Do you have a paunchy pooch? It seems the obesity epidemic has spread from humans to our dogs. It is estimated that 45% of American dogs are overweight (that’s over 35 million) and it’s not just puppy fat. Obesity tops the list of nutrition related health problems in canines. It is as unhealthy for dogs to be overweight as it is for humans.
How Being Obese Could Harm Your Dog
Obesity isn’t just an aesthetic issue. Being overweight can be life-threatening and significantly shorten your dog’s lifespan. Dogs that are too fat usually die two years sooner than they would if they remained fit. That’s two more years you could spend with your best friend if you help him maintain a healthy weight.
Not only that, obesity lowers your dog’s quality of life. Dogs that are obese have a much higher risk of developing dangerous medical conditions such as:
- High blood pressure
- Lung disorders
- Cancerous tumors
- Immune dysfunctions
How to tell if Your Dog is Obese
Veterinarians report that 50% of the dogs they see are overweight but only 17% of owners realize it.
When you look at your dog do you see a waistline? If you run your hands down her side can you easily feel the ribs? You should be able to do both those things if your dog is fit.
Find out how much your dog weighs by putting him on the scales at home or at the vet’s. How does that compare to standard weight charts for his breed? The smaller the dog, the less excess weight it takes to make your dog obese. For example, a 12-pound Yorkie is comparable to a woman weighting 214 pounds.
What to do if Your Dog is Overweight
A consultation with your vet should always be the first step in creating a weight loss plan for your dog. The veterinarian can rule out any medical causes for weight gain and help you determine how many calories your dog should consume a day.
Dogs that need to lose weight do best on a quality dog food that is higher in protein than average and lower in fat than average. That combination helps protect your dog from muscle loss when losing pounds. Feed your dog the amount recommended for his ideal weight, not his current weight and split that into small meals throughout the day. Be sure you use a real measuring cup (not a coffee cup or scoop) to serve a precise amount.
Exercise is Important
Couch potato canines are more likely to be overweight than active dogs. Encourage your dog to walk or play vigorously at least 30 minutes a day. This will stimulate his metabolism and burn calories. Exercise may also help suppress his appetite.
The bonus is that to get your dog exercising you will need to participate by walking him or playing an energetic game of fetch or another activity. You’ll both reap the healthy benefits.
The Secret to Weight Loss in Dogs
Actually, it’s not a secret. It’s the same formula humans use to lose weight: eat less calories than you burn. That means sticking to the daily calorie budget and adhering to an exercise schedule. Commercial treats are a no-no for your dieting doggie but you can prepare him a smoothie treat that will help boost metabolism and energy levels so dieting comes easier. Just use a powerful blender to emulsify the ingredients. This is a low calorie, high protein smoothie so it should fit right into your dog’s diet plan.
Metabolism-Boosting Smoothie to Help Your Dog Lose Weight
1 cup cooked, unseasoned boiled or baked chicken breast, no skin
1 apple, cored, no seeds
½ cup cantaloupe, chopped
4 or 5 broccoli florets
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
Enough water to create desired thickness
Put all ingredients in your Omniblend or other high-speed blender. Puree until smooth. May be frozen in ice cube trays for individual servings or you may add a spoonful or two to your dog’s food.
(C) 2014 OmniBlender.COM LLC
Health conscious humans put credence in smoothies they create for themselves, firmly believing that these blended drinks provide superior nutrition for their bodies and they’re right. When smoothies are made in a high performance blender fruits, vegetables and other plants are broken down finely enough to release the powerful phytonutrients hidden beneath the plant’s cellulose. Those valuable phytonutrients are essential building blocks of a strong immunity.
Humans aren’t the only ones who reap the benefits of smoothies. Dogs love the nutrient rich concoctions as well. You can make green smoothies, fruit smoothies, or protein smoothies to pump up your dog’s health. There are medleys of ingredients that work well in smoothies for pooches but there are some elements you should never feed your pets. After all, the objective is to improve your dog’s health, not harm it.
Foods You Should Never Feed Dogs
The following foods should not be fed directly to your four-legged friends nor should they be added to smoothies that they will be consuming.
