Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Balanced summer smoothies

Today, dietitians from our suburban Phoenix hospital share two tasty smoothie recipes that can help cancer patients maintain strength and weight. The Nutrition Therapy team’s Green Smoothie and Berry Breakfast Smoothie are easy energy boosters that help patients and caregivers alike get in their five to nine servings of fruits and veggies a day.

Dietitian Rachel Winston, MS, RD says of the green smoothie, "Most people think of smoothies as a fruit-based drink, but this recipe adds leafy greens and cruciferous veggies, which are incredibly nutritious and all-around great for you. These veggies have anti-cancer properties and can help lower the risk of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes."

Try the recipes below this summer. For a bit of fun, pour a smoothie into a hurricane glass and top with a cocktail umbrella.

Green Smoothie

  • Handful of both spinach and kale
  • 3 broccoli florets
  • 1 green apple, sliced and cored
  • 6-8 ounces coconut water
  • Ice as desired

Combine all ingredients above in a blender and combine until smooth. The coconut water can be substituted with pineapple juice or natural lemonade.

Health benefits

  • Spinach, kale and broccoli are superfoods packed with vitamins (e.g., A, C, B6, K, folic acid, calcium) and minerals (e.g., iron, potassium, magnesium), fiber and antioxidants.
  • Cholesterol-free and low in calories, green apples (or Granny Smith apples) are full of fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C. They can help regulate blood sugar, making them the perfect nutritious snack for diabetic cancer patients.
  • Coconut water is a natural, low-cal, low-sodium, low-fat drink. It adds electrolytes to rehydrate and replenish your body.

Berry Breakfast Smoothie

  • 1 cup of mixed berries
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 serving of protein powder (e.g., whey protein)
  • 1 tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 6-8 ounces coconut water
  • Ice as desired

Combine all ingredients above in a blender and combine until smooth. To boost calorie intake, the coconut water can be substituted with dairy milk or an alternative such as soy, coconut or almond milk.

Health benefits

  • Rich in antioxidants and vitamins, berries are good for your heart, bones and joints. They may also help lower blood pressure and manage diabetes.
  • Bananas are low in calories, but can help you feel full and keep you regular. A great source of potassium, bananas support normal heart function.
  • Whey protein can help you maintain muscle and control blood sugar levels.
  • Flax seeds are an excellent source of healthy fat and fiber.

For more recipe ideas and nutrition tips, watch our nutrition videos.