Sunshine Smoothie: Anti-Cancer Superhero

Sunshine Smoothie by An Unrefined Vegan

When it comes to smoothies it seems like green gets all of the attention.  Don’t get me wrong, I think a proper green smoothie is a sight to behold, but every once in a while, I want something lighter and brighter staring back at me in the morning.

This drink features one of my favorite smoothie ingredients: fresh turmeric.  Under a brown, papery skin, the root is a bright, deep orange and adds a distinctive yet subtle zing.  Turmeric to me had always been just that yellow powder that I added to tofu scramble and mac-n-cheese – for flavor, sure, but mostly to get some color.  Fresh turmeric has me hooked and though I have to go into OKC to the Asian market to get the fresh variety, it’s worth the trip and the price is right – $1 for about 10 root pieces.

To be sure, the rhizomes are homely little cusses, but they are cancer-fighting powerhouses.  The active ingredient in turmeric is the antioxidant curcumin that slows the replication of cancer cells and helps protect healthy cells from damage. Colon, prostate, lung and breast cancer rates are lower in India where turmeric is a part of the daily diet than here in the U.S.

In this drink, turmeric is joined by these powerful anti-cancer Super Friends:

  • Ginger: helps curb genetic mutations that transform normal cells into cancer cells
  • Grapefruit: detoxifying; contains naringenin which slows the growth of breast cancer cells; the peel contains d-limonene which may help in keeping pancreatic and colorectal cancers at bay.
  • Orange: detoxifying; contains cancer-inhibiting flavonoids; the peel contains d-limonene which may help in fighting pancreatic and colorectal cancers.
  • Carrots: rich in protective carotene that stimulates T-cell cytotoxic capabilities; protects the skin from sun damage; helps protect against lung, bladder, stomach, prostate and colon cancers.
  • Bananas: high in potassium and low in sodium, they help reduce blood pressure and equalize blood sugar levels; there is some debate whether or not very ripe bananas with brown skin contain properties that protect cells from mutation.  Better safe than sorry – eat your nanners.

For an extra cancer-bashing boost, replace the water with chilled green tea – and by all means – add some kale in there if you like.  


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Sunshine Smoothie

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  • Author: Annie
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10


Brighten even the gloomiest day with this powerhouse of a smoothie, flavor-packed with orange, ginger, grapefruit, carrots, mango, and turmeric.


  • 1 cup water
  • 2 oranges, mostly peeled, but leave a little bit
  • 1 large grapefruit, mostly peeled, but leave a little bit
  • 1 banana
  • 1 mango, pitted & peeled
  • 1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/2 cup baby carrots
  • 23-inch piece of fresh turmeric, peeled
  • 2 dates, optional


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Tastiest served chilled.


  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 347
  • Sugar: 68
  • Sodium: 27
  • Fat: 1
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 88
  • Protein: 5
  • Cholesterol: 0



Smoothie with Toast

Sunshine Smoothie

66 thoughts on “Sunshine Smoothie: Anti-Cancer Superhero

  1. bar

    Annie! So cool! I also just learned that if you run turmeric (the powder) on unwanted hair, it helps get rid of it! Anyway, smoothie looks delicious – love your yummy and informative posts!

      1. bar

        Haha. I know – you might lose the hair, but I’m pretty sure you’d be left with yellow skin. Pick your poison!

  2. Lou

    Oh I LOVE fresh tumeric – it’s so pretty too, not to mention a highly effective medicine. I really love this combination of flavours you have come up with – it definitely SCREAMS “Good Morning!” to me 🙂

  3. Pingback: Sunshine Smoothie: Anti-Cancer Superhero | Vegan Today

  4. tearoomdelights

    Who could resist the title of this blog post? And the photos are gorgeous. A bit of sunshine is just what we need. I’ve never used fresh turmeric and am surprised by how cheap it is, I’ll have to look out for it.

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      Aren’t they great? I got them at a very cool (read: over-priced) store called Anthropologie. They have clothes and accessories, but I’m not interested in that stuff. It’s their home goods that I love. I’m sure you would totally dig it, too.

  5. Lisa

    This looks absolutely beautiful! I’ve been adding turmeric to just about everything, so I will definitely have to try this!

      1. Lisa

        I usually use the powder, and just put a little dab in everything! I use it in almost every chickpea dish-most recently a farinata and some Indian dishes. I also put it in vegan capsules and take it like that

  6. Somer

    I’ve been hearing so much about fresh turmeric recently. Anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory super immune booster. Now I’ve got to high tail to my Asian Market! Gorgeous girl!

  7. Brittany

    Ahh yes a break from the classic green smoothie. This looks delishhh! I love the addition of the spices. Perfect for a tropical getaway! Now I just need a plane ticket!

  8. Richa

    I am just 10 minutes away from the market and i never pick up the fresh root whenever they are in stock. I was trying to figure out where would i use it apart from trying to brush my teeth with it(grandma used to do it):) this sounds perfect:)
    i dont know about the unwanted hair. the skin would look so yellow 🙂

  9. tinykitchenstories

    Can’t wait to try this! I do agree that Green is Great, but sometimes you need something a little less forbidding. And this seems like just the thing. I’ll definitely get some fresh turmeric next time I see it!

  10. Cauldrons and Cupcakes

    Love this recipe – it just speaks of summer. We’re growing organic tumeric here at my farm as a trial crop. Fingers crossed it will be a success and then we’ll move into bigger production…

  11. Sophie33

    I loved the 1st picture of the smoothies,… so tasty looking & sounding! I love mango with ginger & to add carrots & turmeric too,…double waw!
    Did you use white or pink grapefruit in here, Annie? I must make these lovely ones soon!

  12. celestedimilla

    I’ve heard a lot about how good turmeric is for you, but I never even thought about using fresh turmeric. I’m sure it’s a lot healthier fresh, so I’m going to look for it. I don’t even think Whole Foods carries it, however; so I’ll have to seek out an Asian market. Thanks for this post!! Celeste 🙂

  13. Richgail Enriquez

    I’m getting tired of my usual ingredients for green smoothies, I’m excited to try this one . It’s not green but still very healthy 🙂

  14. carrieonvegan

    Looks awesome! Thanks for submitting this recipe to Healthy Vegan Fridays. Adding turmeric is brilliant. 🙂

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  17. biggsis

    This is really interesting – I’ve never used fresh turmeric before. I hope I can get it, because again – you have broken the mold for smoothies. This sounds great.

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