• The sweeter side: A morning smoothie recipe

The sweeter side: A morning smoothie recipe

Apart from being delicious summer snacks, berries are a powerhouse of countless health benefits. These colorful little fruits are packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients, iron, fiber and various vitamins. The diverse range of polyphenols (a large group of health promoting plant compounds) found in berries is why these flavorful fruits pack so much healthy punch. The polyphenols in berries include anthocyanins and ellagic acid. Anthocyanins are plant colorants responsible for the berries’ red, blue, and purple hues. They have many health enhancing qualities and may play an integral part in preventing diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Ellagic acid is a natural antioxidant found in various fruits and vegetables and is used to prevent cancer and treat viral and bacterial infections.

Ok, so what the heck does all of that mean? Let's break it down...

Benefits of polyphenols found in berries:

Reduce blood pressure

Anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties

Strengthens eyesight

Improves liver damage

Remedies urinary problems like urinary tract infections and kidney stones

Fights against the common cold.

Plentifully grown in California, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries offer an abundance of health benefits. Just a cup of these colorful cuties may provide the daily recommended amount of vitamins and nutrients.

The nutrient dense blueberry is loaded with antioxidants, which help neutralize the negative effects free radicals have on our cells. They support healthy digestion and are packed with Vitamin C, K, and Manganese. (Just one cup of blueberries provide 24% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C, 36% of Vitamin K, and 25% of manganese.)

Strawberries are extremely high in Vitamin C (one cup is 100% of RDA!) which is a huge immunity booster. They are also packed with antioxidant properties and reduce inflammation.

Raspberries are also an excellent source of Vitamin C, manganese and fiber. They have a high concentration of ellagic acid, which is a natural antioxidant that is used to prevent cancer and treat viral and bacterial infections.

Blackberries are a great source of fiber which enhances digestive health. They are low in calories and sodium but high in Vitamin C (35% of RDA). They are rich in antioxidants, and boost collagen.

There is no better way to start each day, than to fill your body with phytonutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins. Let the Very Berry Morning Smoothie be your introduction to a daily routine of berry goodness.

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup blackberries

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup frozen raspberries

2 1/4 cups coconut water

1 tsp honey

1 tsp chia seeds

Mix all of the ingredients in a blender. The recipe will make two large smoothies. Divide the ingredients by half if you want a smaller serving.