Can Raw Smoothies Improve Eye Health? December 09 2013

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables make delicious smoothies and also contribute to healthy eyes.  Vitamins in these raw foods can protect against such conditions as night blindness, eye infections, and degenerative eye diseases. Although supplements are plentiful and widely marketed, health professionals stress the importance of a good diet. Making raw smoothies with your high performance blender is one way to give your diet a boost while taking care of your vision.

Seeing Better with Vitamin A

Children and pregnant and lactating women who have a vitamin A deficiency are at a risk for blindness. In fact, night blindness is the first symptom of an eye disease that may be linked to insufficient vitamin A in the diet.  This vitamin nourishes cells in the retina that are responsible for creating nerve impulses triggered by light.  Vitamin A also helps to relieve dry eyes and can guard against glaucoma.   Look for yellow, orange, red and green vegetables and fruits for good sources of vitamin A.  Examples include:  spinach, pumpkin, kale, collard greens, cantaloupe, and apricot. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient and will build up in the body.  It is important to get enough, but not to get too much of this vitamin.  The recommended daily intake for girls who are more than 10 years of age and women is 800 mcg; boys older than 10 and men should take 1,000 mcg a day.

Vitamin D Lowers Risks

Vitamin D in sufficient amounts lowers the risk of eye infections as well as protecting overall immunity and helping you maintain good vision.  Most recently, studies published in leading ophthalmology journals show a link between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of macular degeneration, a progressive disease resulting in blindness. Fortified juices, daily milk and almond milk are good sources of vitamin D and can easily be used in your smoothies and sauces. Daily requirements of this fat-soluble vitamin vary by age.  Those below age 50 should consume 200 IU, men and women between 51 and 70 need 400 IU, and those older than 70 require 600 IU.

Vitamin E and Your Immunity

Vitamin E is an antioxidant and can be found in sweet potatoes and nuts, as well as vitamin-fortified cereals and peanut butter.  It helps the immune system and plays a role in reducing the risk of blindness in later years. Foods that are good sources of vitamin E include kiwi, avocado, peach, pumpkin, and papaya.  All can be used found in soup, smoothie or sauce recipes. Vitamin E, which is also a fat-soluble vitamin, must come from either supplements or diet because the body cannot manufacture it through any biological function.  The recommended daily requirement for vitamin E is 22 IU for men and women.  Women who are lactating need 28.5 IU every day, and children between the ages of 4 and 8 require 10.5 IU.

Vitamin C: The Other Antioxidant

Many nutritionists and medical professionals consider this vitamin a good source for making overall immunity stronger.  It is also thought to improve eye health because it can protect against eye infections.  Other advantages are said to include antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties. Among the raw fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C are peas, strawberries, oranges, kale, broccoli, carrot, apricot, papaya and collard green. The recommended daily dosage of this water-soluble vitamin is 75 mg for women and 65 mg for men

Eye Support with Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Colorful vegetables contain these two important substances, which are referred to as xanthophylls.  Both lutein and zeaxanthin are present at high levels in the human eye. Specifically, these compounds are found in the macula and provide an antioxidant benefits that keep the cells in the eyes healthy. Zeaxanthin can protect the photoreceptors in the eye as well as the retina and macula.  Some studies *** indicate that these two substances play a larger role in reducing the incidence of macular degeneration than vitamins E or C.  Studies suggest *** that adults should eat foods that contain 6 mg of lutein and zeaxanthin a day. If you are in the habit of making raw smoothies with richly colored fruits and vegetables, the changes are good that you are giving your body the right amount of vitamins and other nutrients for optimal eye health.  Rather than seeking out supplements and researching to find credible manufacturers, it is far easier to make smoothies using some of the colorful fruits, vegetables along with fortified milk or juices.


