Six reasons why I aim to drink one green smoothie a day, plus my go-to recipe.
Why I LOVE green smoothies:
There are countless reasons why incorporating more vegetables, especially leafy greens, in our diets can positively influence our health. I find the simplest and quickest way to increase my vegetable intake is by blending greens and taking them with me on-the-go. Here are some of the reasons I aim for one green smoothie a day:
1) Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption (leafy greens in particular) helps prevent heart disease.
2) Green vegetables contain compounds that support our immune system.
3) Greater leafy green consumption has been associated with lower rates of type 2 diabetes.
spinach = anti-inflammatory, low glycemic index, anti-cancer effects, excellent source of iron, magnesium, & calcium, avoid large amounts if prone to kidney stones or taking blood thinners
fresh ginger = anti-inflammatory, may help decrease fasting blood glucose and HbA1c
avocado = anti-inflammatory, low glycemic index, high in fiber, may help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and maintain normal serum total cholesterol levels, contains glutathione which has anti-carcinogenic properties and may boost immunity
spirulina = anti-inflammatory, strengthens immunity, detoxifies liver, source of protein, beta-carotene, iron, selenium and zinc, may lower glucose levels and help manage diabetes
maca = source of B12, calcium, and iron, may increase well-being, decrease anxiety and depression, increase libido, and reduce symptoms of menopause
moringa = small studies have shown a minor decrease in postprandial glucose and HbA1c, may reduce inflammation, may help lower cholesterol
A low glycemic alternative to pasta with a vegan’s take on pesto.
Once summer hits in British Columbia, farmers’ markets are in full swing. There is bountiful produce to enjoy, especially if you grow your own veggies or herbs. This recipe makes use of several market goodies: zucchini, tomatoes, mint, basil and garlic. Zucchini noodles are a low glycemic alternative to pasta and, for pesto-lovers, I have created a vegan, mint version high in flavour and healthy fats. Mint can help aid digestion and may even lower cholesterol. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment or sharing your versions with me @phruitfuldish.
1 cup fresh basil
1 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
spiralizer (or sharp knife)
If using a spiralizer, cut both ends of zucchini off and get to work! Otherwise, cut zucchini into thin slices.
Wrap zucchini in paper towel to absorb excess liquid.
Use a food processor to combine basil, mint, walnuts, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice until a smooth paste is formed.
Combine zucchini with pesto and mix well. I added spoonfuls of pesto slowly until I reached the ratio I wanted, which resulted in half the pesto leftover.
Add veggies, like tomatoes, or a high-protein source, such as beans or legumes, if you’d like to make this a meal. Enjoy your minty zoodles!
zucchini = low glycemic alternative to pasta, anti-inflammatory, high in potassium which can help reduce blood pressure, fiber which can help lower cholesterol and polyphenols which may beneficially affect thyroid, adrenal and insulin regulation
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.
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)
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
hemp protein = helps decrease high cholesterol and manage insulin resistance, helps build lean muscle mass