This month has been about going green, recycling your past and taking care of your needs. Nothing takes care of your needs quite like a delicious, nutritious smoothie. The power to nourish your brain is right there in that delightful glass of goodness.
The basic recipe for a smoothie is really quite easy. Simply, add one cup of liquid such as water, almond milk or coconut water with 1 cup of your favorite veggie (kale, spinach, pumpkin) and 1 cup of your favorite fruit (berries, peaches, avocado) and voila you have done a fabulous job and can definitely declare that you have been able to nourish your brain but let us really look at this and see how we can really make this phenomenal.
These are extra special foods that offer terrific taste and various benefits including reduction of brain inflammation and an increased ability to concentrate.
1. Blueberries – Now these little powerhouses will not keep your smoothie green and vibrant but there are some amazing purple smoothies such as this Fat Burning Smoothie. However, more important than the color is the benefit. Blueberries, also referred to as “Brainberries” by Steven Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life, have been found to protect the brain from oxidative stress which can help stave off the effect of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
2. Avocado – Avocado may seem like an odd smoothie mix in to some but it actually makes the smoothie creamy and delicious. I will usually use 1/2 of a small avocado for healthy monounsaturated fat. This helps with heathy blood flow which can assist with memory and other cognitive abilities.
3. Nuts – Pistachio’s may reduce brain inflammation and, according to a study published in the August 2012 issue of the “Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry“, walnuts may help reverse some forms of age-related brain deterioration. Almonds can improve memory and Macadamia nuts, high in oleic acid, may help prevent stroke. To nourish your brain nuts are great but, of course, do not eat them to excess. I also recommend that nuts be consumed raw and, even, sprouted which helps digestion.
4. Kale – The main kind of fat in Kale is omega-3 which is linked to many benefits including lowering the risk of depression, diabetes and keeping your brain healthy. This is a wonderful choice for your smoothie but do remember too much of a good thing is not a good thing. The body likes to have many choices so also consider vegetable mix ins such as spinach, cauliflower and sweet potato. These all can help to nourish your brain and your body.
5. Cacao Nibs – I must mention these because they are my favorite decadent snack but the reality is that, though they may taste decadent, they are not actually decadent at all. Cacao has more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far and acts as mild stimulant to the mood and the brain. I enjoy these mixed into almost any smoothie. In the photo above you can see that I enjoy layering this yummy goodness.
There are many wonderful additions to your smoothies including superfoods, an array of fruits and vegetables plus beautiful liquids such as water, coconut water, carrot juice and fresh nut milk. Have fun, eat clean and go organic.
The Nourish Your Brain Great Green Smoothie:
1 c. fresh almond milk
1/2 c, mango, peach and pineapple chunks
1/4 ripe avocado
1 c. kale
1 cube Wheatgrass (great for blood cleansing, use with caution)
Top with a sprig of mint and shaved coconut butter. Mint just looks pretty and adds a great freshness while Coconut Butter provides more of that fat that is actually good for you.
Blend all in your favorite high quality blender and enjoy.