I love smoothies - they are soooo delicious. But really early on during my nutritional therapy degree we started to hear from lecturers that smoothies are dangerous - because for many people they are a sugar bomb disguised as a health food.
So I don't drink them often...but then I thought - what if I could make a smoothie that isn't full of hidden sugars? One that has enough healthy fats and protein to help your body take up nutrients slowly, contributing to well balanced blood sugar and all the health benefits that come with that? Well here it is. Read until the end for a summary of the health benefits of each of the ingredients.
Click on the hyperlinked words to shop ingredients (unpaid links).
[Serves 1, 5 minutes preparation]
1 small, cooked beetroot
1/2 cup frozen, organic blueberries
2 tbsp organic lemon juice
1 handful walnuts
Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until very smooth*
*It's okay if there are still little bits of walnut, chewing your smoothies actually boosts the flow of your digestive enzymes and helps your body know that there is digestive work to be done. This reduces the likelihood of digestive discomfort and helps your body absorb the nutrients.
Research shows that beetroot can contribute to lowered blood pressure . As the deep purple colour indicates, beetroot is rich in antioxidants, which can contribute to an anti-inflammatory effect [2,3]
Interestingly, it also improves running performance in healthy adults ! Pre-run smoothie anyone?
Walnuts also tend to be rich in anti-oxidants , which can contribute to anti-inflammatory effects  and a beneficial impact on risk of cardiovascular disease . Indeed, walnut enriched diets have been shown to lower cholesterol .
Walnuts are also a good plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, which the body needs to regulate inflammation .
Blueberries are a well-known health food. Just like beetroot, their deep blue colour indicates a high content of anti-oxidants (particularly in wild blueberries, as cultured strains are bred for their yield, which can lead to a reduction in antioxidant content) . A review of the health benefits of blueberries suggests that blueberries can lead to reduced inflammation, protect from neurodegenerative and cardiovascular conditions, help reduce the likelihood of cancer and contribute to good vision .
Let's connect :)
Tag me with your smoothie creations on Instagram @efias_kitchen - I would love to hear about your blood sugar balancing recipes and how you liked this smoothie!
 Hobbs, D.A., Kaffa, N., George, T.W., Methven, L. and Lovegrove, J.A., 2012. Blood pressure-lowering effects of beetroot juice and novel beetroot-enriched bread products in normotensive male subjects. British Journal of Nutrition, 108(11), pp.2066-2074.
 Assimiti, D., 2019. The Use of Beetroot as Natural Solutions for Reducing Inflammation-Case Studies from Thailand (P12-046-19). Current developments in nutrition, 3(Supplement_1), pp.nzz035-P12.
 Raish, M., Ahmad, A., Ansari, M.A., Alkharfy, K.M., Ahad, A., Khan, A., Ali, N., Ganaie, M.A. and Hamidaddin, M.A.A., 2019. Beetroot juice alleviates isoproterenol-induced myocardial damage by reducing oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis in rats. 3 Biotech, 9(4), p.147.
 Murphy, M., Eliot, K., Heuertz, R.M. and Weiss, E., 2012. Whole beetroot consumption acutely improves running performance. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112(4), pp.548-552.
 Abdallah, I.B., Tlili, N., Martinez-Force, E., Rubio, A.G.P., Perez-Camino, M.C., Albouchi, A. and Boukhchina, S., 2015. Content of carotenoids, tocopherols, sterols, triterpenic and aliphatic alcohols, and volatile compounds in six walnuts (Juglans regia L.) varieties. Food Chemistry, 173, pp.972-978.
 Salas-Salvadó, J., Casas-Agustench, P., Murphy, M.M., López-Uriarte, P. and Bulló, M., 2008. The effect of nuts on inflammation. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, 17(Suppl 1), pp.333-336.
 Aronis, K.N., Vamvini, M.T., Chamberland, J.P., Sweeney, L.L., Brennan, A.M., Magkos, F. and Mantzoros, C.S., 2012. Short-term walnut consumption increases circulating total adiponectin and apolipoprotein A concentrations, but does not affect markers of inflammation or vascular injury in obese humans with the metabolic syndrome: data from a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Metabolism, 61(4), pp.577-582.
 Damasceno, N.R.T., Pérez-Heras, A., Serra, M., Cofán, M., Sala-Vila, A., Salas-Salvadó, J. and Ros, E., 2011. Crossover study of diets enriched with virgin olive oil, walnuts or almonds. Effects on lipids and other cardiovascular risk markers. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 21, pp.S14-S20.
 Chiang, Y.L., Haddad, E., Rajaram, S., Shavlik, D. and Sabaté, J., 2012. The effect of dietary walnuts compared to fatty fish on eicosanoids, cytokines, soluble endothelial adhesion molecules and lymphocyte subsets: a randomized, controlled crossover trial. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 87(4-5), pp.111-117.
 Stevenson, D. and Scalzo, J., 2012. Anthocyanin composition and content of blueberries from around the world. Journal of Berry Research, 2(4), pp.179-189.
 Kalt, W., Joseph, J.A. and Shukitt-Hale, B., 2007. Blueberries and human health: a review of current reseach. Journal of the American Pomological Society, 61(3), p.151.
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