In my last post I gave you my recipe for the smoothie I’ve been drinking lately for breakfast. It may not look appealing or taste anything like your typical breakfast smoothie, but it improves my symptoms and is packed with vitamins and minerals.
For those of you who did not read my last post, this very simple yet nutrient packed smoothie is made up of spinach, ginger, parsley, avocado, an egg, a banana and almond milk (or water if you prefer an even lighter drink). I personally prefer making it with water most days.
I wanted to talk to you a bit more about why I chose the smoothie ingredients I did, besides it being so easily tolerated on my digestive system.
This vegetable is extremely nutrient rich and is full of vitamins, folic acid, iron, and calcium (Gunnar, 2019). I always seem to be running low in iron, so eating spinach everyday is a must! I have read that folic acid is a very important supplement for fibro fighters and many health care professionals recommend taking it daily. I would prefer to load up on spinach rather than have another pill to swallow.
Ginger is very helpful in reducing nausea. I knew it came well recommended for travel nausea and managing flu symptoms. This was the main reason I started using ginger everyday. I also knew it was incredibly healthy with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Knowing this about ginger, I wanted to incorporate it in my daily diet, rather than just using it when I felt ill. Ginger also helps with chronic indigestion (Leech, 2017). I have IBS and it can be relentless some days despite healthy eating and following a low FODMAP diet. Some days it doesn’t seem like my system agrees with much of anything. I find a couple of grated tablespoons of fresh ginger in a morning smoothie can help with stomach upset a lot! Last, but not least, ginger contains a substance called gingerol. Gingerol is known to help lower the risk of infections (Leech, 2019). For people with fibromyalgia, susceptibility to infection can be high. I always have fresh ginger on hand. I even carry ginger chews in my purse in case I start to feel nauseous while I am away from home. Ginger is so versatile and complements so many dishes. I would highly recommend experimenting with it if you do not already.
I love the fresh flavour of parsley. Just a small amount can enhance the flavour of any dish. Besides tasting fresh and wonderful, it has antioxidant properties Parsley is also loaded with Vitamin C, which is important for your immune system and your heart health (Enloe, 2019). I am always trying to find ways to strengthen my system as I tend to get chronic infections in my urinary tract. I am sure many of you reading this can relate. On that note, I came across some interesting information about how eating parsley can help your kidney health. Parsley has been proven to help regulate urinary pH and reduce blood pressure. In turn, this may help keep the kidneys healthy and lower the risk of stones (Enloe, 2019). Needless to say, you will always fresh parsley in my fridge.
This super food is one of my favourite forms of protein. It doesn’t matter how they are cooked, they are delicious! Full of antioxidants, protein, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients (Gunnar, 2019), eating eggs are a great way to start the days. If you don’t like the idea of putting a raw egg in your shake like I do, you could add nut butter or hemp hearts to your drink as an alternative protein source.
I really enjoy avocados, but can only tolerate about an 8th of an avocado due to IBS. Avocados have the ability to increase the nutrient value of other plant foods in your diet. By including a healthy fat source to the other ingredients in the smoothie, you are increasing the nutritious value of your breakfast drink. If you leave the avocado out of the smoothie, some of the plant nutrient will go to waste (Gunnars, 2018).
Bananas contain many healthy vitamins and nutrients, including fibre. Bananas are famous for being high in potassium and are also known to be helpful in maintaining a healthy blood sugar level (Bjarnadottir, 2018). I find bananas are very filling, which is part of the reason I like to add them to my shake in the morning. Make sure you choose a ripe banana to add to your smoothie to manage your IBS. Your stomach will thank you for it later.
I use almond milk because I can not tolerate dairy. I also really like the flavour of almond milk. Plain almond milk is low in calories and sugar. It is a natural source of vitamin E which is an antioxidant that fights inflammation in your body. Many brands of almond milk will fortify their product with calcium and vitamin D (Mandl, 2017). What I also really like about is that it is cheaper to buy than regular milk where I live.
I hope you have found this post helpful. Please remember I am not a health care professional or dietitian. I am a person who has a special interest in nutrition and taking steps towards managing illness the best I can. If you have any suggestions or comments lease feel free to leave me a comment.
Until next time,