Today I’m starting a new smoothie series where I’ll uncover the best of the best antioxidants spanning each color in the rainbow. I’ll share recipes formulas that you can easily adapt, and I’ll explain the nutrition and health benefits of having these smoothies on a weekly basis. Smoothies are one of the simplest ways to increase your nutrient density in a small yet filling volume and that’s easy on your digestive system. First up in the rainbow smoothie series is the Ultimate Reds Smoothie loaded with my favorite picks for red whole foods. The result is a delicious red smoothie rich in antioxidants like lycopene and anthocyanins for improved circulation, heart health, and digestive health. Purposeful + tasty, read on for more!
Drink your reds!
Whole foods that are naturally red in color are loaded with antioxidants, but most notably lycopene (a carotenoid) and anthocyanins. Lycopene is most famously associated with tomatoes, but did you know it’s present in the following red whole foods too? Lycopene has been studied and shown to help fight a variety of cancers (1), help improve circulation, decrease high blood pressure (2), reduce cholesterol (3), reduces cardiovascular risk (4), and reduction in metabolism syndrome (5). But why are antioxidants important? Think of antioxidants as being the protectors our bodies need and added bonus, they’re abundant in the whole foods we eat. We’ve chatted about antioxidants a lot here on NS, but in a nutshell our bodies need antioxidants to fight off free radicals. Free radicals can damage our healthy cells causing oxidative stress, which may cause harm to our hormones, blood vessels, proteins, lipids, and genetic code; causing cancer, inflammation, pain, degenerative diseases, heart disease, and aging itself.
Reds that you can incorporate into your weekly smoothie sessions:
- Tomato varieties
- Blood orange
- Pomegranate seeds
- Goji berries
- Red bell peppers
- Red apples
- Pink grapefruit
- Kidney and red beans
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 cup almond milk
- ½ cup frozen strawberries
- ½ cup frozen cherries
- 1 small red beet, peeled and raw (or you may use roasted/steamed)
- 2 tablespoon goji berries
- ¼ inch ginger root, peeled
- Juice of 1 lemon
- In a high speed blender, blend all ingredients together until smooth. Add ice to the blender and blend or you can serve over ice in a glass. Enjoy immediately.
Enjoy this one you guys and stay tuned for many more in this series so that you can rotate different smoothies throughout the week to increase your nutrient density and variety. Let me know how you like this recipe in the comments or if you have questions. It also helps when you rate the recipe when you try it so I can improve them for you. Be sure to snap a picture when you make it at home share it on Instagram with #nutritionstripped so I can see!
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