Brain-Healthy Berry Lemon Smoothie
Our Family Mission: Eat For Brain HealthAlzheimer's runs in my family. It's not the only terrible disease that does, as my Mom died young of cancer, but it is a particularly scary one for me. It's one of the reasons that my family and I follow a Mediterranean Diet. Research, like this new study, continues to indicate that eating a Mediterranean Diet may prevent memory loss and dementia, including Alzheimer's, by up to 1/3! Brain health is important not just for later in life, but for helping us live thriving lives right now. The study referenced above notes the importance of a plant-based diet that includes fish-- and specifically, eating leafy greens six times per week. Since reading about the importance of leafy greens for brain protection, I've been on a mission for every person in my family to eat them every day. This is no small feat. My kids are currently 8, 6, and 3, and they tolerate greens in varying amounts. My second grader actively enjoys many kinds of leaves, and my preschooler is on the other end of the spectrum. We have tried all different methods of preparing them, from dousing them in salad dressing (olive-oil-based as much as possible), to including them in sauces, dishes, and smoothies. More recently, I've found Memore whole food nutrition powder and fallen in love. It's a super easy, whole food way to enjoy a full serving of leafy greens (as well as other brain-boosting whole foods) on the days that I'm not otherwise able to. See more about it below!
Why Are Greens Important?You probably already know that the food you eat and your lifestyle greatly impact your overall health. The American Cancer Institute for Research estimates that 42% of cancer cases may be attributable to lifestyle factors like poor diet and inactivity. The CDC estimates that 80% of cardiovascular disease is preventable with lifestyle interventions. Did you know that your diet is critical for brain health, too? The recent study that suggested that eating a Mediterranean Diet may decrease a person's risk for Alzheimer's mentioned leafy greens specifically. Leafy greens like kale and spinach seem to be good for your brain and an important part of protecting our brains as we age. Greens are rich in nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene, which may help slow cognitive decline.
So Why Don't We Eat More?One problem that many of us face is that we don't love leafy greens. This is one food group that kids especially seem to have trouble enjoying. If you or your kids are struggling to like leafy greens, there are a few ways of preparation that my family has grown to love. (Yes, it's been a process! And no, I cannot get any kids in my house to eat a plate of sautéed spinach, which is my favorite way to eat them.) My kids enjoy (maybe you and your kids will too!):
- salads with certain kinds of dressings
- broccoli slaw with dressing (sometimes called rainbow slaw)
- kale chips
- greens in smoothies (which can also be made into popsicles)
- greens that are "hiding" among other parts of the meal like spinach ravioli or mixed into pasta sauce
Why is Whole Food Important?If we can't find the time for greens, can't we just take a vitamin? A vitamin may be your first through to go to in order to replace your leafy greens. However, it is well known that supplements cannot replace the complexities of whole food. Whole foods contain fiber, a variety of micronutrients, and essential antioxidants that supplements can't quite offer. Additionally, the nutrients found in many vitamin and mineral supplements are often of a synthetic form, rather than the natural and active forms found in whole foods. This means that nutrients are best absorbed when they come from whole foods. So, when looking for a way to fill the nutritional gaps missing from your diet when you skip the leafy greens, we recommend looking for a product that is made from real whole foods! This is why we love Memore whole food nutritional powder. Many "green" powders or supplements on the market include fillers and sweeteners. Memore is 100% real food-- without the additives! A powder made of an entire serving of real spinach (an entire serving!) and other brain-healthy foods, including blueberries and beets, Memore helps to fill nutritional gaps with real food. All the veggies and fruits in the powder are either freeze-dried or air-dried and contain no carriers at all. There's zero added sugar and zero sweeteners. This makes it high in fiber, antioxidants, healthy fats, and protein. That's right, Memore has added real-food, high-quality, plant-based proteins. This helps ensure that your serving of Memore will power not just your long-term brain health, but your daily energy levels too.
