It’s hot out and plain ol’ water can get boring fast in the summer heat. Replenish your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to help your body healthily sustain itself with this pineapple, basil, spinach, and cucumber smoothie.
Serving Size 1
* 1 Cup of Pineapple (canned, frozen, or fresh).
* 1/4 cup of Cucumber.
* 1 Handful of Spinach (Kale or Swiss Chard will work too).
* 1/2 Handful of fresh Basil (dried basil doesn’t taste the same).
* 8 to 12 oz of Water or Milk of choice (soy, rice, coconut, skim cow) depending on preference of consistency.
BLEND UNTIL SMOOTH AND ENJOY!
Besides pineapple being a great source of vitamin C, it also provides a sufficient amount of manganese, thiamin, and folate. Manganese is a cofactor for a number of enzymes vital for energy production and antioxidant defenses. Thiamin is a B vitamin which also acts as a cofactor for enzymatic reactions for energy production. Thiamin specifically can especially be helpful for people who are regular alcohol consumers, or for alcohol consumers who have recently stopped. Thiamin is essential for converting glucose (carbohydrates), fats, and proteins into usable energy for our bodies. Many people who consume regular/heavy alcohol are oftentimes thiamin deficient.
One of the “superfoods,” spinach is known for its many health benefits, providing and helping your body build defense via spinach’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant chemicals called phytochemicals and carotenoids. Did you know that spinach can help reduce blood pressure “by inhibiting an enzyme called angiotensin I-converting enzyme”?
Spinach is a great source of vitamin K which is essential for bone health. According to whfoods.org, “vitamin K1 helps prevent excessive activation of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone. Additionally, friendly bacteria in our intestines (microbiota) convert vitamin K1 into vitamin K2, which activates osteocalcin, the major non-collagen protein in bone. Osteocalcin anchors calcium molecules inside of the bone.”
Cucumbers are loaded with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agent properties! Little powerful phytonutrients, called lignans, provide our bodies defense. “When we consume plant lignans like those found in cucumber, bacteria in our digestive tract take hold of these lignans and convert them into enterolignans like enterodiol and enterolactone. Enterolignans have the ability to bind onto estrogen receptors and can have both pro-estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects. Reduced risk of estrogen-related cancers, including cancers of the breast, ovary, uterus, and prostate has been associated with intake of dietary lignans from plant foods like cucumber, (whfoods.org).”
On a side note, the good bacteria (microbiome) in our gut is something that has been overlooked in our society. Consuming vegetables provide our microbiome the food it needs so it can carry out its natural defense. We should think of our microbiome as a child living inside of us. You want to make sure you feed it the proper nutrients so it can flourish and perform at its best!