If you have been following this blog, or have even read my book, then you may be familiar with hearing about the importance of antioxidants for good health and younger-looking skin. I also write a lot about why eating a rainbow of differently coloured fruit and veg is so essential…
This smoothie contains an array of colourful ingredients, including orange, raspberries, spinach, strawberries and avocado. Together, they provide the three major antioxidant vitamins – vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E. I like to refer to them as the ACE vitamins, due to the incredible work they do for keeping your body healthy! They’re particularly found in fruit and veggies with a red, purple, blue, orange and yellow hue.
Dietary antioxidants are incredibly important for your health, and are even being acknowledged by Western medicine as playing a crucial role. Some are made in your body, but many are not, and production begins to decline with advancing age.
But what are antioxidants? Antioxidants are a type of molecule that have the ability to inhibit the oxidation of another molecule. Antioxidants basically mop up the free radicals circulating your system, helping to lessen the cellular damage that they can cause. They donate their own electrons and are nature’s very own defence mechanism against attack.
They may significantly slow down the speed at which you age, meaning that a regular supply in your diet is of optimal importance for your skin’s health.
Free radicals are a normal compound produced in your body from regular metabolic reactions, and are a natural response to external factors including cigarette smoke, environmental pollution, sunlight and chemicals, plus inflammation within the body. Even rigorous exercise triggers free radical production, which is why I recommend eating blueberries post-workout as they’re so high in antioxidants!
As free radicals are missing one or more electrons, they must scavenge for a replacement, and will aggressively steal their missing electron from other molecules. This is known as an oxidation reaction, and can lead to a destructive trail of cellular damage, destroying cell membranes and the DNA stored within the cell.
This smoothie is designed to fill your body with the antioxidant vitamins, A, C and E, to help protect your cells from free radical damage. Vitamin C is also important for building the collagen that keeps your skin looking supple, plump and youthful.
Cheers to that!!
- 125ml (1/2 cup) coconut water (regular water works just as well too)
- 1 medium orange, peeled
- 6 medium strawberries
- A handful of baby spinach*
- A handful of fresh or frozen raspberries (I used frozen)
- 1/4 of a ripe avocado
- The juice of half a lime
- 2-3 fresh mint leaves
- 1-2 ice cubes
- Starting with the coconut water, place all ingredients into a blender and combine until smooth.
- Serve chilled.
- *Just be aware that the more spinach you use, the more greenish-brown this smoothie may become!