This is a stress relief smoothie to fight stress, support the immune system, and give you a morning boost but without so much in the way of ketones and vasodilation. And it’s better than coffee.
A series of posts on smoothies
This is the seventh in a series of posts on Smoothies. Here is the full list you can click on:
Stress relief smoothie
Now the Stress relief smoothie is a morning smoothie that will help support your immune system and fight stress. But without so much in the way of ketones or vasodilation that we saw in our morning energy smoothie.
Let’s look at the ingredients first.
- 2 bananas
- 1 cup of orange juice
- 1 peeled orange
- ¾ cup of almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 peeled carrot
This is a great smoothie for relieving stress, fighting morning fatigue, and providing some get-up and go.
And before we get into the specifics, we should point out that our coffee-drinking habit is itself a source of stress. See further below for more on this.
The banana is a great source of energy and of potassium and vitamin B6. And it will keep you going all through those morning hours.
The carrot is key because it contains good quantities of vitamin B6. And this helps the body process energy from food. This means that you get more use out of the carbs that you consume and out of the natural sugar in this smoothie.
Better yet, research suggests that lutein, one of the carotenoids, which are found in carrots, might be effective at improving the energy efficiency of our mitochondria.
Mitochondria are the energy factories in our cells. One study showed that mice that had been given lutein, they would run further on their wheel and burn more calories – with no prompt from the researchers!
Almond milk has low caloric content and low sugar content. But it is high in vitamin E and also a source of calcium. This milk is often enriched with Vitamin D. Also because it is fat-soluble, it is a perfect vehicle for lutein, which requires a source of fat.
Vanilla extract is another potent antioxidant. It also helps combat cholesterol. And aside from its anti-inflammatory properties, it’s a great sweetener to help our smoothie go down easier.
Finally, we have the orange. This provides the stress-busting part of the equation. There’s plenty of orange in this smoothie and it provides vitamin C.
Vitamin C is what the brain uses to make serotonin. And serotonin is the happiness hormone that serves as its own anti-anxiety medication and stress-reliever.
So, by keeping your blood sugar steady and providing serotonin, this drink can set you up in a good mood and provide the perfect start to the day!
Better than coffee
This morning stress relief smoothie is much better for you than your regular morning coffee.
Coffee is not a good morning pick-me-up. Aside from being addictive, It doesn’t have much nutritional value.
Let’s review the parade of coffee or caffeine horribles!
What caffeine does is block the receptors in the brain that respond to adenosine. Adenosine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is produced as a by-product of the energy process.
The more we work, the more adenosine builds up, and the slower and less cognitive we become.
So, by blocking these receptors, caffeine helps limit the effect of adenosine. And, as a result, the brain feels more awake.
But the problem is that the brain responds to this by creating even more adenosine receptors. And, of course, we now crave even more caffeine to feel its effects.
What makes this worse is that, when we are not downing caffeine, we feel slow and lethargic. We also seem more prone to headaches!
And here’s another problem. When we are asleep, we (obviously) aren’t getting any caffeine. So there is now a school of thought that attributes morning grogginess, or sleep inertia, to caffeine withdrawal.
What’s more, caffeine triggers the release of stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol. And this is why caffeine is often described as “stress in a cup.”
So, obviously, coffee is not something that you want for stress relief.
You can’t make a good stress relief smoothie without the right equipment. So here are some things to have on hand. Make sure you have sharp knives for cutting, a good cutting board, and the following.
Blenders for smoothies
The blender is at the center of the smoothie universe.
We like the Nutribullet Pro as having the best individual overall value for money out there. But it is not really big enough for making smoothies in bulk, which is what we recommend here. Click on the red Nutribullet Pro link below.
The Vitamix is the Top of the line premium choice but, in our opinion, there is no need to spend so much. Click on the red Vitamix link below.
Our best overall choice is the Ninja BL770. Click on the red Ninja BL770 link below.
Mason Jars for smoothies
As explained elsewhere, we don’t like the “smoothie pack” prep. technique. We know it’s popular but, for us, it’s just inefficient.
We much prefer to make smoothies in bulk (at least a week’s supply) and freeze them in individual wide-mouth, “ready-to-drink” Mason jars.
Remember to leave an inch or so at the top to allow for expansion of the liquid as it freezes.
We like the jars that have holes for straws. And you can travel with them too.
Click on the red link below.
Spatula for smoothies
You must have a long, flexible spatula to make sure you scrape all of the good stuff out of the blender.
Click on the red link below.
Reusable Smoothie straws
You don’t want to be throwing all those used straws away. Click on the red link below for the reusable kind.
Smoothies for weight loss
Many of us (maybe even most of us) started out with smoothies as a way to lose weight. So, while we are not advocates of crash or fad diets, here is a great fast start introduction to smoothies and losing weight.
in the 21-Day Smoothie Diet by Drew Sgoutas, Drew returns you to a regular diet that includes smoothies, after the 21-Day period.
Click on the red underlined link below. The program is digitally delivered. And it has a 60-day money-back guarantee. So there is no risk to you.
And, just below the link, you can see what Amanda has to say about it.