4 Areas of Health Improved by Smoothies

Smoothies are so much more than the sweetness of the fruit, and the convenience of having a “breakfast to go”. They pack a powerful punch in terms of nutrition, especially when you change the types of ingredients that go in your smoothie.

Here are four areas of health that can be improved just by choosing how to make your smoothies.

1. Improve Your Cardiovascular Health

The first way smoothies can help with your health is with your heart health, more specifically with helping to lower your blood pressure. Though you may have to take high blood pressure medications, you can take an additional step to reduce your blood pressure and regulate it. One of those steps is to add smoothies designed to assist with reducing high blood pressure to your diet. Here are a few of those smoothies. 

For your blood pressure, consider the following types of smoothies and their ingredients:

Simple Smoothie with Berries and Banana

If you are limited on your budget and the fruit that is available to you, then you may want to stick with a simple smoothie. One of the easiest ones is a blueberry banana smoothie. You will need 1 cup of blueberries, 1 banana, 1 cup of plain yogurt, and 1 cup of baby spinach. You can use frozen blueberries if you need to. Mix the ingredients in a blender and enjoy. This specific smoothie has ingredients that can be purchased year-round and can help reduce your blood pressure within a few days. It can be taken daily and can also boost your energy levels. You also get a shot of iron with this smoothie that can benefit expectant mothers who may have blood pressure issues. 

Fruity Green Smoothie

When you think of a green smoothie, you may not think of berries with that. Berries are a great way to sweeten the taste. One smoothie mixture that has everything you need to reduce your high blood pressure does have that. 1 cup of spinach, 1 diced avocado, 1 cup of strawberries, and 1 cup of blueberries can be mixed with 1 cup of plain yogurt or water and made into the ideal smoothie to help reduce blood pressure. Frozen berries can be used and the other two ingredients can be found year-round at most stores. 

2. Treating or Reducing Your Risk for Diabetes

You can also make yourself a healthy smoothie that helps reduce your risk for getting diabetes, or is a smoothie you can have if you already have type 2 diabetes. When you have diabetes, keeping a healthy balance of fruit and vegetables in your diet is vital to your health. Depending on the type of diabetes and severity, you may find yourself having to check your insulin several times a day, or you may be in a position where you can lose weight and change your diabetes level. 

Some good options are:

Nutrient-Dense Smoothie

This is the ultimate smoothie for people who are trying to eat a superfood based diet. If superfoods are part of your routine, then you possibly have most of these foods already. Here are the foods that make up the smoothie, and the amounts of each one. Start with 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk and add 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, 1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries, 1 diced avocado, 1 cup of yogurt, 1 cup of spinach, and other greens you are interested in. You can also add some extra ingredients like protein powder, chia seeds, and even flaxseed. 

It's All Coming Up Strawberries

If you need something quick and simple to help you balance out your blood sugar, then there is an option available for you. It only has a few ingredients and is quick to mix up when you may feel the need to regulate or balance yourself. It includes 1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries, 1 cup of plain yogurt, 1 cup of any milk you like, ice cubes, and extra ingredients if you choose. You can flavor this with other berries, or just leave it strawberry. Keep in mind for this smoothie to give you a regulated and balanced feeling, you will need to make sure that you use no additional sweeteners and that the milk and yogurt is unflavored and unsweetened as well. 

3. Improving Your Digestion

Your gut health is one of the health issues that you can have with your body that can make or break how you feel. If your gut health is positive then you will have good digestion and you will reduce your chances of fatigue and other body issues. If you have poor gut health you can find yourself having issues with weight gain, toxin build-up, and digestive issues that can cause further problems in the body. If you are facing gut health issues, or you want to avoid them, then here are some smoothies you should consider. Just one a day can make a drastic difference in your gut health and overall health.

A Smoothie Perfect for Gut Health

Most illness can be treated with a variety of smoothies and mixes. Gut health related smoothies are similar. However, if you want a full blown powerful gut healing smoothie there is a base that is ideal. This is the go to recipe for people having gut related issues. It contains 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk or 1 cup of almond milk, a handful of kale and a handful of spinach, 1 fresh or frozen banana, 1 diced avocado, a bit of ginger, hemp hearts, chia seeds, and bee pollen. For a sweeter taste, add in some honey as well. By drinking this smoothie daily, you can start to see an increase in your digestion, reduced stress on your gut, reversal of leaky gut symptoms, and an overall cleansed digestive and gut system.

4. Thyroid Health

Lastly, you can also have a smoothie that is good for your thyroid. These include smoothies that are made with a lot of leafy greens and vegetables, especially spinach and kale, cucumber, avocado, and carrots. Add these ingredients with 1 cup of plain yogurt or 1 cup of almond milk.

