Heart Beet Ginger Smoothie (Anti-Inflammatory)

Learn why beets and ginger are staples in my medicine cabinet.

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.

Beet Ginger Smoothie
Beet Ginger Smoothie

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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 plant-based protein powder
  • 1 small banana, fresh or frozen
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1/4 cup coconut water

How to:

  1. Add all ingredients to blender and go for a whirl! If it is not blending easily add more coconut water or water.

PCOS Powers:

  • 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
  • hemp protein = helps decrease high cholesterol and manage insulin resistance, helps build lean muscle mass

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Heart Beet Ginger Smoothie

Use code: PHRUITFULDISH for 20% off hemp protein powder by Ergogenics Nutrition

Mint Matcha Mocha Madness Smoothie

Matcha madness is everywhere! Try matcha and spearmint tea in a smoothie.

Mounting evidence of tea’s health benefits recently inspired me to replace lackluster water in my smoothies with tea! This smoothie fights PCOS with a one-two punch from spearmint and matcha tea. In a randomized controlled trial, 41 women with PCOS drank either 2 cups of spearmint or herbal tea (placebo) a day. After 30 days, free and total testosterone levels of the spearmint tea drinkers were significantly decreased (with a slight reported decrease in hirsutism). Previously, the same antiandrogenic effect was shown in an animal study. Although the literature is limited, the potential benefits of drinking spearmint tea likely outweigh the risks.

Some benefits of sipping green tea include stabilizing blood sugar levels and reducing high blood pressureMatcha tea is a powdered form of green tea reported to have a much greater antioxidant content. Last month a study conducted in rats demonstrated that matcha may prevent blood glucose and lipid accumulation.  Unfortunately, matcha has yet to be studied in humans.

Wajihah Mughal, my friend and fellow doctoral student, recently wrote about the matcha tea trend on her blog Re-Spect Science. Our conversations about its promised health benefits (including the likely false claims) stirred us to take a closer look at the research. Read her post about the matcha hype, then give my recipe a shot!

Mint Matcha Mocha Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups spearmint tea
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 handfuls spinach, organic if possible
  • 1/2 tsp matcha powdered tea
  • 1/2 frozen banana (optional, adds sweetness)
  • 6 ice cubes
  • 1/2 tsp raw cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
  • 1 scoop hemp protein powder

Mint Matcha Mocha Smoothie

How to:

  1. Steep spearmint tea bag in hot water for 5-10 min and then let cool in fridge.
  2. Pour cooled tea into blender and add spinach, oats, matcha, banana and ice cubes.
  3. Blend and serve topped with cocoa powder.

PCOS Powers:

  • spearmint tea = may decrease androgen levels and increase FSH & LH in women with PCOS (avoid consuming large amounts if you are pregnant, anemic, have a kidney disorder, or liver disease)
  • matcha tea = very high in catechins which are antioxidants that help remove free radicals from the body preventing disease, may prevent blood glucose and lipid accumulation, contains L-theanine which may relieve stress and improve cognitive function
  • cocoa = high in antioxidants, may lower LDL cholesterol, can reduce high blood pressure, and may act as an antidepressant
  • spinach = high in calcium which helps alkalize acidity caused by inflammation and impaired glucose tolerance, high in magnesium which some women with PCOS are deficient in
  • rolled oats = low glycemic load, high in fiber, contains tryptophan which boosts serotonin levels for better sleep and a stable mood

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Mint Matcha Mocha Smoothie

My Matcha Life

Cocoa Kiwi Tangerine Smoothie Bowl

A chocolate orange with a twist: health benefits!

‘Tis the season for tangerines and copious amounts of chocolate (I’m talking about that tempting box of chocolates sitting in the lunchroom at the office that seems to keep reappearing just when you think the box is empty). My favorite way to get my chocolate fix is by adding unsweetened raw cocoa powder to smoothies and oatmeal. Cocoa is an amazing source of antioxidants, which fight cancer and heart disease, and also may act as an antidepressant by boosting serotonin. Try some cocoa in your next smoothie bowl and discover this sweet breakfast that could even pass for dessert.

Cocoa Tangerine Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raspberries, frozen
  • splash of almond milk
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1 small tangerine

How to:

  1. Blend the raspberries in a food processor (pour a splash of almond milk in to get it moving, and pause to scrape down the sides).
  2. Add cocoa, peanut butter, flax seeds & cinnamon and blend until you get a smooth consistency.
  3. Serve immediately and top with kiwi, tangerine and seeds.

PCOS Powers:

  • tangerines/oranges = high in vitamin C & fibre which reduce lipid profiles and fight free radicals, high in pectin which has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, low glycemic load
  • kiwifruits = high in vitamin C, fibre, and vitamin E which lower triglycerides, high in potassium which may prevent insulin resistance, low glycemic load
  • flax seeds = contain lignans which may increase sex hormone-binding globulin and therefore lower blood testosterone levels, may reduce blood pressure
  • raspberries = low glycemic load, high in anti-oxidants, may help lower inflammation and prevent cancer
  • cocoa = antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, reduces blood pressure, can improve mood
  • cinnamon = may help balance glucose levels, lower cholesterol, and decrease triglycerides in blood