I made a smoothie before my Antigravity Yoga class tonight - with the Vitamix, of course! I bought some fresh fruit from the salad bar at lunch today for an afternoon work-snack and ended up not eating it. So, I decided that I wanted to switch my fruit up for my smoothies this week, and I brought my fresh strawberries, watermelon, and pineapple home to put in my pre-workout protein smoothie. I got out the Vitamix and added some ice, water, strawberries, pineapple, watermelon, and grapes. Then, I added a scoop of raw protein powder, some chia seeds, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut. Here is my finished product:
Smooth, chocolatey goodness :) MMMM!
After doing some research, I became more and more excited about what I put in my smoothie today! Below are the benefits of each ingredient:
- Vitamin A - helps maintain eye health and is an antioxidant
- Vitamin C - helps strengthen immunity, heal wounds, prevent cell damage, promote healthy teeth and gums
- Vitamin B6 - helps brain function and helps convert protein to energy (which is awesome because I had a Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Bar for dinner!)
- Lycopene - a powerful antioxidant that helps fight disease and several types of cancer - watermelon has the highest concentrations of lycopene of any fresh fruit or vegetable!
- Potassium - helps muscle and nerve function, helps maintain the body's proper electrolyte and acid-base balance, and helps lower the risk of blood pressure
- Amino Acids - Citrulline and Arginine - helps maintain arteries, blood flow, and overall cardiovascular function
- Fiber - keeps you full and helps keep you regular
- Manganese - a bone-strengthening mineral and protects against free radical damage via its role in the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase - one cup exceeds your daily recommended amount by 30%!
- Vitamin C - an antioxidant and keeps your immune system in tip-top shape by increasing your resistance against colds, flu, and other infectious diseases.
- Bromelain - aids in digestion and helps prevent inflammation and swelling - some suggest eating pineapple alone to get the most anti-flammatory benefit, so the bromelain isn't used up digesting the other food you've eaten with it
- Thiamin - plays a part in the chain reactions that provides energy for the body. Also, thought to be beneficial for people suffering from Alzheimer's disease and older adults with mental impairment.
- Fiber - the little seeds (on the outside) provide insoluble fiber that keeps you regular and helps fend off digestive system woes, including hemorrhoids and varicose veins
- Vitamin C - (mentioned above) Strawberries have more than oranges or grapefruit!
- Potassium - keeps blood pressure in check and may keep you from becoming a stroke statistic
- Ellagic Acid - a phytochemical with cancer-fighting and anti-flammatory power
- Ellagic Acid - (mentioned above) - thought to possess cancer-preventing properties
- Boron - a mineral believed to play a part in bone and joint health
Raw Protein Powder from Garden of Life
- Complete protein will all essential amino acids
- Easily digestible, no dairy, no lactose, no gluten
- Less than 1 gram of sugar
- Plant-based protein along with live probiotics and enzymes for optimal absorption and assimilation
- Certified organic
- Contains beneficial fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids - can help reduce inflammation, enhance cognitive performance, and reduce high cholesterol - one of the richest plant-bases sources of these fatty acids - specifically, of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- Fiber - reduces inflammation, lowers cholesterol, regulates bowel function - 10g in only 2 tbsp!
- Antioxidants - helps protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer - and helps with a long shelf life, 2 years!
- Minerals - 18% of the DRI for calcium, 35% for phosphorus, 24% for magnesium and about 50% for manganese - they help prevent hypertension, maintain a healthy weight, and are an important energy for metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis
- Satiety - the feeling of being full and satisfied, which helps lower food cravings between meals - the combination of protein, fiber and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to the satiating effects
- Egg Replacer - the outer layer of chia seeds swells when mixed with liquids to form a gel. Can be used in the place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. Egg replacement: mix 1 tbsp of chia seeds with 3 tbsp of water and let sit for 15 minutes
- Can be digested whole
- Dyslipidemia - can lower trigylcerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or "good" cholesterol
- Blood Sugar Regulation - can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels on insulin in the blood
- has a germicidal effect - help treat fungal infections and reduce bacteria levels in the mouth
- helps improve circulation
- relieves discomfort or issues in the abdomen
- may help with blood sugar
Wow!! Who would have thought my smoothie could have so many benefits? I know I didn't! I will forever be happy to take some time out of my day to prepare my fruits and veggies for my daily smoothies - now knowing they are both delicious AND nutritious! Now go and get your smoothie on!
Have an amazing night or day ;)
What do you put in your smoothies?
Have you ever tried chia seeds?
What smoothie combination should I try in the future?