Posted in food, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca, nutrition

Best Smoothie Ingredients

Customize your smoothies to suit your needs and your dietary restrictions.  Pick and choose the ingredients you like to eat or drink.  This will make your custom smoothies easier to swallow, literally.  These ingredients may vary with age too.  For example, seniors may add ingredients that combat arthritis, but the younger generation might not yet care about arthritis. I recently started adding frozen beets to my smoothies as I read they are good for my circulation.

Vitamins & Minerals

Everyone needs vitamins and minerals, regardless of your age. Do your research to see which ingredients contain the vitamins you are deficient in. For example, if you need vitamin B12, use milk or yogurt as your base.

Add Creaminess

Bananas add creaminess and sweetness as well as vitamins B6 and B12, potassium and magnesium. If you are on a calorie restriction however, bananas are not usually recommended as they have a high glycemic index.

Avocados add creaminess too with the added benefit of good (omega 3) fats, fiber, and many vitamins including folate and vitamin K.

Berries are Terrific

Berries are antioxidants and add fiber to your smoothies. Most are also high in vitamin C. Raspberries are very seedy though, so can make your smoothie not so smooth. Blueberries and/or strawberries are terrific. Buy them frozen to keep them easily accessible and their nutrients fresh.

Dark Leafy Greens

If you don’t eat enough dark leafy greens, throw some in your smoothie. They are loaded with vitamins such as A, C and K as well as folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Most are also antioxidants too. Don’t use too many at once though, or your smoothie will get too sludgy. Been there, done that!

Add a Boost of Protein

Protein is always a nice addition to provide even more nutrition to your smoothies. I use hemp hearts and collagen in mine. As well as a good source of protein, collagen is purportedly good for my arthritic joints as well as my aging skin. Protein powder works too and helps keep your smoothies smooth.

Green Tea

Add a few cups of green tea to your smoothie to boost your antioxidant level and reduce cholesterol, body fat, tooth decay, bad breath, and blood pressure. Green tea also gives you a caffeine boost.

If green tea is not your thing, add milk or almond milk for the liquid necessary to blend all the chunkier ingredients.

Spice it Up

Spices such as turmeric, curry powder, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin etc. add flavor and many health benefits. Most are antioxidants, and help to combat inflammation and even cancer.

Conclusion

Tweak your own ingredient list so your smoothie is both tasty and healthy. That way you will continue to concoct and drink them. They make a great start to your morning or a hydrating and healthy boost any other time of day.

Posted in food, health and wellness, lorieb.com

Next generation antioxidants

Move over first generation antioxidants, next generation antioxidants are taking over in scientific research and our hopes for healthier lives.  First generation antioxidants, all the rage at the turn of the century, have proven to have fallen short of their miraculous promise to prevent and erase many diseases. Vitamins C and E, as well as selenium, were included in this group.

Think of oxidation as rust in our bodies.  Just as rust on our possessions (cars and tools etc) affects their appearance and function, oxidation in our bodies is not a good thing. We all know that plaque buildup in our arteries restricts the flow of blood throughout our bodies.  Oxidation of this plaque can cause brittle and sharp chunks of it to fall off damaging and even tearing our arteries.

Antioxidation means the prevention of oxidation over time. Anti-oxidants, therefore, are targeted at diseases associated with aging such as neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases and even cancer.

Next generation antioxidants are proving to be much more effective at preventing oxidation.  They prevent oxidation and more.  This new group includes:

  • PQQ (pyrroloquinoline quinoline quinone) is found in parsley, green tea, green peppers, kiwi, spinach, and peanuts.  PQQ also provides cellular energy.
  • CoenzymeQ10 is found in spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower.
  • Glutathione  also cleanses the body of toxins such as pollution, antibiotics, medicine etc.   Organic whey (cow and goat), asparagus, okra, rice bran, turmeric, cinnamon, curcumin, milk thistle, avocados, red beets, peaches, watermelon, and brazil nuts as well as sulfur-containing vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, garlic etc, all increase our glutathione levels.
  • EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) is found in green tea.
  • Astaxanthin is 500 times more powerful than vitamin C.  Although shrimp, trout, and Pacific salmon contain some Astaxanthin from the algae they eat, its most powerful form is in capsules.

 

pictures from Pexels.com

 

My theory is that these antioxidants are best consumed in our daily diets.  As with everything else, moderation and a healthy balance are the keys here.  If your diet is rich in the “super foods” listed above, supplements are not necessary.

Posted in food

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

courtesy of Wikimedia commons

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but do you believe it?  I do.   Apples are in incredibly easy, inexpensive and delicious way to add fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your diet.

Apples have been around forever, since the days of Adam and Eve…

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courtesy of Wikimedia commons

 

Apples are fat-free, cholesterol free, gluten-free, low in sodium, and full of fiber (with the peel on), pectin, vitamins, flavonoids, minerals and antioxidants. One apple contains approximately five grams of fiber and just eighty calories.

Doctors have suspected for years that constipation, caused by insufficient fiber in the diet, is at the root of many illnesses. Conditions such as appendicitis, varicose veins, diverticulitis, hernias and hemorrhoids are all thought to be caused by strained bowel movements. Most people know that fiber can alleviate these strained bowel movements. An apple a day can go a long way to keeping your body regular and free from constipation. My children can attest to the fact that anytime they complained of a stomach ache, I would always ask them when the last time they had a good poop, then prepare them a large bowl of sliced apples (with the peel still on) sprinkled with cinnamon. See a previous post

Pectin is a carbohydrate found in apples that helps our intestines when diarrhea is a problem.  This is because pectin causes food to congeal, just as it does when you use it to make jam or jelly.  Most mothers are familiar with the BRAT diet of bananas, rice, unsweetened applesauce and toast when their children have been ill with diarrhea.  Most of these ingredients are bland and easy on the stomach.  The applesauce (apples without the fiber of the peel) is primarily included in this diet because of the pectin.

Apples are full of magnesium and potassium which help control your blood pressure.   Quercetin is a flavonoid found in apples that protects your artery walls as well as your lungs.  Boron, a trace mineral that is absorbed from the soil, is also found in apples and has been shown to be beneficial for your joints.  Antioxidants are helpful to prevent disease and even to stop the growth of cancer cells once they are present in your system.

Now that you know just how good apples are for you, be sure to eat an apple a day to stay healthy or get healthier, starting today!

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courtesy of Wikimedia commons

 

 

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