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Smoothie Saturday: Heart Healthy Reds

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Health Healthy Smoothie

With half of a head of red cabbage chilling in the fridge and no recipes planned for it this week, we decided to put it to good use. Sticking with the red theme, we threw in other crimson-colored fruits and vegetables. As a general rule, red fruits and vegetables benefit the heart and circulatory system. Read on for more details:

INGREDIENTS [makes 24 oz.]

1 c. chopped red cabbage
1/2 red bell pepper
1 roma tomato
5 medium strawberries
1/2 c. raspberries
8 oz. cold water
1 ice cube [optional]

Raspberries: Antioxidant powerhouse. Increase enzyme activity, oxygen consumption, and heat production in fat cells – aka these berries boost your metabolism. Maybe their most awesome benefit is that they are serious about fighting cancer thanks to their phytonutrient levels and anti-inflammatory properties.

Strawberries: A similar nutritional profile to raspberries, but with a little more sweetness. Tons of Vitamin C and fiber give strawberries some extra edge. They have been proven to lower bad cholesterol, too.

Red pepper: Bell peppers contain 30 carotenoids such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta-carotene, lycopene, and plenty more. Their lycopene content and fiber makes them particularly heart-healthy by lowering bad cholesterol.

Roma tomato: Packed with lycopene and numerous other antioxidants, tomatoes are renowned for their cancer fighting abilities.

Red cabbage: Another Vitamin C powerhouse, red cabbage has anti-oxidant properties for anti-aging, boosting immunity, and glowing skin. Red cabbage contains the liver detoxifying and stimulating amino acid glutamine.

When selecting these fruits and vegetables [and all fruits and vegetables] look for organic. If they’ve been sprayed with pesticides from the seed stage of growth or genetically modified, the benefits don’t really apply. Look for organic and, whenever possible, local ingredients.

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