I did a live video the other day in my facebook group, Real Life Rehab, where I mentioned the health risks of excess belly fat - the deeper organ-encroaching, toxic visceral fat. This excess internal fat causes full-body inflammation, creating serious obesity-related health risks such as heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, colorectal cancer, osteoporosis, and new research suggests, dementia.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a waist measurement of 35 inches or more for women is an indicator of too much visceral belly fat. Measure your waist to assess where you are. Charting progress on this is even more important than weighing yourself, in my opinion.
Today’s smoothie checks ALL the boxes for what to eat/drink to start moving the tape measure in the right direction. This anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich, belly-slimming, and bloat-reducing smoothie is a delicious and satisfying way to start your day or replace a meal.
Before I share today’s exact receipt, let's look at the nutritional benefits of some of the ingredients.
One tablespoon of ground flaxseed has 37 calories and provides nearly 2 grams of fiber. One of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids—there are 2.35 grams of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in 1 tablespoon of whole flaxseed (it's recommended that most adults get between 1.1 and 1.6 grams of ALA per day). You'll get protein, vitamins and minerals too.
Flaxseeds are also an astonishingly rich source of lignans, a plant compound that's loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants. In fact, flaxseeds have up to 800 times more lignans than beans, grains, fruits, vegetables and other fiber-rich plant foods. According to several studies—including one of more than 6,000 women in Canada that found that those who regularly ate flaxseeds were up to 18% less likely to develop breast cancer. Post-menopausal women seemed to benefit the most. Other small studies suggest that flaxseeds may help lower the risk of prostate cancer in men.
Just 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed provides 16% of the daily fiber needs for women and about 11% DV for men. Their insoluble fiber aids digestion, helps keep you regular, and prevents constipation. Bye-bye, bloating and poop problems! Flaxseeds are also high in soluble fiber, which helps you feel full so you're less likely to overeat.
One of flaxseeds' biggest benefits is their high ALA (plant-based omega-3) content. Your body doesn't produce omega-3s on its own, so you have to get them from foods like fish and—you guessed it—flaxseeds. In fact, flaxseeds are second only to chia seeds as the plant foods highest in ALA. A number of studies show that flaxseeds can help lower blood pressure.
These tiny seeds are SUPER high in antioxidants. Antioxidants basically make the impossible possible: they slow down aging signs, resulting in younger looking skin, healthier hair, and can even reduce the risk of cancer. Basically fountain of youth/miracle molecules.
Almost all the carbs in chia seeds are actually fiber. This means so many good things. 1. You'll stay full longer. 2. It will aid in keeping your gut health in check. 3. You'll be regular! Being regular is the best!
Like flax seeds, chia seeds are a rare source of Omega-3s, which are SUPER important. They have a wide range of benefits, from fighting depression, to improving sleep, to reducing the risk of heart disease. The bummer is, there aren't very many foods that supply omega-3s. There's really just fish, walnuts, and flax seeds. Over half of chia seed's fat is omega-3s, making it an excellent choice for all omega-related health.
There's an impressive 4 grams of protein per 2 tablespoon serving. And believe it or not, chia seeds have more calcium ounce for ounce than most dairy products. If you don't eat dairy, this could be a life-changer.
Dubbed "the most nutrient-rich plant yet discovered," the moringa tree has also earned the name "the miracle tree" in areas where it's grown. Native to North India, moringa is now also grown in Africa, Arabia, South East Asia, the Pacific and Caribbean Islands, and South America.
Moringa's nutrient density has led to its use as a treatment for malnutrition in some parts of the world. In fact, a review in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness found that M. oleifera provides more than 7 times the vitamin C of oranges, 10 times the vitamin A of carrots, 17 times the calcium of milk, 9 times the protein of yogurt, 15 times the potassium of bananas and 25 times the iron of spinach.
Moringa is also known for its phytochemical content. Most notably, it contains cancer-fighting compounds known as glucosinolates, which are also found in cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli. Moringa is also touted as having anti-inflammatory, immune-strengthening, ulcer-lowering, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties. And in studies, moringa compounds appear to trigger the pancreas to release insulin and preliminary research suggests it has anti-tumor properties.
BODY BALANCING SMOOTHIE
2 cups leafy greens (I used kale & spinach)
Handful fresh mint leaves
1 small organic cucumber (leave skin on)
1 - 2 stalks celery
½ - 1 cup frozen fruit (berries are ideal - low-glycemic)
1 tsp fresh ginger
½ - 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
2 tsp white chia seeds
1 tsp moringa
½ - 1 lime, juice only
Coconut water or green tea, as needed to blend (about a cup)
⅓ - ½ avocado
Ice - if not using frozen fruit
Blend all ingredients, except the avocado, until smooth. Taste to see if the flavors need to be balanced (add a banana, a couple of dates, or a few drops of stevia, if you want a little more sweetness). Add the avocado and blend just until well incorporated.