Antioxidant Cancer-Fighting Smoothie

I posted a photo of my daily antioxidant smoothie I’m blending up every day as part of my cancer-fighting regimen, and I received an overwhelming response requesting the recipe, so here it is today! I called upon my experience working with cancer as a dietitian over the years to create this recipe, and it’s filled with whole foods and ingredients that have been found to have particular promise in helping to fight cancer. This Antioxidant Cancer-Fighting Smoothie is easy to whip up, and it’s meant to be consumed as a light meal or supplement to your diet. It’s free of sugar, and rich in vitamins, minerals, fibers, omega-s, and unique plant compounds linked with cancer protection. Whether you are eating to prevent cancer, or are currently in a cancer treatment regimen, this smoothie can be a protective addition to your day. While you can easily eat all of these foods in your diet, I find that it’s often hit or miss—are you getting cruciferous veggies, mushrooms, flax, berries, mushrooms, green tea, ginger, and turmeric in your diet every single day? Probably not. But creating a routine of making a smoothie is an easy way to ensure you are getting these important foods in your diet daily.

It’s important to note that a smoothie like this is no substitution for a healthful, cancer-fighting diet that includes a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, pulses, herbs, spices, nuts and seeds. Try to include these as the backbone of your cancer-fighting lifestyle. Read more about a cancer-fighting diet in my blog here.

If you are in cancer treatment—such as chemotherapy or radiation—please discuss the use of any dietary supplements, including those in this smoothie—with your healthcare provider. Do not consider this smoothie to be part of your personalized medical nutrition therapy plan. The use of antioxidant supplements is controversial during cancer treatment, because some evidence suggests they may do too good of a job at protecting cells, which means they may protect cancer cells and interfere with cancer treatment—not the desired effect. However, other research shows that antioxidant therapy may actually counter the harmful, oxidative effects of cancer therapy. So, there are many opinions on the best course of action during treatment. Check out an article I wrote about this debate a few years ago here. My opinion is to skip the supplements and stick to the whole foods as much as possible—it’s hard to get too much of a good thing when you consumer foods in their natural form, compared to capsules. This Antioxidant Cancer-Fighting Smoothie is focused on whole foods as much as possible.

Sipping my daily antioxidant smoothie at home.

There have been reported incidences of contaminated supplements on the market, such as the general category of ingredients (i.e., mushroom powder, turmeric, and greens powders) I’m including in this recipe. While research has linked some of these ingredients with benefits, they are not considered to be “cures” or “treatments” for cancer. Also, beware of unproven, non-validated dietary supplements, which also may contain contaminants. Rely on a high-quality, reputable brand of supplements, with a third-party validation system.

The main ingredients in the smoothie include (clockwise from top left) greens powder, berries, flax seeds, kale, green matcha tea powder, mushrooms (these are turkey tail), and plant protein powder.

So, what’s so special about these ingredients in my smoothie? Here’s a run-down:

  • Berries. Of all of nature’s fruits, berries have a special place in health—they are part of traditional foodways, and they are particularly potent in bioactive compounds that may confer cellular protection, attenuating inflammation and inhibiting the proliferation of premalignant and malignant cells, according to research.
  • Kale. This hearty vegetable is part of both the cruciferous and leafy green vegetable families, which are rich in carotenoids, vitamins C, E, and K, folate, minerals, and fiber, as well as compounds called glucosinolates—these in particular have been linked with protecting cells from DNA damage, inactivating carcinogens, reducing inflammation, inducing cancer cell death, and inhibiting tumor cell migration.
  • Flax seeds. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids called ALA, fiber, and lignans, flax seeds have been linked with reduced risks of certain cancers, such as breast; compounds in flax are converted to other compounds which have been shown to bind to cell receptors, and decrease cell growth and tumor size.
  • Ginger. One of our oldest spices, ginger has been found to have a number of anti-cancer effects, exhibiting antiproliferative, antitumor, and anti-inflammatory activities. In addition, ginger has well known anti-nausea effects, in particular those associated with chemotherapy.
  • Turmeric. Studies show that curcumin—the active component in the spice turmeric—has anti-cancer action, including inhibiting the growth of tumor cells and promoting cancer cell death.
  • Black pepper. The active compound in black pepper called piperine not only increases the bioavailability of curcumin, it also has its own cancer-fighting actions, including reducing oxidation and inflammation, and inhibiting the proliferation and survival of cancer cells.
  • Mushrooms. Varieties like reishi, turkey tail, shitake and maitake have been used as medicinal treatment in cancer for hundreds of years, and are an approved adjunct to standard treatment in Japan and China. They are generally safe, and have been linked to improved immune response and anti-cancer activity, mostly due to their unique compounds, like beta-glucans and glycoproteins known as PSK.
  • Green tea. Composed of numerous polyphenols, such as EGCG, EGC, ECG, and EC, green tea has significant antioxidant activity, protecting cells from DNA damage, inhibiting tumor cell proliferation, inducing cell death, and boosting immune function.
  • Greens powder. These powders differ in composition, but they usually include leafy greens, seaweed, grasses, and herbs. Depending on their ingredients, these green powders tend to provide high levels of vitamins A and C, iodine, potassium, iron, and phytochemicals. Though there is little research on the clinical cancer-protective benefits of specific green powders, these nutrients are linked with overall immune health.

I use kale from my garden for my daily antioxidant smoothie. If you haven’t tried growing kale, give it a try; one healthy plant can keep on giving for months, and kale does well in numerous growing regions.


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This antioxidant smoothie (vegan, gluten-free) provides a symphony of ingredients—berries, kale, flax, mushrooms, turmeric, ginger, green tea—to help fight cancer.

  1. Place berries, kale, flax seeds, protein powder, fresh ginger, turmeric, black pepper, mushroom powder, green matcha tea powder, greens powder, and water in the container of a small blender and process until very smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
  3. Makes 1 large serving
  • Prep Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: Smoothie
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: antioxidants, antioxidant smoothie, cancer fighting smoothie, vegan smoothie, healthy vegan smoothie

You can find some of the ingredients for this recipe at Thrive Market, where organic, plant-based, sustainable products are easy to find—get a discount at this code here.

I make my daily smoothie in my Nutribullet! Grab a discount code for your own blender here.

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