7 Vegan Power Smoothies: Day 3: The Golden Yellow

By Angelika Hanna

I love mango, and today this is the only fruit I use in my smoothie. I added a variety of spices, which are the signature of my golden yellow smoothie.

The brightening star in my today’s smoothie is the turmeric. I have dived deeper into research on this Indian spice, and I am thrilled to share with all of you what I have recently learned.

Turmeric has risen to prominence in the Western world from the Wellness Movement. People have heard that turmeric is supposed to be healthy, and many people also find its highlighter-yellow cool and trendy. It shines its way in the spotlight through freshly pressed fruit shop windows and smoothie booths in the malls, and it is an eye-catcher from vibrant advertisement screens and posters.

Lets have a closer look what experts and researchers say about this wildly popular spice ‘Turmeric.’ The Indian Institute of Spices Research in Kerala, India stated in a recent article from May 2019 that consumers should be vigilant when shopping for turmeric. Experts from the Institute inform that the cultural context of turmeric matters. There are different varieties of turmeric: Turmeric for dyeing, ceremonial uses, and for consumption. And there is turmeric for medical purposes. The turmeric with health benefits is the type that is derived from the Indian region of Alleppey; it is characterized by a vibrant dark golden color and intense flavor. It contains the highest amount of curcumin which is the chemical that gives this type of turmeric the anti-inflammatory properties.

Before I made my smoothie, I went shopping for a high-quality turmeric that met the criteria I had just learned about – because I found it worth it. I went to our nearby health food store and bought the dark golden curcumin turmeric. When I came home, I compared my newly bought turmeric with the one sitting on my spice shelf, which I had bought a while ago in the bulk section of a supermarket. I clearly noticed the difference in color, scent, and taste. The supermarket one was lighter in color, had hardly any scent and taste.

I will definitely buy my turmeric in the future either in the health food store, or a specialty store that carries high-quality spice brands, and I will pay attention to the color and the amount of curcumin the label tells.

Here are some main facts about the ingredients and some potential health benefits – there may be more than what I listed below. All the following information is taken from Healthline.com, a reputable and reliable source backed up by scientific studies.

Mango:

Mango is low in calories yet high in nutrients.

Is an excellent source of:

  • Dietary Fiber: May help reduce blood sugar levels, and is therefore beneficial against diabetes and for metabolic health.
  • Vitamin C: May help boost the immune system. May have positive effects on skin health, tissues, bones, teeth. Helps iron absorption.
  • Vitamin A: May help boost the immune system and fight infections.
  • Vitamin B: May help the body obtain energy. It is involved in hormone and good cholesterol production.
  • Vitamin K: An important nutrient that is involved in blood clotting and binding calcium. It may help prevent osteoporosis.
  • Vitamin E: Anti-inflammatory. May help support the immune system, cell function, and skin health.
  • Potassium: A mineral that has been linked to reduced blood pressure and may therefore help to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
  • Magnesium: Important mineral that may be protective against type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  • Other Antioxidants: May help counter free radical damage linked to cancers, diabetes and other illnesses.

Turmeric:

Is often referred to as one of the most powerful and effective nutritional spice in existence. Many high-quality studies have shown that it has major benefits for the body and brain. The main ingredient and health beneficial compound in Turmeric is the curcumin. It is most health beneficial when taken in extract form. Evidence-based studies have shown that the curcumin content of turmeric in powder form is not high enough to gain significant health benefits. Nevertheless, adding high quality turmeric to your food and beverages may have some health benefits.

Since curcumin alone is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, it is recommended by experts to consume it with black pepper to enhance the absorption of the curcumin.

Potential Health Benefits:

  • It may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  • It may help improve the brain function and may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
  • It may help lower the risk of heart disease.
  • It may help fight cancer cells.
  • It may help reduce joint inflammation such as arthritis.
  • It may help alleviate depression symptoms.

Ginger:

Is closely related to Turmeric and Cardamon. It is often referred to as one of the most health beneficial spices next to Turmeric. Ginger is a flowering plant originating from China. It is the root of the ginger plant that is commonly used as a spice. Common use of ginger is as the root itself or in powder form.

