Last week I pleasantly surprised my senses with this spur-of-the-moment, disease-fighting smoothie. Read on to learn why beets and ginger are staples in my medicine cabinet.
Beets offer many health benefits due to their numerous antioxidants. For starters, they contain betalains which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, therefore, promoting cardiovascular and metabolic health. Betalains have even been shown to help suppress tumor growth in studies on multiple cancer cell lines and animal models. Other antioxidants found in beets include manganese, which helps regulate glucose metabolism, and vitamin C (in the greens). Beet greens also contain lutein which is known for maintaining eye health. For women who are pregnant or trying to conceive, beets’ folate, vitamin B and iron content makes this vegetable a worthy smoothie addition. Finally, betaine, an amino acid found in beets, can act as an antidepressant.
Ginger has been used as a herbal medicine for years and is currently one of the most researched spices. Last year a study reported that daily ginger consumption lowered fasting blood sugar in those with type 2 diabetes. Previously, a randomized controlled trial demonstrated that ginger decreased cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These promising results demonstrate how beneficial ginger may be for women with PCOS.
- 3 small fresh beets (steamed or raw) or 6 small canned beets (I store prepped beets in the freezer for a thicker smoothie)
- 1 scoop pea protein powder
- 1 small banana, fresh or frozen
- 1 inch ginger
- 1/4 cup coconut water
- Add all ingredients to blender and go for a whirl! If it is not blending easily add more coconut water or water.
- beets = good source of folate, anti-inflammatory, helps lower blood pressure, may help lower cholesterol, shown to reduce cancerous tumors in various animal models, beet leaves are high in iron (eat in moderation due to high oxalate content which can worsen gout and kidney stones)
- ginger = anti-inflammatory, may help decrease fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, cholesterol and triglycerides
- pea protein = helps decrease high cholesterol and manage insulin resistance, helps build lean muscle mass