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How To Make The Perfect Smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to start the day, replace a meal or  provide nutrition pre and post exercise.

This week’s blog will teach you how to make  the perfect (in my opinion) smoothie.

 

Ingredients

Base liquid- 1 cup (Choose one or two)

  • Water
  • Beet Root Juice- 2 cups
  • Coconut water
  • Unsweetened Coconut milk
  • Unsweetened Almond milk

Avoid alternative milks that contain carrageenan. Carrageenan has no nutritional value. It has been used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture. It is highly inflammatory and has been linked to cancer.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1242073/

Almond Milk Recipee: http://healthyblenderrecipes.com/recipes/home_made_raw_almond_milk

 

Fruit – 1 cup (I generally use berries and bananas)

  • Organic berries (in season or frozen organic- I like Costco)
  • Banana- 1

 

Vegetable- 1 cup

  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetable- e.g. Kale, Chard, Spinach

 

Fat (Omega 3 fats) – 2 tbsp

  • Hemp or Flax seeds

 

Extras (Choose as many as you like)

  • Ginger- about ½ the size of your thumb (to taste)
  • Turmeric- about ½ the size of your thumb (to taste)
  • Collagen peptides (generally 1-2 scoops)
  • Organic plain Yogurt- 1 container
  • Protein Powder- 20-30 g (I like Whey Protein)
  • Raw Cacao- 1 tsp
  • Maca Root-  1,000-2,200mg/kg bodyweight

Rationale

Coconut water is a good a carbohydrate-electrolyte source

http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/133/art%253A10.1186%252F1550-2783-9-1.pdf?originUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fjissn.biomedcentral.com%2Farticle%2F10.1186%2F1550-2783-9-1&token2=exp=1462812272~acl=%2Fstatic%2Fpdf%2F133%2Fart%25253A10.1186%25252F1550-2783-9-1.pdf*~hmac=c207a0455df69df43acb1f306cc7d9cd17f13b531b1e7092cc61edc5d08e5797

 

Beet Root Juice is a source of nitrates, which have been shown to increase vasodilation, decrease blood pressure (BP) and improve cardiovascular function. In addition, it has ergogenic properties.

https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-11-106

http://www.naturesgoodness.com.au/ngimages/Nitrate%20supplementation’s%20improvement%20of%2010%20Km%20time%20trial%20performance%20in%20trained%20cyclists.pdf

 

Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fat, fiber, α-tocopherol, minerals such as magnesium and copper, and phytonutrients. The favorable fat composition and fiber contribute to the hypocholesterolemic benefit of almond consumption. Almonds benefit cardiovascular and diabetes risks, such as body weight, glucose homeostasis, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf2044795

 

Berries are a good source of polyphenols, micronutrients, and fiber and  have been associated with improved cardiovascular risk profiles.

http://nutritionreviews.oxfordjournals.org/content/68/3/168.abstract

 

Bananas are a good source of starch/fiber, micronutrients (e.g. potassium and magnesium) and antioxidants.The resistance starch in unripe bananas may  be useful in the management of the metabolic syndrome and appetite. Bananas are also a great choice during exercise or as part of a pre/post exercise drink

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814602001863

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19857367

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22616015/

 

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables are anti-inflammatory and have a  protective role in prevention of cataract formation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diverticulosis, and possibly, hypertension.

http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S0002-8223(00)00420-X/abstract

 

Omega 3 fats are good sources of natural antioxidants for health promotion and disease prevention.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814604005412

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/6/S1526.short

 

Ginger has been shown to be beneficial for nausea and vomiting, painful menstrual periods, morning sickness, osteoarthritis and dizziness (vertigo).  It is also anti-inflammatory.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17950516

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/

 

Turmeric (Curcumin) is an herb/spice that can be used  for the treatment and prevention of inflammatory diseases, including:  obesity, type II diabetes, arthritis, pancreatitis, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases, as well as certain types of cancer.

 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/biof.1066/abstract?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+unavailable+on+Saturday+14th+May+11%3A00-14%3A00+BST+%2F+06%3A00-09%3A00+EDT+%2F+18%3A00-21%3A00+SGT+for+essential+maintenance.Apologies+for+the+inconvenience.&userIsAuthenticated=false&deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=

 

Collagen has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.  In addition, the oral supplementation with collagen peptides is efficacious to improve skin aging.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11071580

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26362110

 

Yogurt  Probiotics have  beneficial effects on irritable bowel syndrome and gut function, diarrhoea, atopic disease, immune function, respiratory tract infections, gut microbiota modulation, inflammatory bowel disease and treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection.

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10942919909524585

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-010-0166-z

 

Protein intake is an important component of an overall exercise training program. It is essential for proper recovery, immune function, and the growth and maintenance of lean body mass.  It may also improve exercise performance and recovery from exercise.

https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-4-8

 

Raw Cacao has been shown to be beneficial for  cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, metabolic disorders, and cancer prevention.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3488419/

 

Maca Root has been shown to  increase overall vigour and energy levels

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096399690700035X

 

About the Author

Dr. Geoff LecovinNaturopathic Physician/Chiropractor/Acupuncturist/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist/Corrective Exercise Specialist/Performance Enhancement Specialist/Certified Sports Nutritionist/View all posts by Dr. Geoff Lecovin

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