We all know how vital vegetables are for our health…The food pyramid has even been amended to reflect the importance of eating plenty of veggies. So, the question becomes, for many of us– how to get enough good veggies into us, on a daily basis. Do you wrestle with that one as much as I do…?
Getting good, high quality foods into our diets is essential. This is especially true for anyone who struggles with health issues, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. Someone with dementia may not be able to chew or swallow adequately enough to eat as many vegetables as they really need to get the boost their challenged brain needs. Also, many times with Alzheimer’s or dementia, staying seated long enough to actually EAT all their veggies, can be a challenge. With a smoothie and a straw, they can “eat on the go,” carrying around their smoothie with them while they are in “travel mode.” A lot of companies are getting into the commercial-smoothie business. But, why not make your own, instead…? Want to learn how…?
Veggie juices and veggie smoothies can be a great way to include more vegetables on a regular basis. And the great thing about making smoothies, instead of cooking.. is easier preparation. Also, you’ll get the benefits of raw vegetables- which adds the benefits of not harming the enzymes and vitamins that are so healthful for the body and brain. 🙂
Smoothies can also be the ideal way to help someone get enough fresh vegetables, when chewing or swallowing is an issue: either from age, or mouth/tooth related issues, or injury.
These are a few smoothie ideas, that also have brain-boosting health benefits. For people with issues, there are a few suggestions. If arthritis or pain is an issue, avoid tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes ( sweet potatoes are fine), these veggies belong to the nightshade family- and can aggravate joint pain and inflammation. Adding kale, deep green veggies and orange veggies like pumpkin and squashes are highly beneficial: spinach, kale mustard, beet, greens, chard. These tend to be rich in Vitamin A and C and beta carotein. They also have a lot of minerals and antioxidants like potassium, magnesium, folic acid, etc.
Here are a few quick recipe ideas to try:
Coconut Carrot Smoothie ( modified from a soup recipe)
3 large carrots
1 medium sweet potato
I can coconut milk
1 clove garlic ( optional:)
A bit of fresh ginger root
I’d start by chopping the carrots and sweet potato up a bit. Toss them into a blender or cuisinart. I know my cuisinart isn’t ideal for juicing, and the harder vegetables tend to stay slightly more pulpy. I’m OK with that, though. You might have to add a little bit of liquid to the mix, in order to reduce the vegetables to a smoother liquid. You can also experiment by adding cucumber, avocado, or even banana- depending on whether you want a more veggie, or slightly more sweet-fruity kind of smoothie.
Cucumber Banana Avocado Smoothie with Apple or Pear
Yep- cukes actually do pretty well in smoothies. Again, I leave the peels on, esp when local or organic, for the added vitamins… so can tend toward slightly pulpy- but I think that is my cuisinart ( I don’t have a juicer- so this is a good overview for the lay juicing person) by the way- I think most juicers, actually separate OUT all the solids.. so actually, a really good blender or food processor is probably better.
1 medium cucumber
I banana or avocado, or both
An apple, pear or fruit of other choice, optional
Fresh kale, spinach or other leafy green, like chard
Broccoli, zuccini or other vegetable as preferred
Anyway- I chopped up a medium cucumber, a banana, and tossed in an over-ripe pear ( I only like pears when they are still crisp, so ripe-soft ones are perfect for the juicing. I will sometimes add a bit of fruit juice, or almond milk, or coconut milk, to create the consistency I want.
The great thing about smoothies, is that you can make them as thick or thin as you like.. from very juicy- to thicker like a milkshake, or even as thick as a pudding.
Cucumber, Kale, Avocado Smoothie:
1 medium cucumber
Handful of fresh kale ( you might need to “stem” it)
Coconut milk or banana with almond milk if you want to create a creamy base:)
Additions to any veggie smoothies for added benefits.
Chia seeds on top
Spirulina or blue green algae
Raw honey or bee pollen/royal jelly
Any hard to swallow vitamins or supplements
Flax seed oil or hemp seed oil or other omega rich oil
Kefir, fresh plain yogurt, probiotics ( ideally from fresh, raw milk:)
Protein powder, ideally hemp seed protein, or non-soy product.
Have any questions, or great recipes? Hit me up in the comments section, below.
I am an Education Specialist, Health Coach and Author. I work with aspects of the teachings I have learned from Andean shamanic and cosmology, to health, nutrition and education. Everything is energy. Energy must flow. Like water, when it does not flow, it stagnates and is not healthy. These techniques help your life to flow. I have been initiated into many of the ancient lineages and learned ceremonies, rites of passage and healing techniques. I have worked as a healer and done workshops and taught some of these aspects – passing the teachings on.
Dancing in Your Bubble : ancient teaching, modern healing
Natural Support for Alzheimer’s
Getting a Handle on Happy : find and fix causes of stress and depression
The Naturally Smarter Kid : a parent’s guide to helping kids succeed in school and life
Cafe of the Hungry Ghosts : behind the veil of ordinary – a paranormal-ish fiction book