A smoothie packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. This smoothie is equal parts refreshing and delicious!
I love incorporating smoothies into my daily routine for the hydration, natural energy from fruit, tons of antioxidants and greens. It is one of the ways I sneak greens into my boys diet and they just happen to love smoothies! This acai antioxidant smoothie is packed with nutrition and is very high in antioxidants.
What are antioxidants?
Everyone talks about antioxidants, but let’s dig into what antioxidants are and what they do for you. Antioxidants are molecules that fight damage by free radicals (unstable molecules that can harm cellular structures).
Antioxidants accomplish this by donating an electron to a free radical, thus neutralizing the free radical and prevent it from causing harm. If antioxidants did not exist, free radicals would quickly destroy our cells. When the free radicals (pro-oxidants) outnumber the antioxidants, this can lead to oxidative stress.
What is oxidative stress?
There are various factors that can contribute to oxidative stress and excess free radicals. Some of these things include air pollution, cigarette smoke, alcohol consumption, toxins, high blood sugar, radiation, infections (by bacteria, viruses or fungi), intense or prolonged exercise, lack of physical activity, chronic stress, and antioxidant deficiency.
Another factor that contributes to oxidative stress is industrial vegetable oils. ” Industrial vegetable oils, including canola, soybean, peanut, and safflower oils, are high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Omega-6 PUFAs are delicate and quite susceptible to damage from factors such as heat and light.
Unfortunately, the very process by which industrial vegetable oils are made exposes omega-6 PUFAs to heat, metals, and other chemicals; this process oxidatively damages the fatty acids and produces “rancid” fats. However, the damage doesn’t stop there; vegetable oils are further oxidized when they are heated during the cooking process.” Kresser, C. ( 2018, June 14). What Really Causes Oxidative Damage?
Some signs of oxidative stress include fatigue, memory loss/brain fog, muscle/joint pain, wrinkles/grey hair/decreased eye sight, headaches, and susceptibility to infections. Over time, oxidative stress can lead to a vast array of diseases including (but not limited to) allergies, asthma, cancer, atherosclerosis, hypertension, high cholesterol, chronic inflammation, auto immune disorders, all types of arthritis, wrinkles, acne, eczema, psoriasis, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, Lyme disease and chronic fatigue.
So what can we do to prevent oxidative stress?
Some tips to prevent oxidative stress include avoiding sugar and processed foods, avoid toxins, incorporate daily stress remedies such as meditation, yoga, nature walks, journaling, spiritual practice, increase antioxidant consumption, and promote the production of antioxidants (for example supporting glutathione production, the master antioxidant, by eating foods to help your body make glutathione.)
So let’s increase our antioxidant consumption with this smoothie!
Here are some quick facts about the antioxidant content and other benefits:
Strawberries: Strawberries contain high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols and are packed with vitamin C. Eight strawberries contain more vitamin C than one orange. The heart shape is our first clue that this fruit is good for you and good for your heart! They help increase HDL (good) cholesterol and lower blood pressure. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, manganese, folate, and potassium.
Baby spinach: Baby spinach contains high levels of many antioxidants including lutein, kaempferol, quercitin, zeaxanthin, and alpha-lipolic acid. Spinach is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals including A, C, K1, folate, manganese, magnesium, iron, and calcium. Contains high amounts of nitrates which can help moderate blood pressure levels and decreases risk of heart disease.
Wild Blueberries: Wild blueberries have 2x the antioxidant power of regular blueberries. They are especially high in anthocyanin, a flavonoid with potent antioxidant capacity. They contain fiber, vitamin C and K, mangnanese, iron, and zinc. According to Anthony William, Medical Medium, they have the highest proportion of antioxidants of any food on the planet.
He also said that wild blueberries are the most powerful brain food, the most potent prebiotic and is a star at restoring the liver. In addition, wild blueberries are one of the most effective heavy metal detoxifying foods. (William, Anthony. Life Changing Foods.)
Chia seeds: Chia seeds contain antioxidants, protein, and fiber. They are a good source of iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. They are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. When doing a gram by gram comparison, chia seeds have 8x more omega 3 fatty acids than salmon, 2x more potassium than bananas and 6x more calcium than milk.
Bananas: Bananas are well known for their potassium content. Potassium can help reduce blood pressure due to its vasodilation properties. Bananas also container several types of antioxidants including dopamine and catechins. These antioxidants are linked to reduced risk of heart disease and degenerative illness. The dopamine from bananas do not cross the blood brain barrier and simply acts as a strong antioxidant.
Acai: Acai contains an abundance of the antioxidant anthocyanin. Studies using a variety of cancer cells have indicated that anthocyanins activate detoxifying enzymes, prevent cancer cell proliferation, induce cancer cell death, and have anti-inflammatory effects. Acai may improve cognitive function due to the abundance of antioxidants which may lower oxidative stress and inflammation, thus promoting brain health.
Love smoothies? More delicious smoothies to try
- Piña Kaleada
- Chocolate Hemp Seed Thickshake
- Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
- Chocolate and Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowls
Acai Antioxidant Smoothie
- 1 packet frozen acai
- 1 cup baby spinach, packed
- 1 cup cold water
- ½ cup frozen strawberries
- 1 banana
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
- Optional, handful of ice (if you like your smoothies really icy)
- Run warm water over the packet of acai for about 10 seconds and let it sit in the sink.
- In a high speed blender, add baby spinach, water, strawberries, banana, and chia seeds.
- Cut end off acai packet and add to blender. Add wild blueberries. If you are adding ice, add that as well.
- Blend for 1-2 minutes or until thoroughly combined.
- Enjoy immediately for best consistency.