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I really tried hard to think of more of a catchy name for this smoothie. There was the Blazing Blueberry Smoothie, the Blue Heat Smoothie, and several others not worth mentioning. When it came down to it though, this smoothie adds a ton of inflammation fighting foods and spices so the key word is Anti-inflammatory. In all honesty, it’s not the most catchy, however, these days it is quite the buzz word in all things related to health and nutrition.
So what is all of the buzz about eating foods with anti-inflammatory powers? I am not by any means a pro, but here is what I have learned recently. Inflammation is directly related to our immune system. While a little bit of inflammation is good and necessary to heal our bodies, there is such a thing as way too much. That’s where our health suffers. Inflammation triggers are everywhere: stress, sugar, saturated fats, toxins in the environment, etc., so you can’t completely avoid all of the triggers, but you can certainly look to your diet to help create balance. Skipping highly processed foods is one thing to do for sure. Cutting back on sugar will also help. In doing so, you may notice an improvement in skin issues such as acne, a boost in energy and even some allergy relief as these and so many other health issues can actually just be caused by inflammation.
Inflammation is like salt. A pinch is a good thing, but get a tad too much and it ruins everything.
There are actually a lot of foods that are considered anti-inflammatory. Here are ten to get you started:
1. Wild Caught Salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation and these fish are a great source.
2. Whole Grains. We have heard time and time again to cut out the white, refined flour so this is just one more reason to do it!
3. Dark, leafy greens. I have been adding these to my husband’s smoothies lately and he has finally stopped complaining. The list of benefits from eating your greens is so long so this just is icing on the cake, right?
4. Nuts. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews and more. Again, the omega-3 fatty acids are loaded in all kinds of nuts.
5. Spices: ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and more.
6. Berries. These fruits are loaded with anti-oxidants as well so load up on your berries!
7. Garlic. Sure it’s potent to the breath, but it is an anti-inflammation powerhouse!
8. Olive Oil. Many studies on the Mediterranean diet that is rich in extra virgin olive oil show the benefits when it comes to combatting inflammation.
9. Avocados. Yes! I can’t live without these so just another reason to eat them daily!
10. Beans. These are a great protein source and high in fiber as well!
So there is a good list to get you started. In reality, the more whole foods you put into your body, the more likely you are to get these kinds of foods. Your immunity will get a boost, and overall health will improve. What’s not to love about that?
I guess you can see why it was pretty tough to come up with anything catchy for this smoothie, but don’t let the name fool you, it is delicious and full of flavor and character. I have been on a cayenne kick lately when it comes to my smoothies so this Anti-Inflammatory Blueberry Smoothie is just the right balance of sweet and spicy. Blueberries, leafy greens, almond butter, cinnamon, cayenne and even the Maca powder (optional) offer anti-inflammatory qualities so you are ready for anything with this one! If you are not one for heat, lighten up on the cayenne at first but I wouldn’t skip it completely, it just adds a bit of flair to the whole smoothie. Toss everything in the blender and things will really get fired up! So go eat up and fight some inflammation!
- 2 handfuls spinach or leafy greens
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 T almond butter
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 - 1/4 tsp cayenne (start light and add as desired)
- 1 tsp maca powder (optional)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.