Cherry Zucchini Slushies & real food facts

Hey there!

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 ;-))

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Sweet Spinach Sunrise

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:

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SPINACH

  • 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

KALE  

  • 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)

SWISS CHARD 

  • 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

ZUCCHINI

  • Only 14 calories in 3 & 1/2 ounce serving!
  • 81% water content (prevents dehydration post long run!)
  • Source of potassium, carotenes, & vitamin C

STRAWBERRIES 

  • 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

MANGO

  • 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

CHERRIES

  •  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

  • 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 

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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!                         

                  
Ingredients:                                                                        Click here for a printable recipe!
 
1 cup frozen, pitted, dark cherries
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup frozen, peeled, chopped, zucchini
1.5 cups coconut water
 
Steps: 
 
Blend well
Pour into your favorite cup
Enjoy!
 
 MAKES 2, 8 oz drinks

Green smoothie lover?

Any-kind-of smoothie lover?

How was your week?

Anyone have a long run or race this weekend?!

XO,

CS

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