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.
- 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
- 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).
- Add cocoa, peanut butter, flax seeds & cinnamon and blend until you get a smooth consistency.
- Serve immediately and top with kiwi, tangerine and seeds.
- 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
A tropical oasis featuring several superfoods.
A mini tropical oasis in the middle of winter could be at your fingertips. This was my first experience eating dragon fruit so I did some research. Dragon fruit is known as Pitaya roja in Central and South America, and Pitahaya in central Mexico. It is sometimes called “lady of the night” or “queen of the night” as its flowers only bloom during the night. Nutritionally, dragon fruit is recognized for its high vitamin C content and its ability to aid digestion. However, some other possible benefits of dragon fruit consumption may include cancer prevention, improved cholesterol profiles, stabilized blood sugar levels, and improved immune system functioning. I would love to hear your thoughts on this nutrient-rich breakfast in the comments below or via social media (Instagram, Twitter).
- 1/3 cup oats
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup almond milk
- 0.5 cup raspberries, frozen, organic if possible
- 0.5 cup blueberries, frozen, organic if possible
- goji berries
- dragon fruit
- hemp, sesame & buckwheat seeds
- Soak oats and chia seeds in almond milk overnight.
- In the morning, mix the soaked mixture with frozen fruit in a blender.
- Pour into bowl and decorate with toppings.
- raspberries = low glycemic index fruit, high in anti-oxidants, may help lower inflammation and prevent cancer
- chia seeds = high in omega 3s which can help decrease high testosterone and improve egg quality
- goji berries = high in protein, anti-oxidants, beta-carotene, and may improve men’s sperm count
- hemp seeds = high in protein, fibre, and essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6 & 9) which may improve cholesterol profiles, may reduce inflammation
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