A fresh smoothie is the best one to come on hot summer days. It is, as well, an easy and quick way to get the required daily dose of fruits and dairy products. It’s an easy breakfast or snack, you take it easily with you on the road or in the car. And it certainly is much more nutritious than any refreshment or iced coffee. Moreover, it keeps you full for several hours. The kids love them and they are definitely an ideal camouflage when your children do not like plain fruit. The smoothie we will try today contains banana, strawberries and flaxseed, which offers a large amount of fiber and fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Integrate the smoothies and juices in your daily habits and you will have made a big step towards healthy eating.
Those keeping up with my blog they read in a previous article that banana is a key ingredient for smoothies. You keep sliced banana in the freezer so you will not need to use ice cubes, which will probably affect the flavor and density of your smoothie. Bananas are an excellent source of many vitamins and other nutrients, while the sweet taste and the saturation caused due to fiber make it a quality snack. More specifically, banana is a good source of Vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6. The vitamin C contained in banana enhances antioxidant defenses of the human body and protects from diseases. Furthermore, vitamin C is particularly valuable for the synthesis of connective tissue, the absorption of iron and the composition of blood cells. The content of potassium in bananas is very high compared to other fruits and foods. Potassium is an electrolyte that plays an important role in protein synthesis and maintaining and development of muscle mass, as well as potassium regulates nerve impulses for muscle contraction. Vitamin B6 is involved in the synthesis of antibodies of our immune system, the composition of erythrocytes in protein metabolism and the proper functioning of the central nervous system. We should add that banana contains no sodium, and has traces of fat and cholesterol.
Strawberries and their beneficial properties you can read in the article “More than a simple fruit salad …” . Cut them while they are fresh and keep them in food bags in the freezer and you’ll have strawberries for juices and smoothies for a long time. As for flaxseed, it offers the body other than linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, two fatty acids that are important for the body, omega-3 fats, fiber, minerals, vitamins and valuable lignans.
Specifically, the lignans are contained, among others, in cereals and legumes, with the difference that in flaxseed they are in much larger amounts (from 75 to 800 times greater ratio). Lignans are natural antioxidants and function as phytoestrogens. They fight free radicals in the body and have a very significant antitumor activity after blocking the function of enzymes involved in the formation of cancerous tumors. They protect women from breast cancer and men from prostate appearance. Flaxseed is therefore one of the most powerful antioxidant in nature, important even than blueberries and vegetables.
The flax seed is rich in dietary fiber, soluble and insoluble form. The fibers are dispersed by water and they assist in the reduction of the levels of cholesterol and blood glucose, while the form of insoluble dietary fiber enhances proper bowel function. Because only one teaspoon of flaxseed contains 8 grams of dietary fiber, it is when first-integrate that seed in your diet, be sure to do it gradually, starting for example with half a teaspoon a day to avoid swelling.
Omega-3 fatty acids, contribute significantly to the health of the heart in many ways, while it is known how that the human body do not produce them. Flaxseed, strengthens the cardiovascular system, keeping the blood pressure at healthy levels, reduces the risk of heart problems and throws cholesterol levels while omega-3 helps in weight loss, since they offer a sense of satiation, leaving the digestive system time to process protein and fiber, which extends even more the feeling that we are full.
The anti-inflammatory activity of the flaxseed, have effects on the health of the skin and the greater good of the flaxseed is the strengthening of the immune system which in turn protects us from any diseases.
Although investigations are rare, it is advisable to avoid consuming flaxseed during pregnancy because of lignans alleged to be natural estrogens.
In the market there are two main types of flaxseed, gold and brown. The second type is more common in supermarkets, while their nutritional profile is almost identical. But there are other critical points with flaxseed needs attention. Persons with inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s, should avoid flaxseed due to its laxative properties. Still, pregnant and nursing mothers should not consume flaxseed. Studies also show that women with fibroids, endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome should not consume flaxseed. Men who have an increased risk of prostate cancer should avoid sources of ALA. If you are taking medication, ask your doctor before adding flaxseed to your diet.
The daily recommended dose is about 1-2 teaspoons, which you can add to juices and smoothies, soups, yogurt with cereal, sauces, etc., while you can substitute part of the flour needed with ground flaxseed, for making bread.
Let us now look at the recipe:
Preparation time: 5 minutes
• 1 ½ cup 2% milk (or almond milk, in case you avoid dairy products)
• ½ banana into pieces, frozen
• ½ cup strawberries, frozen
• 2 tbsp crushed flaxseed
Add all ingredients in your blender, in the order listed, and blend until smooth.
Definitely you can make your smoothie with fresh fruit instead of frozen, but keep in mind that in case you use ice cubes, they will affect the density of the drink and possibly its taste, when melted.
Nutritional Facts per Serving
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