Treat your body to a smoothie full of vibrant flavors and important nutrients. Frozen blueberries, tart cherries, and cranberries give this smoothie lots of flavor and antioxidants, not to mention a naturally beautiful color. Ground flax seeds and hemp seeds add Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, protein, and lignans, among other nutrients, which is probably why these little seeds are sometimes called “super seeds.” Just add a splash of cranberry juice and a handful of ice, blend it all up, and you have a bright, tasty beverage full of anti-inflammatory properties.
There is a lot of talk these days about chronic inflammation and how it contributes to a lot of health problems, including arthritis, heart disease, auto-immune disorders, and depression. And apparently, in our modern society, many are at risk of developing chronic inflammation with our processed foods, high sugar intake, and fast-paced lifestyle.
I am definitely not an expert on inflammation in the body, but what I read makes a lot of sense. According to Paul DiCorleto, PhD, in an article for the Cleveland Clinic, inflammation is the body’s natural way of fighting an illness or injury. When the illness or injury is healed, the inflammation response is supposed to shut off. However, sometimes the body’s inflammation response does not stop, due to chronic anxiety, diet, or other factors. “Over time, you can end up with too much of a good thing. With chronic inflammation, your body is on high alert all the time,” says Dr. DiCorleto. This can cause lots of problems within the body.
DiCorleto and other experts recommend making lifestyle choices that will help reduce the risk of developing chronic inflammation. These include regular exercise and eating and drinking lots of plant-based foods, which contain anti-inflammatory properties. Berries, flax seeds, and hemp seeds are all considered anti-inflammatory foods.
Sometimes when I am very stressed out and not taking good care of myself, I can feel like my body is out of balance. That is when I reach for things like this smoothie, and I feel like I am putting good things back into my body, soothing it and energizing it at the same time. It’s all about striving for that balance.
We may not be able to hold ourselves in balance for long periods of time, but we can continually try to keep bringing ourselves back into balance. It’s in that process that we feel alive. According to poet and philosopher Rumi, “Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.”
Mixed Berry Revitalizing Smoothie
- 1/4 cup of frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup of frozen tart cherries (preferably tart Montmorency cherries)
- 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
- 1 to 2 tablespoons (depending on your taste) of ground flax seeds (you can buy them already ground, or you can buy them whole and grind them in a coffee grinder)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons (depending on your taste) of hemp seeds
- 2 cups of cranberry juice
- a handful of ice
Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into glasses and enjoy!