This Neuroscientist's Go-To Green Smoothie Is A+ For Brain Health (Duh)
Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki, Ph.D., whips up a green smoothie every morning for breakfast. It's a recipe she leans on to help ease her everyday anxiety, she tells us on the mindbodygreen podcast, but it's not only about the nutritious, brain-supporting ingredients (although, the right foods can certainly help support your calm); in fact, the ritual itself is rather soothing—a moment of pause in an otherwise frenzied morning schedule.
So what does this neuroscientist include in her brain-healthy smoothie? Ahead, Suzuki breaks down her go-to recipe.
How to make Suzuki's green smoothie.
Suzuki's smoothie is chock-full of brain-healthy players. Take bananas, for example: The fruit is rich in magnesium, and studies have shown that a lack of magnesium can kick-start the sympathetic nervous system (and when this sympathetic nervous system is on overdrive, it can lead to increased anxiety). Spinach is also packed with brain-supporting vitamins and minerals, like vitamin K, folate, and lutein. Finally, research shows apples can help maintain acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that tends to reduce with age and oxidative stress. (An apple a day, as they say...)
Not to mention, Suzuki finds the very act of making this smoothie quite meditative. She calls it a "moment of flow," a time when she can calm her mind and focus only on the task at hand—in this case, crafting a cool, delicious breakfast smoothie. "It becomes a particular superpower for those of us that have anxiety," she says.
Below, find Suzuki's everyday recipe (note: She lists each ingredient, but she didn't specify measurements during the episode; these are our suggestions to give you the best flavor and consistency).
- 1 banana (make it frozen for extra creaminess!)
- 1 large handful of spinach
- ½ celery stalk, chopped
- 1 green apple, chopped
- ½ cup ice
- 1 cup water (feel free to add more or less liquid depending on how thin you like the consistency)
- Chuck all the ingredients into a blender and whir until smooth.
- Sip and enjoy for breakfast, snack, or any time of the day.
Of course, you can always play around with the ingredients and make the recipe your own—a healthy fat, like avocado or nut butter, can also help keep you fuller for longer. No matter your concoction, try Suzuki's tip to slow down while making your smoothie. The blending alone might help soothe your mind.
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.