Smoothies are perfect for each and every day, 365 days a year. Wholefood plant-based smoothies are one of the best ways to eat raw, organic fruits and veggies. Which is why we have one every single day.
This smoothie in particular has my heart. We've had it every morning for almost three months straight.
The tangy citrus, the sweet
mango, the refreshing cucumber......it's heaven. And once I added the coconut fat...is obsession a strong word?
Here's a quick breakdown of just a few ways these ingredients will heal you from the inside out:
1. Citrus Fruits Alkalize Our Bodies:
For Starters, Why Should We Alkalize Our Bodies?
What do acidifying foods do, and how do we prevent the damage they cause?
In excess, acidifying foods can acidify the pH of our blood, which can have extremely painful short term effects, and extremely harmful long term effects. We have a very sensitive pH range in which our bodies function effectively. When that balance is disturbed, our bodies try to counterbalance this acidity, which ends up overworking our kidneys, liver, heart, and more, in efforts to diffuse or dispose of the excess acids, and the inflammation they cause. Just a few of the effects are gout, kidney stones, loss of bone density, hypertension, fatigue, and inflammation. Longer term effects include kidney failure, and susceptibility to oxidative damage, which contributes to diseases such as obesity and cancer.
It's no mystery that citrus fruits are acidic. Citric acid is the main ingredient that causes those weird tongue twists and pucker faces when you eat citrus fruits. Vitamin C, or L-Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, AKA you can't store it in your body like you can with fat-soluble vitamins. Neither can we produce vitamin C within our bodies, so we need regular doses of it to maintain optimum health.
The pineapple, mango, lemon, and mandarin oranges in this recipe all contain vitamin C and citric acid.
Why choose so much acid in a smoothie to start the day with?
Isn't too much acidity in the body bad?
Yes, acidity of the blood can be very bad. But understanding acids in context is key here. Citrus fruits contain acid, however, these acids are alkalizing to the body, and promote health.
Confused? Don't worry, so are many others. Mother Nature sure loves throwing us around for a loop!
You see, there are four ways to view foods:
1. Acidic foods: The state of the food before you eat it---when it's natural chemical makeup is predominantly acidic or containing high acid content (Low pH).
2. Alkaline foods: The state of the food before you eat it---the nature of a food's chemical makeup being predominantly alkaline (High pH).
3. Acidifying food: The metabolic effects the food has on the body physiologically---lowers blood pH/ acidifies the body.
4. Alkalizing food: The metabolic effects the food has on the body physiologically---raises blood pH/alkalizes the body.
A food can be acidic in nature, but alkalizing to our body overall, raising our pH (which is good). Similarly, a food can be basic in nature, such as cow's milk, but upon digestion be acidifying to the body (not so good in excess). The key here is to always balance your diet with alkalizing foods. A strong alkaline-to-acidic diet is always better than a predominantly acidic diet. We'll get into it another time, but long story short, the ions that are produced once the foods are broken down are all that matter; not their initial states.
It's remarkable, and absolutely necessary to understand. Study after study shows that increasing our levels of vitamin C and citric acid directly correlate with significantly lower levels of uric acid in the blood; hence, they are alkalizing foods.
2. Citrus Fruits Are Antioxidant Rich:
Vitamin C is an especially potent antioxidant, preventing damage from free radicals and reducing inflammation---the root of generally all diseases. Vitamin C has the look young and feel young effect, promoting health from the inside out. No wonder it is so hyped in the media with popular fruit juice and fruit gummy snack brands. But watch out! Processed sugar drinks and snacks with added sugars actually have acidifying effects on the body overall, which is why getting these nutrients directly from the source is best.
3. Coconut Oil and Coconut Milk Contain Good Fats:
Why choose coconut fat and coconut oil? Because they give a delicious almost piña colada type-feel to this smoothie? Yes! But also because coconut fat is an excellent source of fats. The fats in coconut are predominantly medium chained fatty acids, which differ in that when consumed, these fats are immediately used by the liver as energy (this means less time moseying around our blood stream, and less contribution to high blood cholesterol or blood pressure). These incredible fats provide lipids that are essential to every cell in our body, provide immediate energy, and can when used in replacement of other processed fats, can help promote a healthy heart.
They are also some of the most potent precursors to Betahydroxybutyrate, or HBA. HBA is a compound known as a ketone body that the brain feeds on for energy. Ketones are an extremely efficient way to feed the brain, especially when blood sugar is low. Studies of recent have shown the beneficial effects of this special ketone. (ketones are the only other products the brain can use for energy, other than glucose). Debated as a potentially more efficient source of energy for the brain, studies show HBA increases brain productivity for people suffering from Alzheimer's. Long story short, the ketone body HBA is so efficient for the brain, it's being studied as a treatment for those with Alzheimer's.
This is beside the fact that healthy fats such as HBA support antioxidant mechanisms within our body, and increase efficiency of the mitochondria in our brain.
So although the F-word (....fat!) is a scary word to the general public, especially saturated fat (which coconut contains), get educated on why fats are necessary, and where to get healthy fats from. Pacific Islanders and many African populations have heavily relied on coconuts and their fats for hundreds of years, and today are still amongst some of the healthiest populations in the world. Coconuts must be doing something right, then!
Greens Are Good At Everything:
There isn't much more else to say here, really. No nutritionist, doctor, sane person...will ever dispute the perks of including green leafy vegetables to your diet. This smoothie calls for 2 handfuls of a triple-green mix: kale, chard, spinach. Spinach is so alkalizing to the body that it actually was it's own group of alkalizing food on one of the articles I used for my research. I had to laugh---the study marked "most fruits and vegetables" as a group, and then "spinach", way off on it's own, as a super-alkalizing food.
Popeye had the right idea, my friends.
So give it a try. Everyone has a flavor that will warm them up to a good wholefood smoothie. Is it delicious mango that brings you back to the warm summer months? Is it cool coconut that has you dreaming of piña coladas? Or are you a sucker for tangy citrus flavors like mandarin oranges or a hint of fresh lemon? Well this cleanser has got it all. It's a superfood smoothie that walks the walk.... but doesn't taste like wheatgrass.
Citrus Coconut Cleanser Smoothie
Serves: A full 64oz blender pitcher (If your blender cannot hold this, cut each ingredient in half for a 32oz recipe)
2 cups frozen organic mango chunks
2 cups frozen organic pineapple chunks
5 organic mandarin oranges or 2 large oranges
2 peeled/seeded organic lemons (also feel free to add their zest---waste not, want not!)
1/2 organic cucumber
2 tbsp. organic coconut fat
2 tbsp. organic coconut oil
1.5 cups water (add more as desired)
2 cups organic triple greens mix (chard, kale, spinach)
1. Blend fruit and water in blender well.
2. Add greens and fats and blend well
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