Grapes and Raisins
As juicy and flavorful as grapes are and as much as many of us like raisins, dogs should not eat them. We don’t really know why but these fruits can cause kidney failures in canines. One of the early symptoms of grape or raisin poisoning is recurrent vomiting and within 24 hours the dog will begin acting depressed and lethargic. Don’t leave grapes laying on the table or the counter or anywhere else your dog may be able to reach them.
Some dogs don’t digest milk well and it may cause them to suffer from diarrhea or other digestive disturbances. Milk and milk-based products are also substances that some dogs are allergic to and it will cause intense itching. As tempting as it is to share your ice cream with your pooch on a hot summer day, resist it, for your dog’s sake.
As few as six macadamia nuts can cause severe reactions in dogs. Symptoms include paralysis or weakness in the hindquarters, vomiting, muscle tremors, increased heart rate and an elevated temperature.
A large enough amount of caffeine will kill a dog. There isn’t any known antidote so once a dog suffers a caffeine overdose its chances of recovery are slim. The symptoms include rapid breathing, restlessness, muscle tremors, heart palpitations, bleeding, and fits. Caffeine can be found in coffee beans or grounds, colas, chocolate, cocoa, teas, and energy drinks. It’s also in some medicines and cold treatments which, of course, should always be kept out of reach of pets.
Onions and Garlic
Garlic and onions in any of its forms may cause damage to your dog’s red blood cells resulting in anemia. The occasional small dose may not cause problems but any large amount or regular consumption may be harmful. Signs your dog may be anemic include listlessness, lack of interest in food, vomiting, weakness, and breathlessness.
The jury is still out on avocado but we recommend that you err on the side of safety. Persin, a substance found in the fruit, seeds, and leaves of avocados, may be toxic to dogs when consumed in large quantities so keep your pet on an avocado free diet.
Uncooked eggs are sources of bacteria like E coli and Salmonella. It also hampers the absorption of Vitamin B which can lead to skin and coat issues. So it’s best to ignore the old farmer’s advice about giving your dog a raw egg a day to make his coat shiny.
As you may know, chocolate is toxic to dogs. Dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate are the most harmful but every type contains theobromine, an agent harmful to canines. Symptoms of excess theobromine can include diarrhea, vomiting, and extreme thirst, tremors, seizures, irregular heart rhythm, and even death.
Nutmeg and Mace
Although humans find this spice a tasty addition to holiday favorites, smoothies and baked goods, it’s dangerous for your dog. Nutmeg poisoning symptoms include central nervous problems, tremors, seizures, and death.
Pits and Seeds of Fruits
Apples, pears, peaches, plums, and other fruits are good for your pet but the pits and seeds are not. Not only can they cause a digestive obstruction, many of these also contain cyanide. Don’t restrict your dog from fruits; just make sure to avoid the seeds and pits.
There are numerous other foods that your dog shouldn’t eat but you most likely wouldn’t put in a smoothie to improve health. Some of those include salt, sugar, fat trimmings, bones, baking soda, baking powder, and alcohol. These may cause problems ranging from pancreatitis to obesity to death.
Even though you love your dog like family, it’s best not to always feed him like family. Here’s a tasty treat for Fido that has only healthy ingredients. I just whip this up in my JTC Omniblend and in moments I have a tasty, wholesome treat my dogs love.
Orange Doggie Delight Smoothie
½ c. low-sodium chicken stock
½ c. cooked sweet potato
4-5 baby carrots
3 Tbs. pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
A few ice cubes
Emulsify all ingredients in a three horsepower blender and freeze in ice cube trays
(c) 2014 OmniBlender.COM LLC
Those of us who are dog lovers and have taken one or more furry friends into our family know how deep the love between canine and human can run. Many people think of their dogs as precious family members and make their health a top priority. We want them happy, healthy, and with us as long as possible. Like humans, good nutrition is vital to a pet’s health and can add years to your dog’s life.
