Updated: Oct 17, 2019
Can the combination of ingredients in your daily smoothie actually help boost your health? Yes, actually it can! Let me explain… It has been found that when certain combinations of macronutrients and vitamins are consumed together, the absorption can be enhanced. Conversely, there are also certain combinations that actually limit the absorption of these vital nutrients.
Here is some background on the two important nutrients to get started.
Iron: • An essential nutrient that helps transport oxygen throughout the body. Hemoglobin is the substance in red blood cells that helps carry oxygen, and iron is a component in hemoglobin. • Without enough iron you can feel fatigue: decreased brain function and low functioning immune system. Iron is also vital for healthy hair, skin, and nails! • Some foods with iron include: leafy greens (spinach, kale), red meats, poultry, fish, and beans.
Calcium: • Possibly the most important nutrient in the body: maintain healthy bones, send and receive nerve signals to contract and relax muscles, helps release hormones and other chemicals, and aids in maintaining a normal heart rate. • Without enough calcium you are at risk for osteoporosis (a degenerative bone disease). You may also be a risk for muscle spasms and brittle hair and nails. • Some foods that include calcium: Dairy products (yogurt, cheese, milk), salmon, and almonds.
Here are some suggestions for protein powders we use at XIP when we power up those protein smoothies!
Ok, so now we know these are good for you, but let me tell you how to make them better for you! Iron absorption is enhanced via ascorbic acid, also know as Vitamin C (VitC). VitC can be found in acidic fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. VitC prevents the formation of insoluble iron compounds and reduces ferrous iron, which is required for nonheme iron (plant based iron) uptake in cells. VitC helps increase absorption of nonheme iron and also reverses the inhibiting effects of tea and calcium/phosphate on absorption. What does this mean? It means mix up your smoothies smartly. For example, try to pair leafy greens with orange juice (FRESH: none of that added sugar stuff!). Leave out the milk and yogurt for a different smoothie. To get the biggest boost in your combinations of smoothies and protein shakes; try my favorite two recipes below. Blueberry Banana Boost
1 cup frozen blueberries 1 cup Kale/ Spinach 1 banana 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (see the options above for our favorite protein choices!) 6 oz of Orange Juice (add water for consistency)
Chocolate Calcium Crave
1 banana 2 tablespoons of peanut butter ½ cup low fat greek yogurt ½ -1 cup milk (depending on consistency desired) ½ cup of ice 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (see the options above for our favorite protein choices!)
Now drink up, because here at XIP we love Oxygen and healthy Bones. Performance doesn't just come from the exercises!
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