Hi friends! Happy August! 2013 is flying by!
A few weeks ago I had an old friend ask me if I had any “health specific” smoothie recipes, like recipes for heart health, brain function, increased energy, digestive health, etc. At the time I had to tell him no, but his question really got me thinking. While I do not believe that one recipe or smoothie can single-handedly grant someone specific organ health, overtime, incorporating these foods into our diets can certainly help!
Today I’m going to start with heart health!
Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of Americans? According to the CDC, about 600,000 people in the US die of heart disease every year, that’s one in every four deaths. Not only that, but about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack every year.
So what can we do to decrease our chances? Nutritionally, we can actually do a lot! According to the American Heart Association, by improving our diets and making lifestyle changes, we can actually help prevent heart disease. Here are a few things we can do nutritionally:
- Maintain a healthy body weight by balancing calories consumed with calories expended through activities of daily living and exercise
- Increase our fruit, vegetable and whole grain consumption for added fiber, vitamins and minerals
- Consume foods rich in omega-3s (flax seed meal, chia seeds, walnuts, wild caught salmon)
- Limit saturated fats (choose lean meats, low-fat/fat-free dairy, limit butter)
- Avoid trans fats (manmade fats found in processed foods like cakes, pies, pastries, crackers, cookies, chips, doughnuts, etc.)
- Limit added salt/high-sodium foods (canned goods, processed meats (lunch meats, breakfast meats, hot dogs), TV dinners/frozen meals, condiments (soy sauce), other processed foods)
- Limit foods with added sugars (soda, juices, sweet tea, sugary coffee beverages, desserts, candies)
- Consume alcohol only in moderation (if you already consume alcohol)
And as promised, here is a fun heart healthy smoothie that incorporates a few of the tips from above:
- Oats for the heart healthy soluble fiber
- Fruits and greens for the heart healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber
- Flaxseed meal, chia seeds and hemp seeds for heart healthy omega 3s
- 0 grams saturated fat
- 0 grams trans fat
- No added sugar
- No added salt
Double Layer Heart Healthy Smoothie
For the green layer:
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/4 cup oats
- 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
For the pink layer:
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or more in necessary)
- 2 frozen peaches (remove the pit first)
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/8 lemon (whole)
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds (optional)
- Place all of the green layer ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Divide into two smoothie glasses and place those in the freezer for ~10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place all of the pink layer ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into one large cup and place into freezer for ~10 minutes.
- Once both smoothies have set, divide and pour the pink layer on top of the green layer into the two smoothie glasses, serve and enjoy!
- We topped ours with a dollop of plain, fat-free Greek yogurt and a few blueberries just for looks!
I’m totally digging bi-layered smoothies right now! Not only are they tasty, but easy on the eyes too! Have you ever made multiple layered smoothies?
Have a great afternoon!