CLICK TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BLENDERS THAT MAKE THE BEST DOG SMOOTHIES
There has been a lot of talk recently about the best way to feed dogs. Should we use purchased kibble or feed raw? Grains or no grains? Do raw meats put your dog at risk of ingesting dangerous bacteria or parasites? There are many questions and no one really knows the exact formula for the perfect dog food.
A combination of the possibilities can be an excellent option. Many pet parents have chosen to follow the raw food diets but many others simply don’t have the time or desire to make their own dog food. Another factor is that manufactured kibble offers consistency which is often hard to duplicate in raw diets you make yourself. If you choose a manufactured kibble carefully, you can offer your dog a wholesome diet. Whichever diet you choose, however, delicious, nutritious smoothies help ensure that your dog is getting the best nutrition possible and your dog thinks of them as a yummy treat and a sign of your affection.
Why Smoothies for Dogs?
Smoothies are an excellent way to add vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet and are just as nutritious for your pets as they are for you. They are also a great source of phytonutrients, special nutrients found only in plants that, when broken down, help build strong immune systems and play a vital part in long term fitness. The best way to release phytonutrients? By using a powerful 3 horsepower blender that is capable of fracturing the cellulose that traps the phytonutrients inside the plants. If that is not broken down enough the beneficial phytonutrients are never released and the body fails to ingest those hidden healthy resources.
It’s easy to make smoothies for yourself or your pets. When making smoothies for your dog, choose a base of plain, unsweetened low-fat or fat-free yogurt, low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese, low sodium chicken or beef stock, or water. Smoothies may be served to your pet just as they are, mixed in with their regular food, or you can freeze individual servings in ice cube trays for a frosty treat. Here is a recipe for one of my dog’s favorite smoothies.
Before we further discuss smoothies for dogs, though, let’s take a look at how to choose a commercial kibble that will be the most beneficial for your dog. There are so many choices on the market it can be difficult to figure out which food is best. The secret to selecting the healthiest dog food is learning to read the labels
How to Select a Manufactured Dog Food
Like human food, the ingredients are listed on dog food labels in the order of amount of content, highest to lowest, so the first five ingredients are what make up the majority of the food. Dogs are carnivores so it is important that a meat protein is the first ingredient. It can either be listed as meat or meat meal. The difference is meat meal has had most of the liquid removed from it so it can be weighed more accurately.
There is an ongoing controversy over whether dog food should include grains or not. Healthy grains like brown rice or oatmeal are good sources of carbohydrates and easily digested, however, it is often advised that grains like corn, soy, and wheat be avoided because they offer little in the way of nutritional value, are hard to digest, and many dogs have developed allergies to those particular grains. Grain free foods often substitute potatoes or peas as an alternative source of carbohydrates.
It is most beneficial for your dog to eat as natural a diet as possible. Artificial dyes and preservatives are best avoided. If you choose to feed commercial kibble, select one that is holistic or organic. Look for a food that is rated four or five stars on a reputable dog food rating site.
Berry Banana Smoothie for Dogs Recipe
1 container plain yogurt (8 ounces)
1 cup blueberries
1 ripe banana
5 hulled strawberries
1 tablespoon organic honey
1 cup ice water
Place all the ingredients in your high performance blender and puree until smooth. My dog loves frozen treats so I like to freeze this in ice cube trays to make individual servings. It will keep in the freezer for up to six months or can be stored in the fridge in its liquid state for one week.
Remember, whenever you offer you dog new foods start with small amounts and be alert for allergic reactions. Most dogs can eat fruits without any issues and enjoy healthy benefits when it is added to their diets.
(C) 2014 OmniBlender.COM LLC
Depression can be fought in part, with food. The vitamins you are looking for are B12, B6 and Omega3. These vitamins correlate to another enzyme that helps your brain produce serotonin. Depression, no matter the cause, is a temporary or chronic production of low-levels of serotonin. When your serotonin levels are too low, it is hard to enjoy life, be it a moment of sun in the middle of winter or a sea breeze in the summer--it’s significance simply does not register with you. You can’t be happy about it, because you can’t turn up the production of serotonin required to feel happy.
