A healthy smoothie that reduces inflammation, and tastes good too, is the best of both worlds!
Instead of blending in boatloads of sugar and artificial ingredients, try these smoothies for inflammation that are packed with ingredients that may help lower your risk for chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, depression, and more.
Mixing and matching deep-colored fruits and veggies that you enjoy is a great way to add anti-inflammatory smoothie ingredients to your snack or meal. You get the most nutrients if you use fruits and vegetables that are fresh instead of frozen.
What makes smoothies amazing, is that aside from being healthy, anti-inflammatory, and delicious, is that they're soooo easy to make! It's perfect for catching up on your nutritional needs on super busy days or lounging around on lazy days.
When consumed in excess, added sugar can adversely affect your health. However, some sources of sugar are worse than others — and sugary drinks are by far the worst.
People with diets rich in refined sugar may be increasing their risk of chronic inflammation. Research suggests that when people eat and drink less sugar, inflammatory markers in their blood decrease.
A high sugar diet can have harmful effects on health, such as increasing the risk of chronic diseases, weight gain, and tooth decay. It can also result in chronic inflammation, where the body’s immune system activates, resulting in damage to healthy cells.
Researchers have attempted to figure out how sugar causes inflammation. Sugar promotes the liver's synthesis of free fatty acids.
When the body digests free fatty acids, the resultant chemicals can cause inflammation.
Drinking high amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages — such as soda — can have various adverse impacts on your health. These range from increased chances of tooth decay to a higher risk of heart disease and metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes. Regular consumption of sugary soda also appears to be a consistent risk factor for weight gain and obesity.
This basic smoothie recipe has a helpful formula for all kinds of smoothies, including fruit smoothies, vegetable smoothies, or a combination of the two. Use this recipe (or ratio balance) as a starting point and then you can branch out to make complicated smoothies
2 to 3 parts fruit or vegetables (2 to 3 cups)
1 to 1 1/2 parts liquid (1 to 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 part yogurt or another thickener (1/2 cup)
Water – the most basic way to create a light smoothie. Flavourless so let’s the ingredients shine through, creates a mild tasting smoothie.
Fruit juice – such as orange, pineapple, tropical, cranberry, pomegranate – goes best in banana/berry/green smoothies. Will create a fresh, bright smoothie. The flavour of juice complements greens beautifully.
Plant milks – such as oat, coconut, rice, almond. Goes great with berries and other sweet ingredients. Will create a rich, thick smoothie, great for post workouts or mornings when you need something a bit more filling.
You don't have to stick to the basic smoothie recipe for all of your smoothies. There are lots of ways to jazz up smoothies. Consider adding nuts, honey, flaxseeds, coconut, oatmeal, dried fruits, chocolate chips, cookies, and spices to make your smoothies more interesting. For example, if you want to make a smoothie taste like a certain dessert, such as pumpkin smoothies, you might add graham crackers and cinnamon.
The add ins might be my favourite part of smoothie making, they allow you to add some nutritional benefits to your smoothie, or just some great flavour. Here are some suggestions:
To add to berry based smoothies: Fresh ginger, lime juice, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts, cinnamon, avocado, lemon/lime zest, peppermint extract (just a couple of drops), vanilla, acai.
To add to banana based smoohies: cacao powder, maca powder, boabab, acai, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts, turmeric (just a pinch), avocado, peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, dates, cardamom (just a pinch), cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg (just a pinch) sesame seeds, coconut yoghurt.
To add to green smoothies: Fresh ginger, lime juice, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp hearts, cinnamon, avocado, lemon/lime zest, vanilla, acai, turmeric (just a pinch), nut butters, dates, coconut yoghurt.
1 cup frozen riced cauliflower
½ cup frozen mixed berries
1 cup sliced frozen banana
2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
2 teaspoons maple syrup
Place cauliflower, berries, banana, almond milk and maple syrup in a blender; blend until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes.
Diets high in added sugars trigger chronic inflammation and wreak havoc on your body. Over time, inflammation leads to high levels of oxidative stress, which can cause damage to your tissues and DNA. The result? A general feeling of being unwell and an increased risk for potentially serious diseases.
Drinking sugary drinks can also spike inflammation levels. Moreover, this effect can last for a considerable amount of time. A study of 29 healthy people found that consuming only 40 grams of added sugar from just one 375-ml can of soda per day led to an increase in inflammatory markers, insulin resistance and LDL cholesterol. These people tended to gain more weight, too.
Another study in overweight and obese people found that consuming one can of regular soda daily for six months led to increased levels of uric acid, a trigger for inflammation and insulin resistance. Subjects who drank milk or water had no increase in uric acid level.
It is hard to replace sugary beverages because of their addictive nature, but a healthy smoothie that reduces inflammation and tastes good is a great replacement to combat inflammation. Combining fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts and seeds into a smoothie will provide your body with the necessary phytochemicals, nutrients and antioxidants to combat inflammation.
Today's challenge involves replacing all sugary drinks and alcohol with a nice and refreshing anti-inflammatory smoothie. Enjoy this sweet and refreshing challenge!
What's a diet without snacks? Snacking is the most common dietary habit we perform every single day, but there are so many that make poor dietary choices when it comes to this habit. There are so many diets that prohibit snack because of weight gain, but don't recognize that it is more about the type of snack than just the calories.
Your next challenge will contain a list of snacks that you can have on this diet. We do not discourage snacking, but recommend healthier snacking when it comes to this diet!
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