Friday, January 4, 2013

Clean eating smoothie: part 7

Good morning, fit people!

Today's clean eating recipe is a pineapple and berry smoothie. It's simple, it's packed with vitamins and other antioxidants and it tastes wonderful.

Now, before I reveal the simple recipe, I want to share the health benefits of the basic ingredients of my smoothie.

Health benefits of pineapple
Pineapples are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and B-complex group of vitamins like folates, thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese. Potassium (K) is an important component of cell and body fluids, helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Copper (Cu) is a helpful cofactor for red blood cell synthesis. Manganese (Mn) is a trace mineral your body needs to build bones and connective tissues, and it also is a co-factor for an enzyme which battles free radicals.
Since pineapples have these anti-inflammatory qualities, eating pineapples can greatly ease the pain of arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and gout.
Pineapples are also the source of bromelain (a mixture of protein-digesting enzymes). Bromelain helps regulate the secretions in the pancreas to aid in digestion, and it neutralizes acidic fluids in the gastrointestinal tract.
Pineapples are 94% carbohydrates, so if you're on a carbohydrate-restricted diet, keep your pineapple intake at one cup per day.
Always go for fresh pineapple when you have the chance. Here's a great seven-step wikihow article on how to tell if a pineapple is ripe.

Health benefits of lingonberry
Lingonberries are supposedly one of the richest sources of polyphenols. The little red berries are an excellent source of vitamin A, B and C and are packed with minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, sodium and potassium, and also flavonoids, especially quercetin. Quercetin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, but it also has antihistamine properties that help alleviate allergy symptoms.
Lingonberries contain tannins that help boost the walls of blood vessels, resolve mineral metabolism and neutralize toxins. Like other dark red and blue berries, lingonberries boost the levels of good cholesterol and improve blood pressure. Also, lingonberries contain a berry biocomplex that reduces hardening of blood vessels. Lingonberries are and excellent addition to a diverse diet, since it improves heart and circulatory health. Apart from being rich in essential nutrients, lingonberries are also a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Health benefits of blueberry
The nutrients in blueberries include selenium, iron, potassium, copper, zinc, manganese, anthocyanin, vitamins A, C, E and B complex. Several studies show that blueberries can improve brain function and prevent (or slow) the progress of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Blueberries also improve glucose and insulin levels, and reduce abdominal fat. Like lingonberries, blueberries are a heart-healthy superberry. They also boost your immunity, since they are packed with enzymes with antibacterial and antiviral properties. The blue shade of blueberries provides anthocyanin, which is rich in bioflavenoid and antioxidants.
Both lingon- and blueberries are excellent to use both fresh or frozen.

Now that you know why I like my berries so much, here's the recipe to my antioxidant-packed supersmoothie:

Clean eating: Pineapple and berry supersmoothie
1 dl fresh pineapple chunks
1 dl lingonberries
1 dl blueberries
1-2 dl water, coconut water or any clean eating liquid you prefer to use

Place all the ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth. Pour in a tall glass or protein shaker and enjoy :)

Tip #1: I use this as an addition to my breakfast omelette. In case you plan on having just a smoothie for breakfast, make sure you get enough proteins. The protein count of this smoothie is really low, so feel free to add a protein powder or quark to the mix.
Tip #2: Since pineapples are diuretic (drive water out of the body), make sure you drink plenty of water with your smoothie.
Tip #3: For an added "superfood effect", add a tablespoon of maca, a teaspoon of Opti-MSM and a teaspoon of lucuma to the smoothie.

Now, I'm a regular multitasker in the mornings. I brush my hair while I let my dog out, I get dressed while my omelette is cooking and I enjoy half of my breakfast in the car on my way to work. Today I poured my smoothie in a protein shaker and drank it whilst commuting. It ain't pretty, but I got to get my natural vitamins in the morning!



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