Get the Right Vitamins
So it is important that you get enough B12, B6, and Omega 3. Fish such as cod, salmon, halibut, trout, tuna and snapper are good sources of Omega 3, as are walnuts. B6 sources include nuts: peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts; and veggies: skin-on baked potatoes, yams, broccoli, green peas, bell pepper, asparagus, spinach and turnip greens. Turkey and eggs are also good for a depression-reducing diet. Berries are one of the best-depression fighting fruits. The tryptophan **** in turkeys stimulates serotonin production. So make a turkey smoothie?
If your depression led you to eat the wrong foods and you are looking to lose weight as well as fight depression, it is actually very simple to integrate the two nutrient requirements for these efforts.
Eat Small Meals, But More Often
First, rather than three meals a day, you want six. All of your “meals” should be no larger than a snack. Start your morning with a smoothie. See that hazelnuts are on the list for depression? You can purchase hazel nut milk; use that in the place of your almond milk for a smoothie. Hazelnuts are a bit sweeter than almonds, but very tasty.
For your morning snack, try a fruit salad that contains berries and fresh fruit, or try a berry muffin made with whole grains or oats. For lunch, try a tuna-avocado guacamole in a lettuce wrap. Have mixed nuts with dried fruit, and add just a few chocolate-covered M&M’s to fight that sweet craving. But eat your entire portion of nuts and fruit. Then, for dinner, try a quinoa stuffed bell pepper.
The Benefits of Quinoa and Tarts
Quinoa is a grain with complex proteins, so it makes a good meat substitute. Add spinach, tomatoes and olives, into the quinoa and cook per directions. If your directions call for vegetable oil, use olive oil. For desert, try a fruit tart on a nutty vegan crust. Vegan crusts omit dairy, but maximizes protein. You can build crusts out of the very nuts that will help you obtain the needed levels of omega3 and B6.
Making tarts is a good way to utilize fresh fruit. You only need to cook the crust. You can make a glaze out of honey, rather than sugar. This tart could also be breakfast. Should you use a honey glaze, if you make certain that it is local honey, and you eat it every day for two weeks, you can also build up a natural immunity to local allergens. This won’t help you if you go on vacation to a spot that is home to plants you’re also allergic to, but it will help you in your own backyard.
Find the Right Recipes
When recipe hunting for depression-fighting meals, seek out meals that incorporate more than one of the ingredients that will help stabilize your mood. If you are also trying to lose weight, do the same with those foods, too. Look for recipes that can lead to developing healthier patterns by integrating as much variety of fruits, veggies, and nuts in a single meal as possible. Focus on using only grains that give you complete proteins, so that you are not dependant on meat for protein. However, do make sure that you eat fish a few times a week. Also, make turkey your primary meat. Remember meat and eggs are not the only source of protein available to you. In fact, nuts, grains, and soy products are better for you. So use them liberally, and be certain to keep your portions consistent.
Planning out your meals can be fun. Turn menu making into a creative exercise and structure your meals like a puzzle. You’ll be amazed how many dishes you can make out of the aforementioned suggested meats, nuts, fruits and veggies. Step outside your usual meal routine, and experiment with the many recipes that are out there on the internet.
OmniBlender.COM LLC 2014 (C)
Diabetes isn’t the end of the road. You can still enjoy food. However, it is important to broaden your diet. You need to stress the fruit and vegetables, and these need to be integrated in a far larger proportion of your diet than meat and simple proteins from refined sources, better known as snack foods. Yes, there are simple carbohydrates in fruits and some vegetables, but these foods are also high sources of fiber. Fiber helps your body control blood sugar levels. So you get a little sweet with a whole lot of good-for-you fiber. Besides, fiber helps you feel full. Feeling full longer helps to manage your cravings. However, before making any major change to your diet, it is best to consult your doctor.
