Antioxidants come up frequently in discussions about wellness, healthy eating and preventing diseases. These powerful nutrients, which mostly come from the fresh fruits and vegetables we eat, prohibit (and in some cases prevent), the oxidation of other molecules in the body which can lead to cell damage. Oxidation is a natural process (cells die and are created all of the time), but if the cells are damaged they turn into free radicals. The benefits of antioxidants are very important to good health, because if free radicals are left unchallenged, they can build up, causing a wide range of illnesses and chronic diseases. While our body works to combat free radicals, consuming antioxidant-rich foods increase our ability to promote better health.
Health authorities say that getting antioxidants from food may offer health benefits superior to those taken in supplement form. And what better way to stay healthy, than to eat your nutrients in a fresh, natural smoothie?! Plus, smoothies are a great way to get your little one to eat all the super foods in one yummy meal.
Blueberries, Red Berries & Dark Green Veggies
We all know that berries and dark green veggies are good for you, but few people realize what makes them super foods.
A study published in the September 2012 issue of the “Journal of Medicinal Food” found that certain combinations of antioxidant-rich foods offer particular benefits not found in the foods by themselves. When antioxidants in blueberry, strawberry and spinach are combined, they together protect the nervous system by inhibiting an enzyme that may be involved in certain neurological disorders, including autism, depression and schizophrenia.
Tunip the Beet!
Think of beets as red spinach. Just like Popeye’s powerfood, this crimson vegetable is one of the best sources of both folate and betaine. These two nutrients work together to lower your blood levels of homocysteine, an inflammatory compound that can damage your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease. Plus, the natural pigments—called betacyanins—that give beets their color have been proved to be potent cancer fighters.
There is no easier way to combine these cancer-fighting foods than in a delicious smoothie!! Give this combination a try and let me know what you think! I hope your little one enjoys this recipe as much as Sage.
Antioxidant Smoothie Punch Recipe:
- 2 cups of Greens (I use POWER greens a combination of Spinach, Kale and Chard)
- Small handful of frozen beets
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup frozen blueberries
- 8 strawberries
- 1 fresh banana
- 1 ½ cup almond milk (can substitute coconut water for nondairy milk)