Posts Tagged ‘carrot’

Vitamin-A Packed Mango-Goji-Carrot Smoothie

Smoothies have turned out to be the neatest trick to getting more veggies into my diet.  Today I decided to experiment with a new vegetable (and a new color): carrots.

I’ve been pretty successful when matching the same color fruit and vegetable, so I opted for a mango-carrot smoothie.  To amp up the nutritional value and to make it more filling, I added goji berries, avocado, and chia seeds.

This smoothie is packed with Vitamin A.  So what’s the big deal about this vitamin?  Vitamin A helps maintain healthy skin, teeth, mucus membranes, and skeletal tissue, and it promotes good vision.  This smoothie delivers about 300% of your daily vitamin A needs – 1 cup of mango has 25% of your daily need for vitamin A, while 1/2 cup chopped carrots has over 200% and goji berries contain about 68% in 2 tablespoons.  Although Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and thus can be toxic if ingested in large amounts, this is highly unlikely to happen from consuming foods (only from vitamins), as your body only converts the amount of Vitamin A that it needs.  That’s just another reason that, when possible, we should get our nutrients from whole foods, not vitamins!

Image

They key ingredients for the mango-goji smoothie.

Mango-Goji Smoothie

  • 1 large mango, peeled and cubed
  • 3 small or 1 large carrot, peeled (about 1/2 cup, chopped)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons goji berries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond or coconut (or almond-coconut) milk
  • 2-3 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients in blender.  Enjoy!

Beet-Carrot-Fruit Juice With a Zing!

Juicing has been on my radar since the documentary “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” came out.  Since I had only tried V8 canned tomato juice, which I had to drink holding my nose closed, I was not too thrilled initially.  However, after hearing the positive news around juicing and finding a great deal on a multi-functioning juicer, I couldn’t say no.  Once I got the juicer and learned how easy it was, things took off from there!

I know eating fruits and veggies is good for me, but I have been wary of the too-good-to-be-true health claims of people who really push juicing.  So I decided to look into it.  According to sources such as WebMD, juicing is beneficial in the sense that it’s an easier way to consume more servings of fruits and veggies, and thus get more nutrients from these sources.  However, the downside is that the fiber gets removed in the juicing process.  The WebMD article mentions an individual who uses the pulp (a.k.a., the fiber) left over after juicing to make muffins or stock.  I always feel wasteful discarding that, so that is something I will look into.

In addition, there have not been any scientifically proven “cleansing” benefits of juicing because our liver and kidneys already already take care of removing toxins.  Nevertheless, an internet search will yield lots of results of individuals claiming that once they began juicing, their skin was glowing, they were told they looked younger, and health problems went away.  I personally wonder if this is due to juicing, or because juicing resulted in a change to a healthier diet.

That said, I enjoy juicing and will continue to juice because it helps me include a larger variety of veggies (and nutrients) in my diet.  I am happy to say that I have experimented and found several veggie-and-fruit juice combinations I really enjoy.  For the juice to taste good, it’s important to include some sweet vegetables, some fruit and something that will add “zing” to the juice (like citrus or ginger).  Here is one combination I continually turn to, with two variations:

Beet-Carrot-Fruit Juice With Lemon

Beet-Carrot-Fruit Juice With Lemon

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium beets (including beet greens, if possible)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 apple (Granny Smith works best)
  • 1/2 red grapefruit
  • 1 key lime and/or 1-inch piece of fresh ginger-root (this adds the zing to the juice!)

Directions:

  1. Clean and cut all vegetables to the size required by your juicer.
  2. Follow juicer instructions to get the juice.

Yield: 2 cups

Nutrition Information: 224 calories total (according to the Self Nutrition Data calculator)

So I know that the research doesn’t prove any additional health claims to juicing – besides getting the nutrients – but I feel energized and healthy after drinking a tall glass of these nutrients!  Even if it’s the placebo effect, it can’t hurt.  I will continue drinking to my health!