Increase Fiber Intake
To maximize the fiber and nutrients you are getting from your fruit and vegetables, try raw food recipes. This doesn’t limit you to eating fruit and veggies plain. You can try lettuce wraps and even smoothies. Toss your fresh fruit, chopped in tiny bits, into a high performance blender with some yogurt, and voila you have a treat! You can search for “raw smoothies” on Google or peruse this site for more recipes that will help you increase fiber, satisfy that sweet craving, fill you up in the morning, lose weight and even fight diabetes.
The Raw Fruit Advantage
Drinks that are 100% juice help, too. You can buy them, sometimes for a bit more than you may like to dish out, or make them at home. Raw fruit blended to a pulp can be a good basis for a smoothie. Or you could use a blender to make a whole range of fruit-based sauces and dressing. Frozen fruits can be okay. Sometimes, if you stumble upon a sale (especially with berries) it can be hard to pass up buying a lot of fruit all at once. If you wash and freeze them, you can use them for a wide range of dishes at a later date. If you are trying to lose weight, this can be especially helpful.
Tiny berries are fine to freeze as they are. Strawberries, though, should be cut up first. It is especially helpful to use zip lock bags and measure out 8 oz of strawberries into each bag. Then you have a full cup of berries all ready for munching or cooking or baking. If you’ve got frozen berries stored in your freezer and you want to make a smoothie the next day, just transfer your baggie to the fridge. The ice should be mostly gone, and some soggy slices should be left. Add a banana, fresh blueberries, and yogurt into your blender and switch it on. Then you’re good to go. Trying to avoid dairy? Opt for almond milk and ice. If you choose this method, be cautious because the soggy slices of strawberry have a fair amount of water in them, so you don’t need as much added liquid as you might with fresh-out-of-the basket strawberries.
Raw Veggies and Smoothies
Raw veggies can be added to smoothies too! There is far more you can do with raw vegetables than merely dip in ranch dressing as a snack. Carrot-Orange juice is a delicious drink you can make at home. Use a juicer to turn one whole carrot into juice. Use a citrus juicer on one orange. To make into a smoothie, add a ripe banana, ice, your two homemade juices, and mix in your high performance blender.
Another excellent raw vegetable recipe is the raw lettuce wrap. In this dish, you combine veggies to make a salsa-like filling and wrap the mixture in fresh lettuce leaves. You can combine different ingredients for different tastes. Wraps are a good alternative if you’re looking at that salad and groaning. It’s okay, there are more ways to eat the same foods, and versatility in your cuisine will help you maintain an enjoyment of the foods that you are eating. Diversity in dishes is key to making certain that you maintain healthy eating patterns.
So if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, don’t see it as a prison. Look at your daily food choices, and find ways to experiment. Healthy eating is not limited eating, it is merely informed eating. Your options are still numerous, but you now are encouraged to play with your choices and find or rediscover things you have forgotten or did not even know were delicious. Remember to discuss proposed changes to your diet with your doctor first.
(C) 2013 OmniBlender.COM LLC
Popular wisdom tells us that it takes twenty-one days to change a habit. Others say that changing bad habits takes constant vigilance and work until the new healthier habits becomes the norm, and that the actual time this takes may vary from one person to the next. Whatever the case, making lasting change to behavior that has been ingrained for a long time is not an easy thing to do. However, dedication and motivation to change can start with something as simple as a high performance blender.
Hypnosis is one tool used by therapists in an effort to help their patients become aware of the poor nutritional habits that result in weight gain. While there are physical illnesses and genetic contributions to obesity, hypnosis for weight loss deals strictly with weight gain in individuals that will benefit from behavioral changes.
The first step in hypnosis is to have a trained therapist induce a deep relaxation that is similar to the state experienced just before sleep. In some hypnosis sessions, the therapist may relay a positive, empowering story that uses symbols and metaphors similar to what the subconscious mind might create in a dream state.
The story may include asking the subject to imagine what it will be like to achieve ideal weight, how he or she will feel, and what level of mental and physical energy will be available to the person when the goal is reached. Then there will be suggestions about feeling confident and happy when taking care of nutritional needs.
While some of the messages in hypnotic trance state are directed at the future, others are reserved for the here and now so that the subject can learn to get beyond any psychological blocks or triggers that are impeding weight control efforts. Often the therapist may have to refer her clients with weight loss goals to a nutritionist. Change often starts with education and learning what is healthy and what foods to avoid.
