Happy Thursday, all! Can you guys believe it’s already Friday tomorrow? This week flew by! As you know, yesterday I got up and crushed an early morning run. Post-run, I made an awesome antioxidant-filled smoothie for recovery. It was AMAZING. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but in real life I am a scientist, and there’s usually a method behind my madness. I enjoy doing my research and finding the reasons WHY certain foods are good for you. It’s exciting to find out the amazing properties and health benefits of the bioactive compounds contained in the foods we eat and love. It’s always fun to learn something new about your environment, right? So, today I’ve outlined the reasons I included each one of the components of my stellar smoothie below:
Cherries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries provide antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E, and all sorts of other bioactive compounds. In fact, one landmark study shows that just one cup of berries provides all the disease-fighting antioxidants you need in a single day.*
A scoop of vegan protein powder helps you feel energized, keeps you full longer, helps to refuel after your workout, and helps you hit your daily value of protein per day, especially if you eat a plant-based diet like me.
Flaxseeds are an fantastic way to fulfill your recommended daily intake (RDI) of omega-3s of 1.1 grams; one tablespoon of flaxseeds contain 1.8 grams of omega-3. Flax also contains fiber, some of which is broken down in the body into lignans, which may slow down the progress of certain breast cancers and other types of cancers that need estrogen to thrive. Additionally, all that fiber helps make you feel full, promotes regular digestion, and may have other heart-healthy benefits. Researchers believe the fiber in flaxseed binds with cholesterol in the intestine and prevents it from being absorbed.**
Soy milk is fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and 1 cup of soy milk contains 45% of your recommended daily value of calcium. It also has 8 grams of protein, no cholesterol, and is low in saturated fat.
Cinnamon is my favorite spicy addition to any smoothie, overnight oats, baked goods, or just about anything. Cinnamon slows the emptying of your stomach to reduce sharp rises in blood sugar following meals, and improves the effectiveness, or sensitivity, of insulin. It’s like a tiny powerhouse: just half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day has previously been shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It also has tons of bioactive and flavonoid compounds that have positive effects on your metabolism – basically, it’s an all-around health gangsta.***
Cacao powder is full of antioxidants and tastes like chocolate – enough said.
Bananas are a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of manganese, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, potassium, biotin, and copper. And they taste delicious and help bring a creaminess to your smoothie.
Run Recovery Smoothie
- 1 banana
- 1 cup of mixed frozen berries (cherries, blueberries, blackberries & raspberries)
- 1 cup of soy milk
- 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (I use Vega)
- 1 Tbsp flaxseeds
- 1 Tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Blend all ingredients until smooth and enjoy! 🙂
I hope you enjoy this smoothie as much as I did – it was so delicious, and full of good things.