Smooth(ie) Talk

A lot of people have a hard time finding ways to incorporate their daily requirement of fruits and veggies into their diet.  After all, not everyone wants to eat salads and carrot sticks all day long. My solution? A simple smoothie. The beauty of smoothies is the diversity theyDSC_0235 (3) provide.  They allow for flexibility when it comes to ingredients and ratios, it’s almost impossible to get bored. My best tip for smoothies: make it colourful! The more diverse the colour of the ingredients, the more diverse the vitamins and minerals. Each ingredient should offer something different and beneficial. The easiest way to do that? Eat the rainbow. By adding in ingredients of differing colours, you are guaranteeing nutrient diversity. Whether it be beta-carotene from the orange family, iron from the green team, or antioxidants from the red party, you’ll be that much closer to providing your body with all the daily nutrients it requires. A smoothie a day will keep you feeling A-okay!

Orange

  • Carrots have long been thought of as food for your eyes, but did you know that carrots are loaded beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A in the human body? Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage, and yes, they’re good for your eyes.
  • White potatoes vibrant relative, the sweet potato, is loaded with fiber, provides carbohydrates that won’t give you a sugar crash, contain a nice dose of vitamin A, and are tasty to boot!
  • Cantaloupe, like carrots and sweet potatoes, contain beta-carotene that fights against free-radicals and cell damage.  Their high water content also helps to keep you hydrated and full.

Green

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  • Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and swiss chard are full of fiber, as well as minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. They’re also a fantastic source of vitamins A, C, and K.
  • Kiwis are another great source of vitamin C (one kiwi contains more than 100% of your daily requirement), and eating them with the skin on ups their fiber factor.
  • High in healthy monounsaturated fats, avocados impart a creamy texture to any smoothie.  They help with satiety, keeping you feeling fuller, longer!

Red
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  • When it comes to ellagic acid, a potent antioxidant, raspberries are at the top of the class.  Also high in vitamins A, C, and E, their tart flavour provides a nice contrast to sweet pairings.
  • Nothing beats beets when it comes to a colour punch, but hey’re also loaded with fiber to keep you regular, and help to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels increasing healthy HDL cholesterol.
  • Rich in colour, cherries are believed to help ease joint and muscle inflammation thanks to anthocyanins, an antioxidant that inhibits inflammatory enzymes. Perfect for a post workout refuel!
  • One cup of strawberries packs your daily requirement of vitamin C, as well as dietary fiber to help keep you full. Plus, that one cup of strawberries only contains around 50 calories. Eat up!

Purple/Blue
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  • Blueberries are an antioxidant all-star.  Grown all over North America, wild and cultivated blueberries contain the same anthocyanins as cherries, as well as the antioxidants flavonoids. A+ in antioxidant 101.
  • Along with raspberries, blackberries are also extremely high in ellagic acid.  They are also high in dietary fiber and vitamin C.  Bring the berry team together for a nutrient packed treat.

Yellow

  • Scientifically classified as a berry, bananas are a smoothie staple.  High in potassium and certain B vitamins, bananas fiber and starch content provide body and volume to any smoothie recipe.
  • Practically nature’s candy, mangoes are high in vitamins A and C, and contain natural enzymes similar to those found in papayas.  These enzymes help with digestion and the breakdown of fats and proteins.

References

  1. https://www.drweil.com/vitamins-supplements-herbs/vitamins/beta-carotene/
  2. https://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/8-health-benefits-sweet-potatoes
  3. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-cantaloupe.html
  4. http://cookingreens.com/health-benefits-of-darkleafy-greens/
  5. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-avocado
  6. http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/nutrition/5-reasons-to-eat-more-berries/
  7. http://www.canadianliving.com/health/nutrition/article/health-reasons-to-eat-more-raspberries-sign-us-up
  8. http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/nutrition/5-reasons-to-eat-more-cherries/
  9. http://www.healwithfood.org/foods-that-contain/ellagic-acid-high-amounts.php
  10. http://www.stack.com/a/6-big-reasons-you-should-be-eating-blackberries
  11. http://www.health.com/food/5-reasons-to-eat-more-blueberries
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