Berry smoothies have always been one of my favorite breakfast picks. Not only are they pretty but they keep us cool in this ever lingering summer heat, and we all know the heat lingers far too long in Florida. Am I right? I wanted to put together a berry smoothie that didn’t just taste great, but is also the best way to start your day, or be beneficial to sip on after a workout. Through my years in school and personal research I’ve learned that there is an abundance of fruits, vegetables, roots and herbs that have powerful and proven health benefits. I’ve paired whole functional foods that not only taste great but are packed with nutrients and health benefits that can be very beneficial for keeping our immune systems strong, lowering inflammation and easing digestion.
The secret ingredient to this smoothie is ginger. Most of us have seen ginger plenty of times, but it’s usually on your plate in the pickled pink form next to your spicy tuna roll at the sushi restaurant. Most grocery stores will actually carry fresh ginger root in the produce section, all you have to do is cut the skin off and your set for use! I love adding fresh ginger root to smoothies, it adds a great burst of flavor and has amazing health benefits. Some of these benefits include aiding in digestion and reducing inflammation. Two factors that I would say are a great added bonus for anyone, right?
Then there’s the obvious ingredient, berries. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are all great sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. The phytonutrients are found in all plant foods, in many forms, these are known as antioxidants which serve a purpose in protecting the plant from environmental hazards and ultimately do the same for us. Antioxidants work to fight off free radicals in our bodies, this helps lower the impact of oxidative stress and prevent everything from a small infection to diseases as big as cancer. Whether you’re just waking up, hit a hard workout or have just been standing on your feet all day at work, anti-inflammatory properties can benefit us all to keep our bodies feeling their best. So next time you make a berry smoothie throw in some fresh ginger and you will be ready to take on the day!