Intentional Wellness - Healthy Weight Loss Changes





It's the beginning of the summer season and most of us want to lose those excess pounds and inches. Weight loss isn't easy to achieve or maintain. If it were, we wouldn't hear so much about it. It is about changing behaviors, which can be difficult, but not impossible. Don't fall for the quick fix fads that bombard us in the media. They may work in the short term, but don't last in long term weight loss and are not good for your health.

 There are, however, some simple (but not necessarily easy) steps you can take to help you on your journey. Not every weight loss strategy is appropriate for everyone. Some people respond better to certain behavior changes or styles of eating than others. Choose one simple change to implement, stick with it, and assess the results to adjust your plan as needed. It's better to start with one change than try everything and fail.
Here are 5 simple changes that will help you lose the weight for good! It's not magic....it's about intentional wellness. Learning to be intentional with your choices can help you achieve a healthy body and mind.
1.  Eat less sugar.  The first step to weaning yourself off sugar is cutting down or eliminating sweetened beverages (soda, sweetened teas, sports drinks). If you consume a lot of these beverages in a day, start by eliminating one a day. Then begin decreasing more of those drinks. After that, work on limiting your intake of desserts. If you do have sweets wait until after dinner to avoid being on a blood sugar roller coaster throughout the day.
2.  Eat more protein and vegetables.  Protein is the number one nutrient that will make you feel full at a meal. Include a protein source at all your meals and snacks - organic meat, fish, beans or eggs. Pair the protein with non-starchy vegetables to ensure lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with few calories.
3.  Eat fewer grains.  Grains include breads, pasta, rice, quinoa, and millet, among others. The best grains are whole, organic grains. Limit your grains to 2-3 servings per day or less to help you lose weight. Grains are relatively high in carbohydrates which raise blood sugar and insulin levels. Insulin triggers fat storage by the body, so if you have a very grain-rich (or sugar-rich) diet, your body is in constant fat storage mode. Instead, focus on getting more protein, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats into your diet.
4.  Eat until you are satisfied, but not full.  Many of us believe we should feel full after meals. That full feeling usually means feeling sluggish and tired. What we should feel is satisfied after a meal, meaning no longer hungry. This can be a radical shift for many of us who have spent much of our lives eating until we are full. The best way to learn when you are satisfied, is to eat slowly and mindfully. Take the time to taste each bite, chew slowly and avoid doing anything else while you eat, like watching TV or working. Mindful eating helps you pay attention to the signals your body is giving you that you have had enough to eat. This one simple shift can help the excess weight come off.
5.  Get enough sleep.  This may sound strange but sleep can is important to losing and maintaining healthy weight. When you are tired it's much harder to make good decisions. Lack of sleep also alters levels of hormones that regulate your appetite, leaving you hungrier and much more likely to overeat.

Asheville Healthy Food

  Asheville Health and Wellness





Here are 7 great foods to keep your digestive tract healthy Asheville according to Organic Gardening! Include these foods to keep the biodiversity in your digestive tract working. Much of our available food can suppress the protective gastrointestinal properties, especially GMO-modified foods, processed foods, and too much sugar. To bring back balance and stability to your digestive system, try these probiotic-rich foods:

Greek Yogurt - Real Greek yogurt serves as a potent dairy-based probiotic, has 15-20 grams of protein per 6-ounce serving, and amino acids that jump-start your metabolism. Be sure to get true Greek yogurt and not "Greek style" yogurt. Check the ingredients list - it should only include mile and cultures.

Kefir - Is sort of like a drinkable yogurt. It is a fermented dairy product that contains oligosaccharides, complex carbs, that feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Keeping things in check also help to supercharge your immune system! Be sure to keep your kefir cold because the live and active cultures are sensitive to heat. Also avoid kefir with high sugar content. Too much sugar damages your healthy intestinal flora.

Artichokes - Artichokes are potent prebiotics, meaning they contain undigestible nutrients that help feed the beneficial bacteria growth within your digestive system. They are a "healthy meal" for the helpful bacteria in your gut. If you don't care for artichokes, you can eat other prebiotics like asparagus, bananas, and lentils.

Miso Soup - The fermented soybeans in miso contain an abundance of beneficial bacteria and isoflavones, which can protect against cancer and possibly halt the production of fat cells. Look for organic miso soup to avoid harmful additives and genetically engineered soy.

Sauerkraut - Fermented cabbage acts as a probiotic muscle. Avoid canned sauerkraut because it's been pasteurized which kills off most of the healthy bacteria.

Kimchi - This spicy fermented cabbage dish has been a staple for centuries in Korean culture. Eating this is like taking a tonic for your gastrointestinal tract. It is very beneficial to your immune system. If you don't care for the spicy, sour taste of kimchi on its own, just add some to mashed potatoes, rice or salads.

Kombucha - This fermented tea serves as a healthy replacement for carbonated drinks like soda. Mildly tart and effervescent, it is teeming with beneficial bacteria to coat your digestive tract. The fermentation process also creates healthy B vitamins that can activate energy.