Although obesity rates have increased in the U.S. and the U.K. and we are constantly bombarded with messages about proper diet, there are all those other competing messages from restaurants and grocery stores enticing us to buy more. Awareness is the first step of self-control, but not everyone is aware all the time of what they are putting into their bodies.
A tool often used along with hypnosis is the food diary. Clients are asked to write down everything they eat for a proscribed period of time. This is a most amazing way to bring about awareness of habits, because the diary is essentially a record of choices. It’s even possible to assess the calories and nutrient values after the fact to get a sense of the daily levels so that it can be compared to the daily requirement.
Both hypnosis and keeping a food diary are routinely used in behavior modification programs. After learning what change is needed in order to reach a goal, a motivated person will start altering behaviors and habits. Soon the person trying to lose weight will consciously choose raw vegetables and fruits over fast food and saturated fat. A smoothie blender can quickly be put to use to increase essential vitamins and minerals in the diet
As eating behavior becomes a choice instead of a habit, the high performance blender can be utilized more fully. Conscious food selection will lead to choosing recipes that will fit into the weight loss plan. Soups, dips and sauces can be made with a blender and recipes to assist weight loss are plentiful. Fruit smoothies and raw vegetable smoothies are a convenient way to supplement your diet with healthy snacks.
As a person takes positive steps toward reaching a goal and begins to see results, a therapist may recommend that the hypnosis sessions be continued. The affirmations and empowerment one experiences in trance state can be carried into everyday routine, having a constructive affect on mood and confidence. Change for the better has occurred and habits have been altered. The man who couldn’t go a day without a cheeseburger now enjoys an avocado smoothie and weighs considerably less.
(C) 2013 OMNIBLENDER.COM LLC
Can Vitamins and Antioxidants Improve Eye Health?
After recently released study results, doctors are beginning to pay attention to their patients’ vitamin D levels and ask them more questions about eye health. Researchers are finding that when vitamin D as well as other vitamins, minerals and foods rich in antioxidants are present in sufficient amounts, the risk of blindness is reduced. Smoothies made with ingredients for proper nutrition can keep your eyes healthy in later years.
The two main causes of blindness in the elderly are age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Studies published by the Archives of Ophthalmology and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed a link between nutrients and eye health.
Antioxidants and Protection Against Cataracts
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye and can result in blindness if not treated. Current medical technology allows those with cataracts to undergo an operation that removes the clouded lens and replaces it with an artificial one.
Although surgery procedures have become routine and most people with cataracts can be treated on an outpatient basis, it is better to take steps to reduce the risk of getting them in the first place. One study that was published in June 2008 by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the combination of antioxidants lessened the cataract risks of 2,400 older adult subjects.
Fruits and vegetables have been rated on the degree to which they function as an effective antioxidant. The standard measurement is called the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC), and the chart below lists raw fruits and vegetables that have a high ORAC score (see below). All of these foods can be used to make raw smoothies, soups or sauces in your high performance blender.
Red bell pepper
The macula is the central point of vision in the retina. Macular degeneration is a progressive disease characterized by a dying off of light sensing cells, which eventually results in blindness. There is no medical treatment available that will reverse the disease process of macular degeneration at this time. Of the men and women in the United States who are 40 years old or older, 15 million are said to have some degree of age-related macular degeneration.
One study conducted by the University of Buffalo’s School of Public Health*** found that women younger than 75 with above average vitamin D levels had a decreased risk for age-related macular degeneration. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 400 IU up to age 18, 800 IU for ages 19 through 50, and 1200 IU for those over 50 years of age.
Unlike the water-soluble B and C vitamins, vitamin D is fat-soluble and can collect in the liver and tissues. While the skin when exposed to sunlight absorbs some amount of vitamin D, this method alone will probably not provide the recommended daily dosages. Dietary adjustments need to be made to reach the recommended allowance.
