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Scientists Explained How to Boost Spinach Smoothies

In a new study that appeared in MDPI, researchers find that to get the best out of the antioxidants in spinach in a green smoothie it’s better to use coconut milk, or medium- or high-fat milk in the drink, as these ingredients help liberate lutein, an antioxidant associated with a better eye and heart health.

For their study, the researchers compared 14 liquids widely used in smoothies to determine which would best liberate lutein from spinach for absorption by the digestive system.

Their results showed that spinach smoothies containing coconut milk with or without additives, and high-fat and medium-fat cow’s milk are best for liberating lutein. Coconut milk without additives increased lutein liberation by 42%, and with additives by 25%. High-fat cow milk increased lutein availability by 36%, while medium-fat cow milk did so by 30%.

Rosanna W. S. Chung, Ph.D., lead investigator of the new study, says: “Many previous studies, including my own, showed indication that lutein could suppress the key process of inflammation, so increased daily intake of lutein could potentially be beneficial to people suffering chronic inflammation such as coronary artery disease.”

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