Happy Nutrition Month! If you’re just joining us, we’ve asked Alisha Miller, Central Indiana Orthopedics Physical Therapist, to share a few of her favorite healthy recipes this month. In addition to practicing as a Physical Therapist at CIO, Alisha owns a nutrition coaching company and will be explaining the nutritional benefits of each recipe she shares.
Last week, Alisha shared a Chicken Orange Stir Fry recipe packed with protein and colorful vegetables. Today, we are excited to share a quick, versatile recipe for breakfast or snack – Antioxidant Blueberry Protein Smoothie.
Antioxidants are compounds produced in the body and also found in foods. They help defend your cells from damage caused by potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals. When free radicals accumulate, they may cause a state known as oxidative stress which can damage your DNA and other important structures in your cells. Oxidative stress in our body can present as inflammation, which can damage our body by increasing cardiovascular risk, joint pain/loss of mobility, abnormal growth of healthy cells, loss of muscle tone, accelerated skin aging, memory loss/cognitive decline and compromised digestive function.
Blueberries are full of antioxidants and polyphenols, which reduce inflammation throughout the body and help combat oxidative stress. One cup of blueberries provides 24 percent of a person’s recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Additionally, blueberries provide many health benefits including lowering blood pressure, managing diabetes, protecting against heart disease, promoting healthy digestion, weight loss and feelings of fullness and have also been known to help with skin health.
Also included in this recipe are chia seeds, an excellent anti-inflammatory food that is high in fiber. Fiber plays a major role in digestive health and is the fuel the colon cells use to keep them healthy. Fiber also helps to keep the digestive tract flowing by keeping your bowel movements soft and regular.
Coconut milk has health benefits as well including its ability to improve digestion, boost circulation, reduce inflammation, protect cardiovascular health, stimulate weight loss and increase energy. Coconut milk is nutrient dense, but it is also calorie dense. Being mindful of how much you are drinking is important, as over-consuming any food may lead to increased calories and weight gain.
Using protein powder in this smoothie is a helpful way to ensure you are meeting your daily protein requirements. Many of us do not consume enough protein, and protein is vital in helping us recover from injury or surgery.
Enjoy this smoothie for breakfast, a healthy snack or nighttime treat. Visit our blog next week for another healthy recipe!
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Nutrition per serving
- 197 kcal
- 4g fats
- 14g carbs
- 26g protein
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut water
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut milk
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (plant based)
- 1/2 cup (50g) frozen blueberries
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp chia seeds
Blend all ingredients together in a high-speed blender until smooth. Serve.