Posted by Brad at situationalwellness.com
Would you like a nutritional alternative to that bowl of ice cream, slice of cake or cherry pie, ect… for desert? Well here is one that packs a nutritional punch, minus the sugars, trans-fats and bad carbs.
Enter what i have coined the “Easy Bananacado-Apple Smoothie” recipe. Now to be fair, you will see that there are other “bananacado” smoothie recipes out there if you look them up. Which is to say, someone else beat me to the term. So this is not totally my idea, to be clear.
For just 10 minutes of your time, you can have a tasty desert that your body will thank you for.
Here is all you will need:
- 1 banana
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 cup of almonds(essentially a handful). I prefer sprouted almonds
- 2 small apples or one large apple. Red or green apples(your option). The apples below are red delicious.
- A leveled teaspoon of cayenne powder
Before i go any further, here is some nutritional background on the Items listed above:
As is commonly known, bananas are rich source potassium but, they are also a great source calcium, magnesium and iron. Bananas are also abundant in vitamins A, B6, C and K as well as fiber. 1 banana a day will help to fortify the health of your heart, brain, digestion and bones. Read more here
It is also suggested that being reluctant about eating those bananas that have aged with those ugly brown/black spots may be a mistake. There is a term that denotes those brown/black spots known as TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor). This is a substance that helps fight against abnormal cancer cell growth and supports the immune system’s ability in helping healthy cell communication. source
Avocados provide a very good source of vitamin A, B-complex, C, E and K. They are also rich in minerals including, phosphorous, potassium(twice as much as bananas), magnesium, copper, zinc, iron and manganese. 1 medium sized avocado will provide you with roughly 2 grams of protein, 240 calories, 25 grams of fat(63% of which are monounsaturated fats, AKA healthy fats and 17% of which are polyunsaturated fats, AKA omega 3 fatty acids)
Studies suggest that avocados are a good preventative measure against certain types of cancer such as breast cancer, prostate cancer and oral cancer.
- Eye Health(rich in carotenoid lutein which helps protect from macular degeneration and cataracts)
- Heart Health and Stroke Prevention(23% of the recommended daily value of folate)
- Excellent source of Glutathione
We are all familiar with the old cliche “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This adage did not become so popular for no reason.
Apples are powerful source antioxidants that include polyphenols that help defend the body from many chronic diseases.
Back in 2005 at Cornell University, food scientists conducted a study that suggests(in their own words) “An apple a day can help keep breast cancer away.” The researchers administered a known mammary carcinogen to a group of rats then fed them apple extracts. The results revealed a tumor reduction of 17, 39 and 44% in rats fed the equivalent of 1, 3, and 6 apples a day over the span of 24 weeks. Read more here
Here are some nutritional facts for a medium sized apple:
Equivalent to 1.5 cups of fruit:
- Calories: 95.
- Carbs: 25 grams.
- Fiber: 4 grams.
- Vitamin C: 14% of the RDI.
- Potassium: 6% of the RDI.
- Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI.
- Manganese, copper and vitamins A, E, B1, B2 and B6: Under 4% of the RDI.
Speaking for myself, I enjoy a spicy kick with most of my meals and smoothies are no exception. For me, enjoyment of a smoothie wouldn’t be the same without a dash or two of cayenne.
Cayenne peppers belong to the capsicum plant and have been used in food and medicine for several millennia.
Based on one teaspoon:
- 17 calories
- 1 gram of fat
- 2 milligrams sodium
- 3 grams carbohydrate
- 1 gram dietary fiber
- 1 gram sugar
- 1 gram protein
- 44 percent vitamin A
- 8 percent vitamin E
- 7 percent vitamin C
- 6 percent vitamin B6
- 5 percent vitamin K
- 5 percent manganese
- 3 percent potassium
Cayenne – benefits and home remedies:
In my post “FIRING UP THE FURNACE! Hydrochloric Acid Deficiency and its Roll for the Digestion of Protein” Cayenne is on the list of remedies that can aid in digestion.