You can find out what whether your vitamin D intake is sufficient through a simple blood test. Many lab forms used by doctors to order these tests include a place to indicate that vitamin D assessment is necessary. Doctors consider that someone with less than 30 nanomoles of vitamin D per liter of serum is deficient.
If you want to increase your intake of vitamin D to protect your eyes, try including these foods in your diet: canned tuna, herring, salmon, dairy milk, almond milk, orange juice with vitamins added, and fortified cereals. Follow smoothie recipes that use milk or orange juice and whip up a few in your smoothie blender each day to increase your vitamin D level.
A healthy diet throughout life that includes raw fruits and vegetables can keep you seeing clearly in your older years. The antioxidant benefits of berries together with the vitamin D advantages of dairy milk or fortified orange juice is a recipe for delicious smoothies and healthy eyes.
(C) 2013 OmniBlender.COM LLC
Smoothies made with the right nutrients can help keep your immune system strong.
According to health and nutrition experts, you need to make sure you get appropriate amounts of vitamins A, C and E to ward off infections and other conditions that may compromise your immune system. Additional components that contribute to healthy immunity are zinc, probiotics, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega3 Fatty acids can be added to a raw smoothie via flaxseed. This grain is particularly high in omega-3 fatty acids and, being grain, is vegetarian and vegan friendly. There are also vitamin supplements that should be included in the regular diet if your meat consumption is particularly limited, or non-existent.
Probiotics are contained in yogurt, which is a particularly delicious smoothie base. Probiotics are healthy bacteria. Often, we think of all bacteria as harmful and we forget that certain strains of bacteria can actually help your body produce white blood cells that fight off viruses.
Yogurt and dairy products contain zinc, the element that helps you to build up immunity. Even milk can be an important addition to a smoothie. If you are a vegan, you will, of course, need to focus on alternative ways of obtaining probiotics.
Citrus is a particularly good source of vitamin C. However many fruits contain A, C and E. Using fruits in your smoothies will help you get you your daily allowances of these vitamins and help you improve your immunity.
If you are looking for a dairy-free base, use vitamin-fortified orange juice in the place of milk, or use soy or almond milk. If you use orange juice, make certain you add ice to give the smoothie some texture.
Spinach contains vitamins A, C and E. When you combine spinach with juicy-sweet fruits, the sweetness hides the vegetable’s bitter taste. The result is an amazing immunity-increasing and tasty smoothie.
#1 Blueberry Flaxseed Smoothie 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 cups fruit juice, unsweetened
1 banana, fresh or frozen
½ cup plain yogurt (or substitute 1 cup soy milk or low-fat organic milk)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
#2 The Pear-Kiwi-Berry and Flaxseed Smoothie
1 pear, quartered
½ cup yogurt
1 kiwi fruit
2 tablespoons flaxseed
1 teaspoon honey
½ cup berries, frozen
#3 Berry and Flaxseed Smoothie
1/2 cup vitamin-fortified orange juice
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, preferably nonfat
2 tablespoons whole flaxseed
1 cup frozen berries
1 small sliced banana
#4 The Spinach Apple Berry Smoothie
1/2 cup juice (cherry)
1 medium apple
1 cup berries, frozen
3 cups spinach, fresh
#5 Mixed Fruit and Spinach Smoothie
1 cup blueberries, frozen
½ medium apple
3 large strawberries
½ medium orange
¼ cup seedless grapes
1 cup spinach, frozen- better fresh
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
½ cup skim milk (or substitute ½ cup almond or soy milk)
1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
While we may strive to strengthen immunity, there are times that the immune system reacts too quickly and easily as in the case of allergies. Honey can be added to nearly all smoothies and can serve to calm an over-active immune system. Because it contains pollen from plants in your local area, local honey can help you to be less allergic over time. Many people have found that they can desensitize themselves to pollens by taking 1 tablespoon of local honey a day for two weeks.
