Green Smoothies? Get Hooked on Phytonutrients!

Without specific knowledge of their cellular actions or mechanisms, phytochemicals have been considered as drugs for millennia. For example, Hippocrates may have prescribed willow tree leaves to abate fever. Salicin, having anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, was originally extracted from the bark of the white willow tree and later synthetically produced became the staple over-the-counter drug aspirin.

Have you ever tried a green smoothie ?

A few years ago, I tasted my first one. It was delicious! Around the same time, a friend bought me a book, called Green for Life, by Victoria Boutenko. I put the book on a shelf and did not pick it up again (or drink another green smoothie) until a few years later. I’m really glad I finally did!

I now make green smoothies a part of my plant based diet and healthy lifestyle. The source of this blog information is the book I read, Green for Life, and my personal experience.

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Our Cousin the Chimp

The animals most similar in genetic makeup to humans are chimpanzees, who share more than 99% of the same genes. So, it makes sense to consider what foods eat: 25-50 % greens and about 50 % fruit.

By contrast, more than half of the standard American diet is simple carbohydrates (e.g. bread and white rice) and animal-based foods (e.g.beef and chicken). Greens and fruit comprise less than 10% of the SAD, compared with 75 to nearly 100 % of the chimps diet

Does it make sense that we are so similar biologically, but our diets are so radically different? Absolutely not!

A Solution: Green Smoothies!

What is a green smoothie ? It is a blended drink containing green leafy vegetables and fruit.

Combining fruits and greens in a smoothie each day can help solve the problem of not getting in enough fruits and vegetables every day. It is a source of multiple servings of fruits and veggies every day that doesn’t force you to chew all day long! Why green leafy veggies and fruits? Because they are loaded with more nutrients, including fiber, than any other food on the planet! Contrary to popular belief, they are also a great source of protein !

Here are some of the experiences documented in the book, Green for Life, that people have felt after 30 days of green smoothies:

  • More energy
  • Less desire for other foods, including junk foods and animal based foods
  • Less cravings
  • Sleep better
  • Weight loss
  • More regular bowel movements

I have personally experienced several of these benefits within only a few weeks! I’m hooked because they are really delicious, and I have more energy and less junk food cravings when I drink them.

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Is Orange Really The New Blaq?

According to new research, there’s a new weight loss tool in town: Behold the mighty power of your everyday orange!

Staying away from sweet treats is a tough thing to do. Luckily, science may have a solution to this: Justsmelling an orange could help your diet along.

The orange (specifically, the sweet orange) is the fruit of the citrus species Citrus ×​sinensis in the family Rutaceae.[2] The fruit of the Citrus sinensis is called sweet orange to distinguish it from that of the Citrus aurantium, the bitter orange. The orange is a hybrid, possibly between pomelo (Citrus maxima) and mandarin (Citrus reticulata), cultivated since ancient times.[3]

Probably originating in Southeast Asia,[4] oranges were already cultivated in China as far back as 2500 BC. Arabo-phone peoples popularized sour citrus and oranges in Europe;[5] Spaniards introduced the sweet orange to the American continent in the mid-1500s.

Researchers at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior presented two different experiments, one where women were asked to smell either oranges or chocolate before eating. In another study, women were shown images of food or non-food objects, before being provided a snack.

The Oragne and is the Blaq

The Orange and is the Blaq

 

The difference? In the first experiment, women who were given the smell of fresh oranges ate 60 percent less chocolate, compared to how much they ate after smelling chocolate.

“It might be that the smell of fresh oranges reminded dieters to limit intake of a tempting and diet-forbidden snack,” researcher Nicola Buckland told NPR.

In the second experiment, dieters who were shown images of healthy food tended to eat less than dieters who were shown photos of non-food items.

Researchers imagine that the reminder of eating healthy is enough to make dieters eat just a bit less than they normally would, which means simply seeing or smelling healthy foods could be enough to cue healthy eating.

“When tempted by food, dieters should take a few moments to focus on the sensory properties of healthy food, such as the sight and smell of fruit or salad vegetables,” Buckland said in a press release.

Also, start keeping healthier snacks around your house and work desk, to serve as reminders for “dieters to limit their food intake.” Too bad our desks are laden with popcorn and chips.

This Smell’s Not Just For Diets!

Brazilian scientists had participants spend five minutes inhaling one of three substances: Sweet orange essential oil, tea tree oil, or plain old water. Participants then underwent a stressful test while having their vital signs measured. Those who sniffed orange oil were less anxious throughout the test, and the beneficial effects even lingered once the exam was over.

Curious About What Citrus Scents Can Do For You?

Try giving these aromas a sniff:

Grapefruit: Anecdotal evidence suggests that grapefruit aromas can curb depression and enhance memory. Or try taking a whiff before meals to control your appetite. Research from Japan’s Osaka University shows that the scent of grapefruit actually boosts metabolism and reduces food cravings.

Lemon: Prepping for a major meeting? Enhance your performance and your attitude by rubbing lemon balm inside your wrist. The mild lemon scent sends you to a positive place. In fact, a study at the UK’s Northumbria University found that exposure to lemon balm can improve cognitive performance and mood.

Mandarin: At the Mayo Clinic, massage therapists and acupuncturists augment therapies with the gentle scent of mandarin essential oil. Patients have reported reduced stress, better digestion and less nausea.

 

So now that Autumn is setting in, Is pumpkin the new Blaq… Stay Tuned… Elijah