Smoothies are all the rage, of course. You can find them (at a premium price) at all sorts of places, now. But they are really easy to make on your own, and they can be customized to be exactly how you want them. Georgia loves a particular smoothie that she has for breakfast almost every single morning. This is an antioxidant blueberry smoothie that is packed with all kinds of immune system-boosting, health-encouraging, energy-producing goodness! An awesome way to start the day!
Why Are Antioxidants Important?
If you have been paying even a little bit of attention to health and food trends over the last few years you have certainly heard the term “antioxidant”.
So, what are antioxidants? They are substances that may protect your cells from free radicals — molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to harmful environmental substances like tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. So it’s generally considered a good thing to include foods that have high antioxidant properties in your diet. In Georgia’s case she wants to be extra intentional about antioxidant intake.
At Full of Beans household smoothies are the number one choice for breakfast (except for occasional other options). They are quick, packed with flavor and nutrients, and an excellent way to start your day if you have a busy schedule. No more excuses for not having breakfast before work – come on, you have 5-10 minutes to make a smoothie that you can drink while you are running around getting ready!
Really, all you need is a decent blender. We suggest getting a really solid one, like a Blendtec or a Vitamix. They are worth the money, will last and last, and you can usually pick one up refurbished for a decent discount. Because we like to use a lot of frozen fruit the extra power of the better blenders comes in very handy. We actually killed a few lightweight blenders spinning up all that frozen fruit every morning!
Part of Georgia’s antioxidant blueberry smoothie is spinach, which is something you should really try to work into your diet as often as possible. Why? Because spinach is one of the truly big players in the nutrition game. (Remember Popeye and how he would get all pumped up as soon as he had his spinach? Turns out that’s only a slight exaggeration).
Here is a small list of the wonderful qualities of spinach:
- fiber for cholesterol control
- high in iron (important for red blood cell production)
- antioxidant vitamins like A and C to promote healing
- high in vitamin K, essential for bone-building and osteoporosis prevention
- also high in many minerals including zinc (essential to growth and sperm regeneration – are you listening, guys?)
- and more (Nutrition and You link)
Clearly spinach is a heavyweight in the nutritional foods scene. But this super smoothie has a few additional ingredients that really make it something special. They are mango, flax seed, and (of course) blueberries.
- Very high in vitamins A, B6, C, E
- high in alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, copper and potassium
- keeps your skin and mucous membranes healthy
- protect you from lung and oral cancers
- help you fight infection
- maintain vision health
- help prevent stroke – and more
Flax seed benefits
- lowers blood pressure
- reduces melanoma risk
- high in docosahexaenoic and eicosapentanoic acids (natural anti-depressants)
- reduces liver disease risk factors
- significantly reduces cancer cell creation rates
Blueberries are the big news because they are one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world and contain large levels and a broad range of antioxidants.
- they combat aging
- high amount of phenols protect our brains from degeneration
- support your digestion
- great for your skin: the wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals help restore hormone balance, which counteracts acne
Incredible, right!? A quick to make, simple drink with all these benefits? Let’s have some! It is pretty quick to make and the balance of sweet ripe bananas, tangy mangoes, cinnamon, spinach, blueberries, and coconut sugar is a treat.
- 1 tbs ground flax seed
- 1 tbs coconut sugar
- 1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 cup frozen mangos
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
- 1 handful of fresh baby spinach
- 10 - 12 ops fresh water
- Add all ingredients, in order, to your blender.
- gradually increase your speed to full
- blend on high for about 30 seconds
More Health Benefit Info
Sources and more reading regarding nutritional benefits of the main ingredients in this vegan antioxidant blueberry smoothie.