytochemical with potent antioxidant, anti-cancer and antimicrobial properties.

** 3-4 tablespoons of organic, extra virgin olive oil can be used if weight gain is desired.

*** “Net” Carbohydrates indicate the number of non-fiber carbohydrates.

Start by packing, yes, packing the greens into a high-powered blender cup. You want as many greens as possible! Personally, I use a NutriBullet with the large cup measure. Smash the garlic and allow to sit for 10 minutes or so prior to throwing it into the mix.** Add the half lemon with or without the peel. Even if you choose not to include the yellow skin, at least consider retaining the white pith underneath the skin and the seeds – sources of healthy bioflavonoids. Next, chop and drop the cleaned button mushroom. Then, put in the black peppercorns, olive oil and purified water. Finally, place the smashed garlic on top of everything else and blend until perfectly smooth. If the mixture is too thick, simply add more water.

If you’re wondering why you might want to add this recipe to your regular diet, keep the following in mind. Firstly, this smoothie is a good source of dietary fiber, healthy fats, numerous minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium) and an excellent reservoir for essential vitamins, including folic acid, Vitamins A, C and K. But, the real beauty of this formulation, according to the medical literature, is that it may very well confer nutritional protection against a variety of cancers. For starters, recent studies reveal that button mushrooms support mucosal immunity and have been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer. An interesting side note is that eating button mushrooms alongside garlic helps to minimize the likelihood of garlic breath. Speaking of raw garlic, its intake is associated with reduced incidence of colorectal, lung and stomach cancer. And, naturally occurring chemicals in the peel, pith and seeds of lemons likewise possess anticancer, antifungal and antiviral activity. Finally, the addition of black peppercorns and extra virgin olive oil enhance the absorption of both fat and water soluble nutrients (Vitamins A and K), and phytochemicals (chlorophyll, lutein, zeaxanthin) – which may benefit everything from bone to ocular health. Not bad for a simple, green drink, eh?

If raw garlic isn’t right for you (or your co-workers, friends or mate), you can use a one inch piece of fresh, organic ginger root instead. Like raw garlic, fresh ginger may offer powerful protection against a variety of cancers: Update on the Chemoprotective Effects of Ginger (link)

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – An Overview on Chemical Aspects and Potential Health Benefits of (link)

Study 2 – Studies on the Deodorization by Mushroom (Agaricus Bisporus) Extract (link)

Study 3 – Dietary Intake of Agaricus Bisporus White Button Mushroom Accelerates (link)

Study 4 – Dietary Intakes of Mushrooms & Green Tea Combine to Reduce the Risk … (link)

Study 5 – Raw Garlic Consumption as a Protective Factor for Lung Cancer (link)

Study 6 – Does Garlic Reduce Risk of Colorectal Cancer? A Systematic Review ... (link)

Study 7 – Vegetables and Fruits and Risk of Stomach Cancer (link)

Study 8 – Piper Nigrum and Piperine: An Update (link)

Study 9 – Comparison of Lutein Bioavailability from Vegetables and Supplement (link)

Study 10 – Lutein: More Than Just a Filter for Blue Light (link)

Citrus Fruit Intake May Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Source: J Breast Cancer. 2013 Mar;16(1):72-76. (link)

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7 Comments & Updates to “Super Salad Smoothie Recipe”

  1. Mark Says:

    May I suggest the addition of some pea protein. It would give some added body and an extra protein kick.

  2. JP Says:

    Hi Mark,

    IMO, that would work well if you want to use it as a more substantial pre- or post- workout drink, meal replacement or snack. Pea protein is a good, plant-based choice. So too is (properly produced and tested) rice protein.



    Be well!


  3. G Paul F. Says:

    Hi John Paul

    This is fantastic! Very valuable advice. Keep up your great work and passion!


  4. JP Says:

    Thank you, Paul! I will! 🙂

    Be well!


  5. JP Says:

    Update: Since writing this column, I’ve found a generic version of the above mentioned super green salad mixes. It’s sold under the name Simply Organic Super Greens at the Ralph’s chain of supermarkets.

    Be well!


  6. JP Says:

    Update 06/06/15:


    Cancer. 2015 May 18.

    A phase I trial of mushroom powder in patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer: Roles of cytokines and myeloid-derived suppressor cells for Agaricus bisporus-induced prostate-specific antigen responses.

    BACKGROUND: Each year in the United States, nearly 50,000 prostate cancer patients exhibit a rise in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, which can indicate disease recurrence. For patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer, we evaluated the effects of white button mushroom (WBM) powder on serum PSA levels and determined the tolerability and biological activity of WBM.

    METHODS: Patients with continuously rising PSA levels were enrolled in the study. Dose escalation was conducted in cohorts of 6; this ensured that no more than 1 patient per cohort experienced dose-limiting toxicity (DLT). The primary objective was to evaluate treatment feasibility and associated toxicity. The secondary objectives were to determine WBM’s effect on serum PSA/androgen levels; myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs); and cytokine levels.

    RESULTS: Thirty-six patients were treated; no DLTs were encountered. The overall PSA response rate was 11%. Two patients receiving 8 and 14 g/d demonstrated complete response (CR): their PSA declined to undetectable levels that continued for 49 and 30 months. Two patients who received 8 and 12 g/d experienced partial response (PR). After 3 months of therapy, 13 (36%) patients experienced some PSA decrease below baseline. Patients with CR and PR demonstrated higher levels of baseline interleukin-15 than nonresponders; for this group, we observed therapy-associated declines in MDSCs.

    CONCLUSIONS: Therapy with WBM appears to both impact PSA levels and modulate the biology of biochemically recurrent prostate cancer by decreasing immunosuppressive factors.

    Be well!


  7. JP Says:

    Updated 05/22/17:


    Atherosclerosis. 2017 May 6;262:87-93.

    Lutein exerts anti-inflammatory effects in patients with coronary artery disease.

    BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Many coronary artery disease (CAD) patients exhibit chronic low-grade inflammation. Carotenoids are anti-oxidants with potential anti-inflammatory properties. Here, we first assessed relationships between interleukin (IL)-6 and individual carotenoids in plasma from CAD patients. Based on the results, we proceeded to assess anti-inflammatory effects of one carotenoid, lutein, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from CAD patients.

    METHODS: Lutein + zeaxanthin (isomers with lutein being dominant), β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, α- and β-carotene and IL-6 were measured in plasma from 134 patients with stable angina (SA) and 59 patients with acute coronary syndrome. In 42 patients, plasma measurements were also performed 3 months after coronary intervention. PBMCs from SA patients were pre-treated with lutein (1, 5 and 25 μM) for 24 h followed by 24 h incubation ± lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Cell pellets were collected for IL-6, IL-1β and TNF mRNA and intracellular lutein. Cytokine secretion was measured in cell media.

    RESULTS: Only lutein + zeaxanthin were inversely correlated with IL-6 in SA patients at baseline (r = -0.366, p < 0.001) and follow-up (r = -0.546, p < 0.001). Ex vivo, lutein was taken up by PBMCs from SA patients in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Pre-treatment with lutein dose-dependently lowered LPS-induced secretion of IL-6, IL-1β (p < 0.01) and TNF (p < 0.05), and also reduced IL-6, IL-1β and TNF mRNA expression (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Clinical findings highlighted the inverse association between lutein and IL-6 in CAD patients. Anti-inflammatory effects of lutein in PBMCs from CAD patients were consolidated in ex vivo experiments. Taken together, these results show that lutein has the potential to play a role in resolution of chronic inflammation in CAD patients. Be well! JP

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