7 Smoothie Recipes to Get You in Gear

Smoothies are a great way to pack lots of nutrients into one frosty drink. The key, however, is to prepare your smoothie with the healthiest ingredients, all while creating the yummiest flavor. Here are some recipes that are nutritious, delicious, and will boost your booty into high gear.

Main Smoothie Staples

There are a few categories of ingredients you’ll want to add to most or all of your smoothies. They are: protein, fiber, good fat, and fresh produce

Here are some examples. You can derive protein from: protein powder (pea protein has no dairy or soy); nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), seeds (pumpkin, flax, chia); good fats (coconut or flaxseed oil, avocado, almond butter), fiber (berries, carrots, squash, pumpkin), and greens (spinach, kale, chard, basil).

Feel free to mix and match within the food groups and improvise with the recipes.

Don’t skip the good fats thinking that will help your diet. You need the good fats to help you absorb all the nutrients in the powders and the whole foods. It’s the nutrients that boost your metabolism and actually help you lose weight and maintain optimum health.

The biggest detriment to store-bought smoothies is their sugar content. When making them at home, use stevia or honey if you feel you need to add more sweetness. These recipes, however, should be perfectly adequate without any type of sweetening additive. Toss all the ingredients in the blender (adding ice is optional) and tada! Your “get in gear” smoothie will appear.

APPLE PIE IN THE SKY SMOOTHIE

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
½ minced green apple
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon almond butter
8 ounces unsweetened vanilla almond milk

 

LIGHTING UP THE BLACK FOREST

 

2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1/3 cup pitted dark cherries
1/3 cup raspberries
1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
1 teaspoon organic unsweetened cocoa powder
8 ounces unsweetened chocolate almond milk

 

PUNCH IT UP PINA COLADA

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 teaspoon coconut oil
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
8 ounces original or vanilla unsweetened coconut milk

 

JUMPIN’ FOR ALMOND JOY

 

2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
8 ounces vanilla or chocolate unsweetened almond milk

 

PERKY PINK LADY

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup raspberries
1/3 cup strawberries
1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
splash of unsweetened cranberry juice
8 ounces unsweetened plain or vanilla coconut milk

 

GREEN GO-GETTER

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
½ cup chopped spinach
pinch of fresh basil leaves
pinch of wheat grass
½ ripe avocado
½ minced green apple
8 ounces of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

 

SOCK IT TO ME CINNAMON

 

2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup blueberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut oil
8 ounces plain unsweetened almond milk

 

Any of these smoothies can replace one of your three main meals of the day. A suggested dietary habit can include one smoothie daily along with fresh, whole foods for snacks and other meals. For additional recipes, up-to-date food recommendations, and best health practices for you and your family, check out www.GetThrive.com

Omega-3s May Prevent High Blood Pressure Later in Life

Most Omega-3 fatty acid studies have been focused on those who already have high blood pressure. A new study out of Switzerland, however, reveals some interesting findings from healthy participants aged 25 to 41.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Don’t be frightened by the term fatty acid. It’s a necessary element in our diet, and our body doesn’t naturally produce it. Omega-3s, in particular, have shown to improve the functioning of our blood vessels, decrease inflammation, and strengthen heart health. It can be found in foods such as: fish (salmon, tuna, halibut), walnuts, flaxseeds, olive oil, beans, winter squash, tofu, and others.

Very high doses of omega-3s can lower blood pressure momentarily. But what about long-term, moderate use? Will that prevent high blood pressure in the future? That’s what the scientists were wondering…

The Study

Lead researcher, Dr. Mark Filipovic, studied results from 2,000 participants in the program. Men and women, aged 25 to 41, were divided into four groups. All of the people were considered healthy, did not have diabetes and were not obese. (Those conditions tend to impact blood pressure levels.)

Those with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood had the lowest systolic and lowest diastolic of all the groups. Systolic pressure is the top number of the blood pressure reading; it measures the pressure exerted against artery walls when the heart beats. Diastolic pressure, the bottom number, measures the pressure exerted when the heart rests between beats.

How an Omega-3-rich Diet Can Benefit You

The assumption, after that particular study, is that encouraging diets rich in omega-3s could be a tool in preventing high blood pressure. Filipovic expressed that, overall, if blood pressure levels were lowered—even a small amount—it would make a big difference. Fewer people might suffer strokes and heart attacks.

An alternate study, which focused on those who already have high blood pressure, noted that adding omega-3 fatty acids into their diet reduced their levels. Even less than a gram made a difference. (That’s a handful of walnuts and a half of an avocado, or a 4-ounce piece of Alaskan salmon.)

Instead of taking more supplements, it’s best to incorporate fresh foods that promote optimum health. And when it comes to your heart, you don’t want to mess around. Click here for other helpful information on good-for-your-body foods.

 

The Facts about Flaxseed

Flaxseed has been called a wonder food, the most powerful plant food, and high-fiber super food for valid reason.

So what is flaxseed?

Sometimes called linseeds, flaxseeds are golden or brown colored seeds that offer a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1 and a super supply of omega-3 fatty acids. 1

Why is flaxseed so important?

Flaxseed contains 75-800 times more lignans than any other plant.  By definition, lignans contain both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities, and for each tablespoon of ground flax, you will find 1.8 grams of plant based omega-3s.  Flaxseed is considered to be a medicinal food as well, and has been shown to protect against many life-threatening health conditions. While some benefits have not been “conclusively established”, preliminary studies have suggested that flaxseed may help fight heart disease, diabetes and may prevent certain cancers, colon, breast and prostate cancer. 2

What are lignans?

Lignans are a group of chemical compounds known as polyphenols.  Found in plants, lignans form building blocks of plant cell walls.  They contain phytoestrogens which help regulate the body’s estrogen production.  When we consume lignan compounds, they are converted in our intestines by good bacteria to produce a form that our body can incorporate.

What can lignans do for me?

As mentioned before, it has been shown that lignans play a role in protecting against cancer.  They are responsible for blocking enzymes that are part of hormone metabolism and interfere with spread and growth of tumor cells.  Other health benefits include lowering blood-pressure, which may be attributed to the amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseeds.  Consuming a daily dose of flaxseeds may also improve cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity and heart disease. The suggested dose, according to the Flax Council of Canada, is 1 to 2 tablespoons daily.  However, in the US, more research continues. 3, 4

Which one is better?

Flaxseed comes in different forms, ground or milled and whole.  Ground flaxseeds are a better choice for digestion.  Because ground flaxseed is more easily digested, the nutrients from flaxseeds are more easily absorbed.   Typically, you will find brown or golden flaxseed in the stores, and there is little nutritional difference. In the store, you can find flaxseed among other flours and grains.

Always check labels

Be sure you are not purchasing whole flaxseed unless you prefer to mill it at home. It may take to be sure you are not purchasing whole flaxseed unless you prefer to mill it at home. It may take time to get used to a new food, so nutritionists recommend adding flaxseed into yogurt, smoothies, soup, cereal or oatmeal. Another way to incorporate flax is to mix into sauces, casseroles, and protein mixtures, as well as baked goods. 5

Once purchased, it’s important to store ground flax in the freezer, so that it does not oxidize and lose nutritional value.

While there is no magic pill or cure that will guarantee good health, we can take daily steps to prevent or improve our existing conditions. Choosing a healthy diet and incorporating flaxseed into one of your meals is a good place to start.

A great resource for information and recipes can be found at www.flax.com

 

References:

  1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263405.php
  2. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed#1
  3. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed#5
  4. http://www.lignans.net/health-benefits.html

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/flaxseed/faq-20058354