Beetroot antioxidant smoothie!

Last week on the show, I made a super easy smoothie, that is high in anti oxidants. These nutrients are important, especially when we start looking at how our environment affects our body, on a cellular level. Before I get into the deliciousness of the smoothie, let’s look at some VERY simple science to understand what this smoothie is going to do for us:

What are free radicals?

A free radical is an unstable molecule that is sometimes produced in our body from certain normal cellular reactions, or they can be introduced into our body from our environmental toxins, such as cigarette smoke, pollution, tap water, medications, alcohol, radiation, or perhaps a poor diet.

When this free radical is in our cellular environment, it attacks our normal cells, by an oxidising reaction. By oxidising our cell, it “steal’s” an electron, and destabilises the structure of our cells, leaving our cells damaged. By now, we know that a damaged cell, means lowered function to the tissue and organ as well as to many important systems, such as our immune, nervous and cardiovascular systems. This damage appears to be a major contributor to development of over 50 diseases! If you have ever watched Despicable Me 2, and have seen those purple, crazy minions- then that would be an embodiment of a free radical 🙂

We naturally balance the fight between healthy and unhealthy cells in our bodies. Our body is quite capable of punching those free radicals in the face. But, when our body is overwhelmed by too many oxidising reactions, this is where trouble can start.

What is a an antioxidant?

Let’s break it up- “Anti” meaning against, “oxidant” meaning the bad guy (haha). So an antioxidant is really like an elite team that scavenges the body for trouble makers, and then eliminates them. Antioxidants are also naturally produced by the body and/ or we can get them through foods. They are critical to our body’s defense system.

Antioxidants are capable of  deactivating free radicals before they attack cells. If you suffer from a chronic disease/ autoimmune disease, it is safe to assume that free radicals have contributed to the development to your pathology.

Beware of high dose antioxidant supplements, as they may overload the system. It’s a delicate balance. Try get your antioxidants instead from whole foods, which is better for absorption.

So now, that smoothie…

The smoothie I made is very simple. The ingredients are of course, are very important. Most raw fruit and vegetables contain high amounts of antioxidants. I have selected simple ingredients that you can use, wherever you live! This recipe is vegan, vegetarian.. and should fit most ‘diets’.

Ingredients and method:

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  • 3-4 medium sized strawberries
  • 50g of blue berries
  • 3cm of fresh ginger root (wash thoroughly, and leave skin on)
  • 3 tablespoons of flax seed
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 large de-veined spinach leaf
  • 1/2 a large beetroot (wash thoroughly, and leave skin on)
  • Water for consistency

Liquidise in your smoothie maker of choice. I prefer a watery consistency, so I add about 1 cup of water. The serving size is approximately 600ml.

Many plant substances such as “phytonutrients,” or “phytochemicals” possess antioxidant properties. Spinach, beetroot and berries provide copious amounts of these. I prefer to give my veggies a good scrub and leave the skin on, as the nutrients sit under the skin. The skin also provides extra fibre. As mentioned on the show, turmeric requires a fat for absorption- therefore the addition of the flax seed as it provides this fatty medium.

I hope you enjoy the natural earthy taste of this smoothie. I try have this smoothie three to four times a week. Mother nature is quite awesome in trying to help us maintain our health- embrace the gifts!

 

 

Non Alcoholic Hot Toddy Recipe

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Ingredients for the hot toddy

I decided to share this very easy recipe with everyone who watched the show this week on Real Health. All the ingredient can be found in your local spice shop or your pantry!

It’s a great for warming up the chest and throat, and helps your body fight off any signs of a cold.  There are variations that add brandy, however, this is safe for everyone, including children and pregnant woman.

The beneficial qualities:

  • Turmeric acts as a wonderful anti inflammatory
  • Cinnamon is an antimicrobial 
  • Black pepper promotes sweating and helps rid the body of toxins
  • Ginger eases pain and acts as an anti- inflammatory
  • Cayenne pepper is a mucous decongestant and a natural pain reliever
  • Raw honey contains Propolis which has antibacterial and antiviral qualities
  • Lemon has lots of vitamin C and has immune boosting properties

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground (or fresh) turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon bruised black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw honey
  • slice of lemon

Method:

  • In a small pot, add the water and gently heat on a medium heat
  • Add the turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger and cayenne pepper
  • Let the ingredients simmer for five minutes
  • Remove from heat and strain into a cup
  • Add honey and lemon
  • Ideally served had warm/hot
  • Sip and enjoy!