Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Recovery Smoothie


This thick and delicious smoothie is packed with superfoods that contain powerful anti-oxidants and tons of nutrients. It is the perfect way to help your body recover from a sickness, operation, or even just a hangover with no medications or supplements needed! 

Ingredients:


1 frozen banana*

1/2 cup frozen blueberries*
1/2 cup frozen strawberries*
1 cup almond milk 
1/2 Tbsp. almond butter
1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp. chai and/or hemp seeds
2 Tbsp. oat bran
*You don't have to use frozen fruit but it makes the smoothie really cold and thick. If you don't have frozen fruit just add 2-4 ice cubes to get a thicker texture.

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and serve with a straw or spoon.


*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

If you're interested, here are some of the amazing health benefits of the ingredients in this smoothie:



Banana Health Benefits:
-Consist mainly of sugars and fibre, making them ideal for an immediate and slightly prolonged source of energy
-Contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can be converted to serotonin, leading to improved mood
-Relatively high in iron, which helps the body's hemoglobin function. Hemoglobin is a protein-based component of red blood cells which is primarily responsible for transferring oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
-High in fibre and pectin, which help to promote normal digestive tract and bowel function
-Contain compounds that nourish probiotic bacteria in the colon, which protect our body's from unhealthy bacteria infections
-High in potassium and low in sodium, which helps stabilize and lower blood pressure and regulate the body's water balance
-Have a natural antacid effect in the body, providing soothing relief from heartburn



Blueberry Health Benefits:
-Have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit. They are rich in anthocyanin, vitamin C, B, E, A, copper, selenium, zinc, and iron. Theses vitamins and minerals are effective in building up the body's immune system and resistance to harmful bacteria and disease.
-These antioxidants also promote brain health by preventing degeneration and death of neurones, brain cells, and also by restoring the health of the central nervous system. This can also lead to improved and sharpened memory.
-Contain a compound which inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria along the urinary tract, which prevents urinary tract infections 
-High in fibre



Strawberry Health Benefits:
-Contain a high level of antioxidants, which helps prevent damage to the body's cells, fight off disease, and reduce signs of aging
-Excellent source of dietary fibre, Vitamin C, and K
-Contain ellagic acid, which can increase anti-cancer activity on cancer cells of the breast, esophagus, skin, liver, colon, prostate, and pancreas. It can also bind with cancer causing molecules, thereby making them inactive.
-The acid in strawberries is extremely effective at dissolving tartar build-up on teeth and also improves gum health
-Contain phenols that fight against inflammation



Almond Health Benefits:
-High in monounsaturated fats (healthy fats!), which lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease
-Excellent source of Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that promotes heart, skin, and hair health
-High in magnesium, which opens the blood vessels and improves the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body
-High in potassium, which is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function
-Studies have shown that almond's healthy fats may help you lost weight and lower the risk of weight gain by satisfying appetite, preventing over-eating, and stabilizing blood sugar levels in the body after a meal
-High in protein

From left: Hemp seeds, chia seeds, ground flaxseed

Flaxseed Health Benefits:
-High in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation, promote bone health by reducing bone loss/breakdown
-Omega-3 fats are also used to produce substances that reduce the formation of blood clots, which can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke
-Omega-3 fats are also needed to produce flexible cell membranes, which is helpful for nutrient absorption and waste elimination in cells
-Prevent and control high blood pressure and lower cholesterol
-A very good source of fibre that can lower cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar levels, and relieve constipation

Chia Seed Health Benefits:
-Extremely high in calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and protein
-Very high in Omega-3 fats which reduce inflammation and help the body fight off  the effects of aging
-Very high in fibre 
-Chia seeds are highly hydrophilic and hold around 10 times their weight in water, which is helpful for hydration 
-One of the most powerful anti-oxidant foods out there!

Hemp Seed Health Benefits:
-Excellent source of amino acids and easily digestible protein
-Rich in iron, zinc, and calcium
-High in Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids
-Lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels
-Healthy fats improve skin and hair health



Oat Bran Health Benefits:
-Rich in soluble fibre, which helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL cholesterol levels and can reduce blood pressure
-Helps to stabilize blood sugar levels
-High fibre content helps regulate bowel movements and relieves constipation
-Considered a whole grain
-Good source of protein and B vitamins


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