References ***


(C) 2013 OmniBlender.COM LLC


Beat Lethargy with Energy Smoothies November 26 2013

To energize your body and mind, you need protein, fat, and sugar. Does that sound like a healthy combination? Actually, consider that the proper ingredients in the right amounts will be beneficial to your health and give you the energy you need to be alert and physically active throughout the day.


Smoothies that are packed with energy-promoting nutrients will wake you up and keep you focused. You can add magnesium and potassium rich fruits for an energy boost that will fight mid-afternoon lethargy.  Protein can also be added into your smoothie in the form of a whey powder or you could use milk, soy milk, or almond milk. Plain or Greek yogurt adds needed protein and gives your smoothies a creamy consistency. You can sweeten your smoothies with honey, which also packs a protein-rich punch. The natural sugar-rich fruits such as mangoes and apricots also give you energy. Yogurt and soy milk are good sources of the right type of fat: polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. Check the food labels and steer clear of saturated and trans fats.  


Here are some energy-boosting smoothie recipes to consider:


#1 Go-A-Mango

Banana, Mango, Soy Milk, Greek Yogurt


#2 Apricot Vanilla Smoothie

Vanilla, Almond Milk, Apricot, Plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey


#3 Berriful

½ cup sliced strawberries

½ cup raspberries

Soy Milk

½ cup Greek Yogurt

1 tablespoon honey


#4 Chocolate Dipped Strawberry

½ cup almond milk

1 cup sliced strawberries,

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

½ cup plain yogurt


#5 Chocolate Dipped Banana

1 Banana sliced

½ cup almond milk

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

½ cup plain yogurt


When you begin to find the right measurements of these nutrients, and find smoothies that utilize them well, you will feel a difference in your energy level.  Smoothies that promote energy in the morning will have an impact on your energy all day. They will make you healthier and help you feel better about yourself as the good mornings begin to outnumber the slow mornings.  

The body converts all sugars and starches regardless of source into glucose. While sugar is not something to over use, when it comes naturally from fruits your body derives energy from the carbohydrate as well as other nutrients. If you are at a risk for diabetes, you may want to avoid mangoes and apricots. However, it is always best to consult with your doctor before making any dietary changes.


If you want to control both natural and processed sugar in your diet and still need the energy boost, focus on protein-heavy smoothies sweetened naturally. Be certain to utilize whey powder and similar additives and reduce fat and sugar-heavy milks. You may want to consider adding fruit that is high in magnesium and even some vegetables to your smoothies.


Here are some alternative raw smoothie recipes for those who want to avoid high sucrose fruits:


#1 Classic Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

½ cup strawberry,

frozen or fresh 1 banana

whey protein powder

½ cup dairy,

almond or soy milk

½ cup plain or Greek yogurt


#2 Almond Coffee Smoothie

½ cup plain or Greek yogurt

1 medium banana

½ cup coffee,regular or decaffeinated

½ cup almond milk, soy milk or dairy milk

½ cup ice


#3 Peach-Spinach Smoothie 

6 medium peaches

2 generous handfuls of spinach leaves

2 cups water


#4 Strawberry-Spinach Smoothie

6 to 8 cups baby spinach

3 to 4 cups frozen strawberries

1 cup plain or Greek yogurt

1/2 cup apple juice (you can substitute milk or water)


#5 Raspberry Spinach Smoothie

2 cups spinach leaves

1 banana

½ cup raspberries, frozen 3/4 cup water, dairy milk or soy milk


#6 Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

2 kiwis

3 cups baby spinach

2/3 cup strawberries, frozen

3/4 cups of water, dairy milk or soy milk


Smoothies can be your go-to morning drink as well as your afternoon pick-me-up when you need a jolt of energy.  Depending upon your diet goals or health needs, there is an energy-lifting smoothie that can become a favorite supplement to your existing menu. More importantly, you can experiment with the ingredients in these recipes to discover taste combinations that you like.  Smoothies are simple and versatile, and you can tailor them to your taste, energy and health requirements.  


(C) 2013 Thomas Fox