recipes and tips for better living

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ruby Ruby & Carrot Orange Spice: The Antioxidant Smoothies

"Antioxidant" is such a buzz word these days.  You know they're good for you and you want lots of them, but do you know what they are?  Or what they really are doing for your body?

Antioxidants do exactly what the word says:  they stop the oxidative process in the body.  Think of 'oxidation' as rust on your car.  This rust is caused by what's called free radicals.  Free radicals are the unstable oxygen atoms that attack your cells (or in this case your car...not so radical, eh?).  This assault is on everything, inducing your DNA.  Antioxidants help to stabilize these nasty free radicals, to keep the atoms from rusting your car...aka, your bodies' cells.

Therefore, by eating more antioxidant rich foods, you'll be able to up your defenses against these nasty rust makers...AND the best part is that natural medicine tastes amazing!!!!

Carrot Orange Spice Smoothie:

 With a little pumpkin pie spice to up the flavah, this smoothie is to die for.  I could sip on it all day!

1 orange (peeled, but leave on the pith)
1 cup carrot juice (fresh pressed or store bought)
1/4 avocado (without skin)
pumpkin pie spice (a few dashes to your liking)


If you like a thicker consistency you can add a little carrot pulp if you juiced the carrot, or toss a small (baby sized) carrot chopped into the blender as it rips, or increase the amount of avocado.  To thin the smoothie increase the amount of carrot juice, or add a small amount of water.

Carrots are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A in the body and is used for healthy skin and hair.  Carrot juice also happens to be a great liver detoxifier.  Oranges as we all know are a rich source of vitamin C which is one of the antioxidant vitamins.  As well, oranges contain flavonoids, an antioxidant with anti-flammatory and anti-tumor effects, but many of these are in the skin and pith (white part under the skin).  So when you peel your oranges keep and enjoy the pith just as much as you are the inner orange.  Avocados are a great source of antioxidant vitamins C and E plus glutamine which is necessary to neutralize free radicals/rust makers.  Plus avos are also a great source of potassium!!!

Ruby Ruby:

 With a ruby glow, this antioxoidant smoothie packs a punch of nutrients into your 20+ ounce glass.

1 very small organic beet
1/2 bag of frozen organic strawberries
3 cups organic spinach
1/2 a very small organic apple
1 tbsp honey
a splash of vanilla extract
12 oz water


Strawberries are rich in anthocyanins that provide it's red hue and serve as potent antioxidants that are shown to help protect cell structures in the body and to prevent oxidative damage in all the organ systems.  They are a heart-protective, anti-cancer, and an anti-inflammatory fruit that contains ellagic acid, a plant compound that combats carcinogens.  Plus strawberries are packed with fiber and rich in Vitamin C.  Beets are a unique source of the phytonutrients betanin and vulgaxanthin.  These have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support.  Beets also are an important contributor of two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which help to support eye health and common age-related eye problems.  Spinach too is a great source of lutein and beta-carotene. 

So there you have it!  Two power houses of great health in a large glass.  Pretty rocking way to start (or end) your day I'd say!

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