7 Vegan Power Smoothies: Day 4: The Deep Purple

By Angelika Hanna

The next four smoothies in my ‘7 Vegan Power Smoothie’ series is for berry fans. I am a big fan of all edible berries. I am starting off with the deep purple smoothie, which contains the superfruits blueberry & pomegranate.

My advice: Use a NutriBullet or any juicer device that grinds seeds. A regular blender won’t grind the hard seeds of the pomegranate or any other fruit with hard seeds.

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.

Blueberries:

Sometimes called the “King” of antioxidant foods among nutrition experts. They are believed to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruits and vegetables. Low in calories and high in nutrients.

Blueberries are closely related to cranberries. They boast many of the same active substances as cranberry juice, such as helping fight bacteria that cause UTIs or bladder infections.

They are an excellent source of:

  • Dietary Fiber: May help reduce blood sugar levels and is, therefore, beneficial against type 2 diabetes and for metabolic health.
  • Vitamin C: May help boost the immune system. May have positive effects on skin health, tissues, bones, teeth.
  • Vitamin K: An important nutrient that is involved in blood clotting and binding calcium. It may help prevent osteoporosis.
  • Other Powerful Antioxidant:
    • May help lower “bad” cholesterol. May help prevent risk factor for heart disease. May help lower blood pressure.
    • May help maintain brain function and may help improve memory. May have anti-diabetes effects.
    • May improve insulin sensitivity and may lower blood sugar levels.

Pomegranate:

They are an excellent source of:

  • Dietary Fiber: May help reduce blood sugar levels and is, therefore, beneficial against type 2 diabetes and for metabolic health.
  • Vitamin K: An important nutrient that is involved in blood clotting and binding calcium. It may help prevent osteoporosis.
  • Vitamin C: May help boost the immune system. May have positive effects on skin health, tissues, bones, teeth.
  • Folate (Vitamin B9): Important for normal tissue growth and cell function.
  • Nitrates: May help improve exercise performance by increasing blood flow.
  • Other Antioxidants:
    • May be helpful with inflammations in the digestive tract.
    • May help support prostate health in men and breast health in women.
    • May help slow down cancer cell production.
    • May help with arthritis.
    • May have benefits against heart disease and may help improve cholesterol levels.
    • May help fight bacterial and fungal infections, such as common gum diseases and yeast infections.
    • May help improve memory and may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

Flaxseeds:

They are small oil seeds that originated in the Middle East. They come in brown or yellow seeds and are sold whole, ground/milled, and roasted. Nutrition experts suggest that the best way to make most of their health benefits is in ground form – because this way they are the easiest to digest.

They are an excellent source of:

  • Dietary Fiber:
    • May help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
    • May promote digestive health by feeding your beneficial gut bacteria.
    • May act as a natural laxative and may help prevent constipation.
    • The soluble fiber content may promote weight loss by reducing hunger and decreasing cravings.
  • One of the best plant-based sources of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • May help lower blood pressure.

Chia seeds:

Deliver a massive amount of nutrients with low-carbs and very few calories. They are a whole-grain food. Non-GMO. Naturally gluten-free.

I like to add them to my smoothies because of its nutty flavor.

They are an excellent source of:

  • Dietary Fiber: May help move food through the digestive system and aids bowel health.
  • Protein: Makes up the building blocks of organs, muscles, skin, hormone. A diet high in protein may help you lose weight and belly fat, while increasing muscle mass and strength.
  • Calcium: Plant-based source of calcium, a nutrient that is important for bone health and other cellular functions.
  • Magnesium: Important mineral that may be protective against type 2 diabetes and heart disease. May be helpful against insomnia.
  • Phosphorus: An essential mineral that the body uses to build healthy bones. Creates energy. Makes new cells.
  • Zinc: Mineral that metabolizes nutrients. Maintains immune system. Grows and repairs body 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.
  • Vitamin B1: Plays essential role in metabolism. Helps convert nutrients into energy.
  • Vitamin B2: Helps convert food into energy. Acts as an antioxidant.

Coconut water:

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

  • 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

Yield: 3+ servings

Author: Angelika Hanna / Zest4Food

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup blueberries (I used frozen blueberries)
  • 1/2 pomegranate (frozen pomegranate works as well) – Tip: If you don’t have a Juicer that grinds the seeds, use instead 1/2 cup pomegranate juice.
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed, ground
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 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.

FYI: The flaxseed and chia seeds soak up a lot of liquid. If you find your smoothie too thick, add some non-chlorinated water until it reached the consistency you desire.

Instructions:

  1. In a large blender, place the blueberries, pomegranate, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
  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 deep purple smoothie.

Serve chilled. Enjoy!

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