We Are Going Nuts for Coconuts!
First, let’s talk about why it’s vital to include coconuts in your healing diet. The oil found in coconuts also know as medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs are easier to digest (compared to long chain fatty acids) and require less work from the pancreas. As a protein dominant type, you can use coconut oil to fight off bad bacteria and parasites that cause indigestion. Now, we aren’t saying, “dump coconut oil into your smoothie,” as we have a much tastier way to achieve these benefits.
Meet coconut cream, naturally sweet from the fresh coconut water, rich and creamy from the flesh. It is as good as it sounds and you can easily make it at home using one fresh-cracked Thai Young Coconut. The real kicker is how beneficial this MCT-packed smoothie base can be for your digestion, killing off nasty microorganisms that cause inflammation.
To start, simply carve off the husk from the top of your coconut. Then using a mallet, remove the part that has been de-husked, creating a small, round opening. Now you’re set to pour out the fresh water and scoop out the meat. To make the cream, blend all the water from the coconut and desired amount of meat in a blender. The more meat, the thicker the cream and the higher in healthy fats.
Sweet fig, mango, and coconut water are balanced by spicy ginger and turnip greens. Put your own spin on this smoothie by playing with the ratio of sweet to spicy.
Figs are one of the rare fruits that increase in nutrition once dried. This is a win-win because they taste sweeter and they’ll last longer in your pantry! Figs are filled with proteolytic enzymes, known as ficin, that aid in the breakdown of proteins.1
Ginger is famous for easing intestinal inflammation in the digestive tract. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.2 Throwing in fresh ginger root will not only add some spice to the smoothie but more importantly, it’ll help to soothe painful stomach cramps. It’s worth mentioning that this small but potent ingredient supports digestion with prebiotics, promoting the growth of good gut bacteria.
Turnip Greens are one of the most nutrient dense per calorie vegetables available in the grocery store. They contain 11 RDA’s in 12 cups and only 238 calories! You get all your daily requirements of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Folic Acid, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper, Calcium, Manganese, Pantothenic Acid, and Vitamin E.3,4,5,6,7
We only use 2 cups in this recipe. As you become braver, increase the amounts of these amazing leaves! The idea is to slowly increase the amounts of greens as your digestion becomes healthier. Mustard greens and Kale are also great choices.
Mangos contain digestive enzymes such as mangiferin, katechol oxidase, and lactase, that digest blood sugars and protect against fatty deposits in the liver.8
Having problems fully digesting protein? It is time to use functional foods that contain the right mix of enzymes combined with bitter and nutrient-dense vegetables to rebuild your gastrointestinal system.
2) Mashhadi, Nafiseh Shokri et al. “Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence.” International Journal of Preventive Medicine 4.Suppl 1 (2013): S36–S42. Print.
3) Li F, Hullar MAJ, Schwarz Y, et al. Human Gut Bacterial Communities Are Altered by Addition of Cruciferous Vegetables to a Controlled Fruit- and Vegetable-Free Diet. Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 139, No. 9, 1685-1691, September 2009. 2009.
4) Tang L, Zirpoli GR, Guru K, et al. Consumption of Raw Cruciferous Vegetables is Inversely Associated with Bladder Cancer Risk. 2007 Apr 15;67(8):3569-73. 2007.
5) Zhang Y. Allyl isothiocyanate as a cancer chemopreventive phytochemical. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Jan;54(1):127-35. 2010.
6) Vieites-Outes C, Lopez-Hernandez J, and Lage-Yusty MA. Modification of glucosinolates in turnip greens (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa L.) subjected to culinary heat processes. CyTA – Journal of Food, 2016, 14, 4, pages 536-540.
7) Thiruvengadam M and Chung IM. Selenium, putrescine, and cadmium influence health-promoting phytochemicals and molecular-level effects on turnip (Brassica rapa ssp. rapa). Food Chem. 2015 Apr 15;173:185-93.
8) Benard O, Chi Y. Medicinal properties of mangiferin, structural features, derivative synthesis, pharmacokinetics and biological activities. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2015;15(7):582-94.