Monday, August 16, 2010

Sizzling Days Of Summer Smoothies

Are you quenching your summer thirst with flavorful, mouth exploding fruit concoctions from juice bars? It sounds like a delightfully healthy alternative or does it? Red flag alert!

You may be adding some unnecessary inches to your waistline this summer. That's right - some of these delicious smoothies may have as much as 950 calories with 30 grams of fat. Your daily calorie allowance just flew out the window. Be wary when you see ingredients such as: ice cream, whole milk, heavy cream, chocolate, syrups, fruit nectar and coconut cream.

Smoothies don't have to be sinful but they can be creamy, rich, and luscious! A healthy smoothie may have less than 100 calories. They can provide calcium, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins, beta carotene and vitamin C, depending on fruit selection. Select nonfat milk, yogurt, soy, pure unsweetened organic fruit juice or my personal favorite, unsweetened almond milk for a smooth and creamy texture.

Smoothies contain a fine amount of fiber and a good source of protein if they contain yogurt, milk, soy, spirulina or a superior quality whey protein powder.
It is estimated that up to 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant to some extent. Another particularly insidious hidden allergen is soy. The following recommendations are suitable for those with common food allergies and for individuals who follow a vegan and gluten free dietary lifestyle.

Some healthy alternatives for milk, soy, and whey protein powder include: Rice Dream a light refreshing non-dairy beverage enriched with vitamins A, D & B12. It has the same calcium as milk and is low fat and all natural! Unsweetened almond milk has half the calories of milk and contains 30% of the daily calcium value per serving. This non-dairy beverage has a creamy smooth texture and a hint of almond taste that makes it outstanding.

Hempseed a perfect protein and especially high in the most needed minerals; calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur. This high quality plant protein also contains many essential vitamins. Another easily digestible protein is a (non-GMO) whole grain brown rice. It provides an extensive array of naturally occurring amino acids. Chlorella a single-celled green algae is rich in Vit A,C,E and one of nature's true superfoods and a nutrition powerhouse. Chlorella contains significant amounts of vegetable protein, beta carotene and chlorophyll, also known for its purifying, cleansing and detoxifying properties.

Various smoothie recipes have specific health benefits which include detoxifying, powerful energy and immunity-boosters.

Healthy Extras:

Tahini – Tahini is a paste that is made by finely grinding sesame seeds. It is claimed to be an excellent source of calcium unlilke othr dairy products. It is also high in minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron, and phosphorus. This creamy paste adds a unique flavor and nutrient content to any smoothie.

Pumpkin seeds – Contain most of the B vitamins, along with C, D, E and K. They also have the minerals, calcium, potassium and phosphorous. Some benefits include prostate and bladder health, anti-inflammatory, treatment of parasites and prevention of osteoporosis because of high zinc. This nutty crisp-chewy texture is a lovely addition to any smoothie.

Flaxseeds – This tiny powerful seed is high in Omega 3 oil and has numerous benefits. Some benefits include: improve bowel function, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower high blood pressure, increase energy, vitality and stamina, positive impact on weight management. Flaxseed protect against cancers, particularly hormone sensitive cancers such as breast and prostate. A definite must for any smoothie.

Wheatgerm - Wheatgerm contains phytosterols which have been shown to lower cholesterol and promote heart health. In addition, wheat germ contains high amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect the body from damaging free radicals. Wheat germ is a good source of B vitamins, calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, omega 3, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, selenium, vit E, zinc, fiber. No germs here, just lots of antioxidants!

Spirulina - contains high amounts of protein, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids and vitamins and minerals. Especially rich in cleansing chlorophyll. In short, the nutritional benefits of spirulina are definitely high.

I raise my glass "To your health!"

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