People love smoothies. They are a fast way to get off to a healthy start in the morning. But not all smoothies are created equal. Some have way too much sugar or carbohydrate. How can you create a super smoothie that’s easy to make and healthy? That’s the question this woman asks:
Worried about Heart and Brain Health:
Q. My husband and I are in our early 60s and lead an active lifestyle, working in town and living on a homestead with livestock. My husband spent 25 years in the military and was also a competitive runner. So he has flat feet and hip pain.
Both of us worry about our cardio and brain health (fearing dementia as do most older Americans). I’m hoping you might advise on the ideal smoothie we can drink daily. I already put in turmeric, black pepper to activate it, yogurt and flaxseed meal with fruits, kale and coconut milk. Should there be other herbs or spices to help with pain and brain health?
A. Your smoothie already sounds packed with good stuff. We like berries in a smoothie, and for brain health, you might consider adding a teaspoon of rosemary. That will influence the flavor, so you may have to experiment a bit.
You can learn more about rosemary, turmeric (and why black pepper helps) and many other spices in our book, Spice Up Your Health. We also offer a recipe for Joe’s favorite smoothie in Recipes & Remedies. Here is a video of us making Joe’s Brain Boosting Super Smoothie:
How We Came Up with Joe’s Super Smoothie:
We came up with this super smoothie to provide high-quality protein along with the brain-boosting benefits of berries. There is substantial evidence that blackberries, raspberries and blueberries can help preserve cognitive function (Gerontology, online, Aug. 16, 2012):
“Evidence is accumulating that consumption of blueberries may be one strategy to forestall or even reverse age-related neuronal deficits, as well as their subsequent behavioral manifestations, in order to increase healthy aging. Research suggests that the polyphenolic compounds found in blueberries exert their beneficial effects either through their ability to lower oxidative stress and inflammation or directly by altering the signaling involved in neuronal communication. These interventions, in turn, may protect against age-related deficits in cognitive and motor function.”
An article in the British Journal of Nutrition (Nov. 28, 2015) also touts the positive brain effects of blueberries and strawberries in rodents:
“…the present study was carried out to examine these mechanisms in aged animals by administering a control, 2 % SB [strawberry]- or 2 % BB [blueberry]-supplemented diet to aged Fischer 344 rats for 8 weeks to ascertain their effectiveness in reversing age-related deficits in behavioural and neuronal function. The results showed that rats consuming the berry diets exhibited enhanced motor performance and improved cognition, specifically working memory. In addition, the rats supplemented with BB and SB diets showed increased hippocampal neurogenesis and expression of insulin-like growth factor 1, although the improvements in working memory performance could not solely be explained by these increases.”
Joe’s Brain Boosting Super Smoothie: A Perfect Gift for the Holidays:
Why not give a gift that will last a lifetime? At this time, you’ll find a combination offer, our In the Kitchen Holiday Bundle, at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com. Recipes and Remedies contains more details about Joe’s Brain Boosting Super Smoothie on page 107. But wait, there’s more. If you have high blood pressure, there’s a recipe for Beet Juice Smoothie on page 34. There is some fascinating data to suggest that beet juice can lower blood pressure.
In the Journal of Human Hypertension (Oct. 2016), researchers reported that raw beet juice (RBJ) improved blood vessel flexibility (endothelial function) and lowered blood pressure. LDL cholesterol and and total cholesterol also came down with RBJ. In their own words:
“Although both forms of beetroot were effective in improving BP, endothelial function and systemic inflammation, the raw beetroot juice had greater antihypertensive effects. Also more improvement was observed in endothelial function and systemic inflammation with RBJ compared with CB [cooked beet].
Why not consider our In The Kitchen Holiday Bundle for yourself or someone you love this holiday season?
Watch Out for Too Much Kale:
A few more words on your ideal smoothie: you need to keep an eye on your kale consumption. Overdosing on kale by drinking a raw kale smoothie every day can result in an overload of oxalate that could harm the kidneys (Khneizer et al, Journal of Nephropathology, July 2017). You’ll probably want to switch to other vegetables for some of your smoothies.