Thursday, June 6, 2013

What's In My Vitamix?

I have previously mentioned my love of the magnificent Vitamix.  I love the Vitamix because it can do just about everything!  I can make ice cream, smoothies, hot soup, hummus, guacamole, peanut butter, etc., etc.  And everything is made within seconds - sometimes minutes depending on how hot you want to make your soup or sauce.  I have definitely replaced the blender with the Vitamix, because I have less wait time to drink my smoothies!

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:

Watermelon
  • 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

Pineapple
  • 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.   

 Strawberries

  •  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

Grapes
  • 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
Chia Seeds



  • 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
  • Gluten-Free 
  • 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
Cinnamon

  • 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?


2 comments:

  1. I would definitely agree on how l-arginine directly affects our blood circulation which is according to the research done about arginine that nitric oxide from arginine are the one who helps proper blood circulation within our body. And watermelon is one of the primary source of arginine aside from seafoods.

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    1. I also get most of my arginine from watermelon and whenever I am lucky enough to have some seafood! I could eat watermelon every single day, though!

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