Three Italian doctors submitted a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine describing how they were able to reduce patients with dyspepsia(indigestion) symptoms by more than half. In a study of 30 subjects, half the patients were prescribed a placebo and the other half red pepper powder capsules(2.5 grams). The capsules were taken before meals 3x a day over the span of 5 weeks. A significant advantage by the red pepper group was observed compared to the placebo group by the 3rd week. By week 5, the pepper group’s symptoms decreased by 60% of their initial scores. The placebo group’s scores only improved by about half as much.
Here is a story giving credence to cayenne’s ability to aid in cardiovascular health:
A 90 year old man in Oregon had a severe heart attack and his daughter was able to get cayenne extract into his mouth. He was initially pronounced dead by medics, but within minutes had regained conscienceless. The daughter continued to give him the extract on the way to the hospital and upon arrival had fully recovered and wanted to go home to mow the lawn. You can read more here and the source above on the amazing health and healing properties of cayenne.
Note: If you are taking blood thinners such as warfarin, it would be wise in taking careful consideration as to the consumption of cayenne as it is a natural blood thinner. Controlling bleeding could be an issue if an unfortunate injury occurs(for example). As i have recommended in several other posts, consult with your doctor if this is applicable to you.
Research has demonstrated that almonds actually lower blood cholesterol by 90%. These nuts are high in protein, fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, and other antioxidants. The alkalizing properties of almonds also prevent osteoporosis and regulate blood pressure.
- Improves Diet— Because of the high vitamin and mineral content mentioned above(including zinc and iron) almonds are an excellent appetite suppressant and and are a good component for an effective weight loss regimen.
- Improves heart health — Due to the protein and potassium contained in almonds, the nut is high in monounsaturated fats which are heart friendly. These nuts help aid in the reduction of C reactive protein, which causes artery-damaging inflammation. Here you can read nine studies which show that almonds have beneficial effects on heart health.
- Regulates blood sugar — Diabetics can benefit from these nuts as well. Further adding to the health benefits of almonds, Studies published in the journal Metabolism, showed that consuming a serving size amount of almonds before indulging in a high-starch meal resulted in 30 percent less post-meal glucose levels for individuals suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Note: With Almonds(as one would with any other nut) it’s good to take into account whether or not you have allergies as many people do. Unless you have an acute allergic reaction to nuts, a small handful a couple times week in your smoothie likely won’t be a factor. I’ve also written in other posts about other side effects of various nuts and how many species of nuts can cause or exasperate certain issues like cold sore outbreaks due to the high content in L-Arginine and other issues via the high level of Selenium. See: Brazil Nut Benefits and Risk Factors and 101: What is the Leptin Diet? For most, I would suggest that moderation is the key to avoiding those issues and yielding the benefits.
Put the contents in a blender or a drinking container that can facilitate at least 2 oz using a hand blender. Now for the apples, I personally use the whole apple as the core has many health benefits as well. The seeds contain what some refer to as B-17(also known as Amygdalin).
In alternative medicine circles, there is research that shows that Amygdalin is a cancer fighter, but more pedestrian sources such as Wikipedia and the American Cancer Society claim there is no proof to substantiate this and further, state that it is toxic to the body. If this is a concern, then i’d suggest putting “B-17” into a search engine to learn more about this hotly debated topic.
But i digress…
So, moving right along, if you would like to add a sweetener I would recommend a pinch or two of green stevia powder. Although, not as viable of a solution in tea or coffee as it has to be continually stirred due to fact it hasn’t been processed and doesn’t dissolve well, it is a good choice for smoothies as it will suspend much better.
Also taking into account green stevia is much healthier than the processed white stevia or extracts due to the fact they are cut with carcinogens and GMOs. Also it is important to know whether or not you have “ragweed allergies.” read more here
I put about 2/3 of cup of water in with all the above mentioned. I’d suggest adding the water in segments til you reach the desired thickness. I prefer mine a little thicker( almost like a pudding) and use a spoon when consuming.
Well… that’s about it. 10 minutes of your time and you can enjoy a tasty/nourishment rich desert that your body will be truly grateful for.