Potential Health Benefits:

  • May have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  • May help improve digestion and stomach issues.
  • May help reduce morning sickness, sea sickness, chemotherapy-related nausea and general nausea.
  • May help reduce inflammation in the colon.
  • Is often used as a breath-freshener. It may help fight mouth-bacteria and may be beneficial to reduce gingivitis.
  • May help fight the flu and common cold virus.
  • May help reduce muscle pain and soreness.
  • May help with osteoarthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • May help lower blood sugar levels and improve heart disease risk factors in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • May help lower cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels.
  • May help fight cancer cells.
  • May help reduce menstrual pain.
  • May help improve brain function and may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

Maca powder:

Is made out of the maca plant native to Peru.

Potential Health Benefits:

  • It may help improve sexual function, may help boost libido, and may help boost energy levels in general.
  • May help improve mood; maybe helpful to manage and decrease anxiety and depression, especially in menopausal and postmenopausal women.
  • May help support male fertility.
  • May help enhance memory and may help improve learning abilities.

Cardamon:

Is a spice that originated in India. It has a slightly sweet flavor and is used in both sweet and savory recipes.

Potential Health Benefits:

  • Its compounds may help lower blood pressure and lower blood sugar.
  • It has antibacterial effects and may help fight inflammations.
  • May help with digestive problems and stomach problems.
  • May help reduce mouth bacteria in saliva and it has been used as a breath-freshener.
  • May help fight bacteria in the mouth that can cause dental cavities.
  • May help increase airflow in the lungs and improve breathing.
  • May help decrease elevated liver enzymes, triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
  • May be helpful with managing anxiety.
  • May be helpful in a weight-loss diet.

Coconut chips:

Made out of coconut meat. Cholesterol-free. High in saturated fat and calories, and should therefore be consumed in moderation. However, a moderate amount of plant-based fat is said to be healthy by nutrition experts, as it is used by the body to produce energy.

Are an excellent source of:

  • Dietary Fiber: May help move food through the digestive system and aids bowel health.
  • Iron: Has an important function to carry oxygen throughout the body and to make red blood cells. Deficiency may cause anemia and lead to symptoms like fatigue.
  • Copper: The body uses copper to form red blood cells, bone, connective tissue.
  • Potassium: A mineral that has been linked to reduced blood pressure and may therefore help to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.

Coconut water:

1 cup = 46 calories. Cholesterol-free. Beneficial to hydrate the body.

Is an excellent source of:

  • Dietary Fiber: Works to move food through the digestive system and aids bowel health.
  • Vitamin C: May help boost the immune system. May have positive effects on skin health, tissues, bones, teeth.
  • Potassium: A mineral that has been linked to reduced blood pressure and may therefore help to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
  • Magnesium: Important mineral that may be protective against type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  • Manganese: Supports enzyme function and fat metabolism.
  • Other Antioxidants: May help protect the cells from free radicals.

Recipe:

Prep Time: 20 min

Blend Time: Approx. 3-5 min

Yield: 3 servings

Author: Angelika Hanna / Zest4Food

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripened Alphonso mangos
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp ground maca powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut chips, unsweetened
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup non-chlorinated water
  • Natural sweeteners such as honey, stevia, agave, dates (optional) – I did not use any sweetener in my smoothie.

Instructions:

  1. In a large blender, place the mango, coconut chips, ginger, turmeric, maca, cardamon, and black pepper.
  2. Pour the liquid – coconut water and non-chlorinated water on top.
  3. Close the lid and press the on button to start blending.
  4. When your mixture takes on a thick smooth consistency and is fairly well mixed, stop and taste for sweetness. (If you don’t find it sweet enough, add at this point the natural sweetener of your choice.)
  5. Continue blending until all the ingredients are well combined into a thick golden yellow smoothie.

Serve chilled. Enjoy!

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6 thoughts on “7 Vegan Power Smoothies: Day 3: The Golden Yellow

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