Your heart is the most important muscle in your body whose job is to pump oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout the body to sustain its proper work and health. Blood is pumped through a system of blood vessels, called the circulatory system, which includes arteries, capillaries, and veins. Over the course of time, some people can develop certain heart conditions due to unhealthy lifestyle as well as other factors, including the normal process of aging. These conditions can further lead to more serious complications and increase your risk of coronary heart disease. For this reason, it is best to keep your heart healthy and prevent any heart problems by leading a healthy lifestyle and eating healthy. One way to support your cardiovascular health is to prepare the following delicious avocado, spinach and kiwi smoothie.
Green Smoothie (Recipe)
- ½ large avocado (or one small avocado)
- a handful of spinach (washed)
- 2 kiwis (scooped out of their skin)
- ½ inch fresh ginger root (peeled)
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1 cup of organic coconut milk and 1 cup of water (alternative: 2 cups of almond or hemp milk, coconut water or grass fed, organic cow’s milk)
- several drops of stevia (optional)
Put spinach, ginger, turmeric, avocado, kiwis and the liquid you prefer in a blender, and blend everything well on high speed for a few seconds. Consume immediately to reap the most benefits.
Note: Provided that the spinach you’re using is not organic, it is best to soak it in a mixture of hot water and some apple cider vinegar to eliminate sprays. Afterwards, wash it thoroughly and add it to your blender with the rest of the ingredients.
How Often Should You Consume This Smoothie
It is recommended to prepare this delicious smoothie at least several times a week to obtain best results. If you don’t have time to prepare fresh doses of it, you can always prepare a larger amount and freeze the remainder to serve it as a frozen dessert later.
It is strongly advised to consult with your doctor before you start consuming this smoothie if you are taking prescription heart drugs. This type of treatment smoothies should always be avoided when prescription drugs are involved. Despite the fact that they can cause certain interactions, they can also prove to be very effective and make it necessary to reduce your drug dosage.
Heart Benefits of This Green Smoothie
- Avocados – A Well of “Good” Fats
Not only are avocados rich, creamy and flavorful, but they are also very nutritious and high in healthy monounsaturated fats such as oleic and linoleic acid. These fats have the ability to lower bad LDL cholesterol level and increase the level of good HDL cholesterol. If your LDL cholesterol level is too high for a longer period of time, plaque will start building up in your blood vessels and will eventually lead to arterial blockage. This will restrict blood flow or, it may block it altogether, thus increasing your risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular disease. By increasing your HDL cholesterol, you will reduce LDL levels in your arteries and promote your overall cardiovascular health.
Avocados are also rich in potassium, which is great for blood pressure control, lutein, good for your eye health, and folate, a B vitamin crucial for cell repair and regulation of high homocysteine levels in blood. These versatile fruits are also a good source of B vitamins, which help keep disease and infection at bay.
They also provide your body with essential vitamins C and E, as well as natural plant chemicals that may ward off cancer development. Avocados are low in sugar and contain fiber, which helps you feel full longer, and therefore can be quite useful for weight loss.
As you can see, avocados are a true heart-healthy addition to your regular green smoothie, plus, they will give it a creamy flavor and a mousse-like texture.
- Spinach – Rich In Vitamin K
Adding some spinach to your smoothie will help you reap all the health benefits this vegetable has to offer. Spinach belongs to the group of dark leafy greens that abound in essential nutrients and play an important role in maintaining hair, skin, and bone health.
Some of the many health benefits this vegetable has to offer include reducing blood pressure, improving blood glucose control in diabetics, improving bone health, lowering the risk of cancer, and lowering the risk of asthma development among many others.
Spinach is a rich source of vitamin K, which is important for healthy blood and cardiovascular function as well as for reduction of any inflammatory processes in the body.
It is also a good source of folate, which, as we mentioned above, helps to regulate high levels of homocysteine in your body. High levels of homocysteine are commonly associated with heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. In addition, this factor is also considered a risk factor for health problems like osteoporosis and cognitive decline due to aging.
- Kiwifruit – A Real Vitamin Bomb
Kiwifruit is considered a real vitamin bomb due to its abundance in healthy components. Some of the possible health benefits of kiwifruit include lowering blood pressure, preventing heart disease and stroke, and maintaining skin health.
Kiwis are especially rich in vitamin C, containing a higher amount of this vitamin than oranges. Vitamin C helps to strengthen the blood vessels, improve the immune system, and support cardiovascular health. They are also rich in magnesium, which supports a healthy heart function.
The fiber and potassium contained in kiwis support heart health. Also, due to their high potassium content, kiwis help to reduce blood pressure by negating the effects of sodium in the body.
Ripe kiwis have a sweet tangy taste, unlike unripe ones which are more sour. Therefore, if you want your smoothie to be sweeter, you can add several drops of stevia.
- Ginger – A Powerful Herb
Pungent and spicy, ginger is listed among the healthiest spices on the planet. This popular spice is packed with healthy nutrients that help improve cardiovascular health. Ginger helps to regulate blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol level (LDL), and support heart health in general.
This potent herb has been shown to be especially helpful at preventing LDL cholesterol oxidation, which is believed a potential culprit for the occurrence of heart disease.
Although ginger helps to reduce high blood pressure and prevent hypertension, those who take blood pressure medications are recommended to consult their doctor about the amount of fresh ginger suggested in this smoothie recipe.
- Turmeric – A Potent Spice
Turmeric is another popular spice that abounds with heart-healthy benefits. This spice contains a powerful compound, known as curcumin, which has been proven to prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation. This helps lower your risk of plaque buildup in the arteries and thus wards off cardiovascular diseases.
Curcumin has also been shown to help reduce the progression of atherosclerosis, a disease which leads to hardening and narrowing of the arteries, and the usual cause of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease.
Turmeric should always be combined with some form of healthy fats, such as the avocado and coconut milk suggested in this recipe. Otherwise, your body will not properly absorb its beneficial nutrients, including curcumin, because they are fat soluble.
- Stevia – A Healthy Sugar Substitute
Even though this ingredient is not particularly beneficial for your cardiovascular health, it helps you avoid sugar – one of the worst enemies to your health.
Feel free to share this smoothie recipe with anyone who will find it more than helpful.
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Heart Foundation. (2016). Your Heart: Keep your heart healthy; How Your Heart Works. Retrieved October 31, 2016, from https://heartfoundation.org.au/your-heart
Superfood Profiles. (n.d.) An Avocado, Spinach and Kiwi Heart Healthy Green Smoothie. Retrieved October 31, 2016, from http://superfoodprofiles.com/avocado-spinach-kiwi-heart-healthy-green-smoothie
Ware, M. (2015, September 11). Kiwifruit: Health Benefits, Nutritional Breakdown. Retrieved October 31, 2016, from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271232.php
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