I hope you enjoyed the last post and have attempted to create a green smoothie of your own. (If green is not your thing, I have a sweet, pink, little treat of a recipe at the end of this post ;-))
I’m sure you know that dark, leafy greens are chock full of nutrients and we SHOULD eat them every day, but let’s face it, that doesn’t always happen, am I right?! One of my reasons for drinking a green smoothie daily, is that I instantly feel a little better knowing that I had a few servings of fruit and vegetables first thing in the morning. It either sets me up for healthy habits the rest of the day, or makes me feel a little less guilty when the rest of my day is spent eating cookie dough with a spoon 😉
With all of the hype about green drinks & smoothies I thought I would remind you just HOW GOOD fruit & veggies are for you. No matter how many times I read this book, I am still blown away by how amazing real food actually is! (Nutrition nerds unite!)
Nutritional highlights & health benefits:
- 1 nutrient dense cup serving has only 41 calories
- Excellent source of vitamin K, carotenes, vitamin C, folic acid
- Very good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B12
- One of the richest dietary sources of lutein (lowering risk of developing macular degeneration)
- Contains twice as much iron as most other greens
- Spinach extracts have been shown to slow cell division in human stomach cancer cells
- 1 cup of kale supplies more than 70% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin C, with only 20 calories!
- Excellent source of carotenes, vitamins C & B6, manganese
- Very good source of dietary fiber, copper, iron, & calcium
- Good source of vitamins B1, B2, and E
- Extremely high in chlorophyll & carotenes (beta-carotene, lutein, & zeaxanthin)
- One of the most powerful anticancer foods
- One cup of swiss chard has 388.9% of daily value of vitamin K (which is responsible for maintaining bone health)
- Excellent source of carotenes, vitamins C, E, fiber, and chlorophyll
- Only 14 calories in 3 & 1/2 ounce serving!
- 81% water content (prevents dehydration post long run!)
- Source of potassium, carotenes, & vitamin C
- Protect against inflammation, cancer, & heart disease (due to unique flavonoid content)
- Excellent source of vitamin C & K, dietary fiber & flavonoids
- Good source of folic acid, biotin, and vitamin B6
- Only 1 cup provides 184% of daily value of vitamin A, 61% of DV of vitamin C, 20% of DV of copper, 17% of DV of vitamin B6, and 12% DV of fiber & vitamin E!
- One cup only contains 107 calories!
- People who suffer from muscle cramps, stress, or heart problems can benefit from mangoes’ high potassium & magnesium content
- NSAIDS- such as Ibuprofen & aspirin work by blocking 2 cyclooxygenase enzymes, so that pain messages are never sent…. anthocyanidins from cherries are also able to block these same enzymes (COX-1 & COX-2)!!
- Tart cherries have been found to contain significant quantities of melatonin, a hormone produced in the pineal gland, that influences sleep & is a very powerful antioxidant
- Tart cherries also contain perillyl alcohol which appears to be extremely powerful in reducing the incidence of all types of cancer
- Pineapple is rich in bromelain which aids digestion, reduces inflammation, & breaks down mucus in respiratory conditions
- Just one cup of pineapple contains 73% of DV of manganese
I could go on & on, but I will spare you 😉 Long story short, throwing any combination of fruit/veg into your blender is a smart choice. As complicated as the world of “health” can seem, it is always reassuring to me when I read something simple that reminds me to EAT REAL FOOD as often as possible & to exercise in any way that is fun, sustainable, and simple.
Finally, as promised…
CHERRY ZUCCHINI SLUSHIES
Simple & delicious, this four ingredient slushie can be made in a pinch when all of your fresh produce is gone, can be enjoyed as a late night treat, or can be shared with a loved one for breakfast!
Green smoothie lover?
Any-kind-of smoothie lover?
How was your week?
Anyone have a long run or race this weekend?!