There are as many smoothie combinations as there are fruits and other ingredients to utilize. Smoothies are a delicious way to guard against viruses and increase white blood cell counts to fight infection. Allow yourself to try different combinations, even if you are leery at first. While they might sound odd on paper (or your computer screen) remember that versions of these smoothies have been tried, reviewed, and perfected by many others. Take a chance and explore. You will reap the health benefits of smoothies that taste better than expected and promote your ability to fight the common cold.
(C) 2013 123Vita LLC
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:
Banana, Mango, Soy Milk, Greek Yogurt
#2 Apricot Vanilla Smoothie
Vanilla, Almond Milk, Apricot, Plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey
½ cup sliced strawberries
½ cup raspberries
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
½ cup raspberries, frozen 3/4 cup water, dairy milk or soy milk
#6 Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie
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
It seems that there are virtually thousands of supplements and ingredients on the market that claim to protect against nearly every imaginable ailment and affliction. To add to this confusion, websites selling supplements are coming online at an incredibly fast rate. If you are looking for the right supplements for bone health, a good place is a basic list of vitamins and minerals, the proper daily dosage based on age, and how you can derive the most benefit from them. ...Or, you could try a concoction of your own... A Calcium Smoothie?
Facts about Bones
Bones are very much like tissue in the body, and they are changing all the time as cells die and are replaced. The aging process does place a premium on the importance of keeping bones strong to prevent osteoporosis and loss of bone mass. While age is related to bone mass in women, healthy bones can be maintained with proper levels of calcium, vitamin D and protein. The amount of physical activity and the exposure to environmental risks such as smoking and alcohol consumption also affect bone health.
During childhood bone mass grows and in adulthood the rate of new growth and the rate of bone mass decline are about equal. After menopause, however, women will begin to experience loss of bone mass. Men who are over 50 years of age also lose bone mass but at a rate that is half that of women.
The Calcium Connection to Vitamin D
If you take calcium supplements, it is necessary to have vitamin D in sufficient quantities for the calcium to be absorbed. A person whose blood test shows a vitamin D deficiency will need to take supplements or make dietary changes to protect the body’s skeletal structure.
One way to assure that you get the daily allowance of calcium and vitamin D is to use fortified dairy milk or almond milk when you make raw smoothies. For example, eight ounces of almond milk provides 45% of the calcium and 25% of the vitamin D required on average in a day. Vitamin D is added to fortified diary milk in the US to help consumers meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA).
Are There Risks to Calcium Supplements?
According to an article published by the Daily Mail on July 30, 2010, results of a study that appeared on the British Medical Journal’s website suggested that women who take calcium supplements may be at an increased risk of suffering a heart attack. Researchers concluded that the supplements, which were 500mg or greater, contributed to the hardening of arteries. However, the researchers determined that those who consumed a high amount of calcium through diet were not at the same risk. Another caveat to mention is that patients who were baking supplements of both calcium and vitamin D were not included in the study.
What conclusion can be drawn from this study? Women who are postmenopausal should make sure that they get enough vitamin D and calcium through fortified milk, grains and yogurt. Yogurt is a healthy base to use when making raw smoothies in your high performance blender.
Protein and Bone Health
- Better Bones website that older adults who have suffered a hip fracture have better post-surgical outcomes if they have the right amount of protein in their blood system. She notes that they have fewer complications and tend to stay in the hospital for a shorter time. While too little protein can be dangerous, we are more likely in the US to suffer the consequences of too much protein, which can lead to the loss of vital minerals and the undermining of bone health.
There is a complex set of variables in diet that can influence how well an older person recovers from fractures and there is little evidence that protein levels alone make a difference one way or the other. Generally, though, medical experts agree that protein does not build bone. It does help to build muscles and keep tissues and organs healthy.
While calcium and vitamin D supplements can help promote healthy bone mass in people who are more than 50 years old, it is best to discuss concerns with your doctor before starting on a new regimen. Making raw smoothies with ingredients that provide the right amounts of calcium and vitamin D is a good alternative to supplements.
½ cup cilantro
½ cup baby spinach leaves
2 regular size carrots
1 cup of water
Blend for about 30 to 45 seconds in a 3 horsepower blender.
Author Thomas Fox (C) 2013 - for OMNIBLEND