Firstly, May is an in-between month in terms of seasonal produce. In warmer climates, summer berries, peaches and nectarines are starting to appear in supermarkets. But in cooler, more northern regions like Canada and the UK, we still have another month to wait.
Spinach however, is one of the few smoothie ingredients that’s in season across North America and Europe right now. So pairing it with readily available frozen fruit, like mango chunks and blueberries, makes good sense.
“It’s a great way to eat seasonally, during these awkward, in-between months.”
Secondly, summer is on the horizon… Which means flaunting a bit more flesh, and the potential of a bikini (or board short) meltdown. Rather than slavishly killing ourselves with some 6 week bikini body program, we prefer to take things slow and steady. Which means nourishing our bodies with loads of good stuff, that’ll help it glow from the inside out. And that good stuff doesn’t get much healthier than anti-oxidant-packed blueberries.
Mango Blueberry Smoothie – Health Benefits
Here’s a super-quick rundown of some mango and blueberry smoothie health benefits…
Mango contains fibre which helps you feel fuller, so you’re less likely to snack between meals. Since it’s packed with vitamins and minerals, it’ll help ensure you’re fuelling your body with essential nutrients.
Mangoes are in season and at their juicy best from April to September. If you’re worried about the cost of such an exotic fruit, never fear… There are plenty of easy ways to incorporate mango into your diet on a budget, such as using frozen chunks, or buying a whole one on special offer and then freezing portions yourself (one mango can yield up to four smoothies).
Blueberries are THE best source of antioxidants. A USDA study of 60 fruits and vegetables, found that blueberries had the highest capacity for destroying free radicals. These crazy kids damage cells and tissue, and can cause a lot of harm, from varicose veins to cancer. However the antioxidants in blueberries can neutralize this damage.
“But if you’re after the antioxidant benefits in a blueberry smoothie, then it’s crucial never to blend your blueberries with cow’s milk.”
The proteins in cow’s milk react with the anti-oxidants, and basically take away all their magical powers. Best blend them with water, or fruits with high water content (like citrus and pears), or a creamy texture (like banana and mango).
The anti-oxidants in blueberries also enhance the effects of Vitamin C, so combining them with mango (96% of your vitamin C RDA) helps you get even more immune-boosting benefits.
Spinach is a great sources of Vitamin K, which helps keep our bones strong, and ensures wounds heal quickly. It also provides a healthy dose of Vitamin A, which (as well as containing antioxidant properties) is also good for our eyes, skin and hair.
Almost half our daily Folate needs (49%) are in a handful of spinach leaves. Folate is also referred to as Folic Acid, and supports growth at the most basic level – DNA. Whilst it’s well known for being an essential vitamin for pregnant women, it also releases serotonin, acting like a mild but natural antidepressant.
Mango Blueberry Smoothie Recipe
This mango blueberry smoothie recipe contains just 3 ingredients, making it super-simple to prepare…
½ mango (fresh or frozen chunks) – approx. 100g or 2/3 cup
1 handful of blueberries – approx. 150g or 1 cup
1 handful of spinach – approx. 30g or 1 cup
Wash the blueberries and spinach thoroughly, then halve the mango and remove the stone. Blend all three ingredients thoroughly, until you have a silky-smooth texture. Depending on your preference, you can add a little extra water to make it less thick.
So there you have it, a nutritious blueberry, mango, spinach smoothie that super-simple to prepare and tastes amazing.
Add A Twist… Mango, Strawberry & Blueberry Smoothie
Strawberries come into season from June, and contain an epic 98% of your daily vitamin C needs. So why not put a twist on this mango blueberry smoothie recipe, by swapping out half the blueberries for a few fresh strawberries.