FUNCTIONAL FOOD | Spring Cleaning

Hi, everyone!

Spring is finally here! Flowers are blooming, the weather is getting warmer, no need to wear as many layers; yay!

To some–if not most–of us, with spring comes spring cleaning: giving away our old clothes and/or things we really do not use anymore; we aim to de-clutter our homes and closets. “If it doesn’t bring you joy, through it away”, or something like that. 😀

But what about our true homes: our bodies? Spring is the perfect time to clean up your pipes and flush out any waste that has been clogging up; and what better way to do this than with a delicious, nutrient-dense smoothie?

Today, I’m going to share with you the recipe of a smoothie it not only tastes delicious, but is also loaded with fiber and nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and iron. Plus, it supports your liver, helping it flush out extra cholesterol and hormones it doesn’t need, chemicals, toxins, and any nastiness your body might be holding on to (like a bad ex, yikes!). Your liver, among many other things, plays an essential role in regulating blood-sugar levels, so showing it some love is a good idea! Are you still with me? Ok. Just checking.

The key to this smoothie is to keep it very simple; it only contains vegetables and fruits (no protein powders or anything else).

Enjoy this smoothie in the morning before your breakfast. Chew it for optimal digestion. Yes, you heard me right: CHEW your smoothie. Don’t just gulp it down like you did back in college playing beer pong. By chewing your smoothie, you’ll see how this will get you moving in all the right ways in the morning 😉


Photo by Gina Mehta

Photo by Gina Mehta

Ingredients:

2-3 cups dandelion greens
2 cups spinach
2 stalks celery
1 cucumber
½ cup parsley
½ cup mint
1 banana
6 strawberries
1 tbsp bee pollen
2 cups water

 

DIRECTIONS

Place all the vegetables in the blender first with water. Blend. Add the banana, strawberries, bee pollen and lemon and blend again. Enjoy!


Supporting your digestive system with the magnesium, chlorophyll, B-vitamins, and fiber rich foods provided by this smoothie, first thing in the morning, will support elimination, regulate fluid and pH balance, help alleviate sore muscles, and have you feeling lighter, refreshed and full of energy for the rest of the day!

This simple smoothie provides you with absolutely all the vitamins and minerals your body needs; it is rich in calcium (containing 50% of your daily needs; wow), copper, iron (63%), magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, zinc; vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin E, K and pro-Vitamin A; I mean, wow!

If any of you know me, you know how much I hate focusing on numbers and macronutrients, but if you are into that sort of thing and are wondering: “but, where’s the protein? I gotta have my protein!” This bad boy contains 15.3 grams of protein in it without even trying. No funny, processed powders or weird things added. Only whole-food goodness!

Another good thing about this smoothie is that you can enjoy half of it and save the other half for the next day; you can keep it for about 3 days and you could even freeze it if you wish. You can mix and match the fruits but since dandelion greens (these need to be your new best friend; please read below for more detail about why these are good staple to have) are quite bitter, they pair quite well with banana, plus you get that heavy dose of potassium and magnesium which your heart and your muscles will be needing before and after that workout at Motivate! All the while they even help in regulating blood pressure; so it’s a win win with these nutrients.

Dandelion Greens: Dandelion is a rich source of nutrients; it actually contains a greater nutritional value than any other vegetable! You might have ignored these in the produce aisle, but these bad boys need a steady home in our fridges, ASAP!
Dandelion greens are high in vitamins and minerals (vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin, B6, thiamin, calcium, copper, magnesium manganese, iron) as well as, protein, choline and inulin. They have a high carotenoid and pro-vitamin A content (even higher than carrots). Dandelion supports healthy liver function by increasing the flow of bile and improving its ability to remove toxins, it can help improve blood sugar regulation, helps to strengthen bones, and has a diuretic effect (buh bye water weight!)

Parsley: Parsley is extremely rich in a large number of nutrients, chlorophyll, and carotenes. It is a very good source of vitamin C, folate, and iron. It is also a good source of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc. Parsley has shown to inhibit the cancer-causing properties of fried foods, and its volatile oil components have shown anticancer effects.

Strawberries: Amazing source of vitamin C, which helps keep our immune systems strong (Say goodbye to colds and flu this season!) and aids in the absorption of iron. They also contain vitamin K, flavonoids, dietary fiber, manganese, some B vitamins, and iodine (which is essential to our thyroids – it is needed to make thyroid hormones).

Bee pollen: Often referred to as nature’s most perfect food; bee pollen is a nutrient powerhouse! It is extremely rich in essential amino acids, carotenes, and B-vitamins, as well as vitamin C, E, K, and minerals such as phosphorous, calcium, zinc, selenium, and copper. What’s not to love?

Lemon: Excellent source of vitamin C and extremely cleansing, It is also a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, folate, flavonoids, and limonene (phytochemical with anticancer properties).

Fruit variations: you could make this with mango instead of banana; it works well and also contains a good dose of potassium and magnesium (among so many other nutrients).


Every couple of weeks, I will be posting nutrition and wellness advice, recipes, and interesting findings worth sharing with all of you. I know that we all have different interests and needs so I will try to cover different topics with every post. I would love to read your feedback so I encourage you to share your thoughts and/or questions in the comments section below.

If you would like to know more about me, please visit my website Alimental G.

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