In Each Serving:In each serving of Memore, you get:
- One Full Serving of Leafy Greens (Not vitamins from whole foods; this is 1+ servings of actual dried spinach!)
- Half a serving of antioxidant-rich blueberries
- 10 grams of protein
- 6 grams of fiber
- Zero Added Sugar, zero sweeteners of any kind
How to Make Memore:
- If you are rushing out the door, you can simply add water. The starter package even comes with an adorable, practical frother and bottle specifically designed to keep your drink cold. If I'm making Memore for myself or my hubby, we generally make it this way. It's easy and full of whole food nutrition to fill any nutritional gaps in my day. I feel great knowing that I got my leafy greens in and that I'm protecting my brain health.
- For my kids (or for myself when I'm feeling fancy), I generally make this smoothie. It takes just a few minutes, and with the addition of dates and (more) blueberries, the final meal is so delicious and full of even more whole food goodness!
- You can also try Memore sprinkled over yogurt or oatmeal. Or try making chia seed pudding or overnight oats! Yum
Making This SmoothieMaking a smoothie is so easy. For this one, you have the option to soak your dates into a cup with hot water for a few minutes to soften them before adding. If your dates are already soft, or you know your blender is really strong, you can skip this step. Add everything to a high powered blender, including the ice (if you are using it). I love the frostiness of ice in a smoothie, but my husband doesn't. Personal preference on that. Then, simply blend until everything is very, very smooth. Enjoy nice and cold! If I'm at home, I love putting my smoothies in a bowl or glass and eating them with a spoon. Sometimes I add a sprinkle of crushed walnuts or chia seeds to the top.
Foods That Are Good For Your Brain in This Smoothie:Berries: Exciting research suggests that berries, bursting with antioxidants, may help improve memory, prevent brain aging, and decrease the risk of dementia. Dates: Dates contain high levels of polyphenols that may prevent the development of certain diseases, like heart disease, cancer, and yep-- Alzheimer’s. This boost in brain health may be because dates appear to help prevent plaques from forming in the brain. Lemon Juice: Lemons are full of vitamin C, which is a vital antioxidant molecule in the brain. (Vitamin C has lots of health benefits in addition to brain health, too!) Memore blueberry lemon nutritional powder: Contains a full dried serving of spinach, as well as dried blueberries, sweet potatoes, and beets. These are all foods that are great for brain health! (Grab a bag for yourself here.) Almond Milk: Almonds are rich in healthy fats essential for brain memory function. Be sure to look for unsweetened almond milk, preferably without chemical additives. Alternatively, you can make your own at home!
Now, Go Enjoy!Leafy greens and other foods that are good for your brain appear to be incredibly powerful for helping us stay sharp as we age. If you are looking for an easy, delicious way to get in some brain-boosting greens, give this smoothie a try! For more info on Memore, visit yourmemore.com.
Brain-Healthy Berry Lemon Smoothie
Making a smoothie is so easy. For this one, you have the option to soak your dates into a cup with hot water for a few minutes to soften them before adding. If your dates are already soft, or you know your blender is really strong, you can skip this step. Add everything to a high powered blender, including the ice (if you are using it). I love the frostiness of ice in a smoothie, but my husband doesn't. Personal preference on that. Then, simply blend until everything is very, very smooth. Enjoy nice and cold! If I'm at home, I love putting my smoothies in a bowl or glass and eating them with a spoon. Sometimes I add a sprinkle of crushed walnuts or chia seeds to the top.
- 2/3 cup frozen berries (blueberries recommended)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 dates (start with 2 and taste)
- 2 scoops blueberry lemon Memore whole food powder
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Optional: ice for frostiness
- Optional: If your dates are hard, pop them into a cup of hot water for a few minutes to soft them. If your dates are already soft or if your blender if very powerful, you can skip this step.
- Add everything including ice (if using) to a high powdered blend.
- Blend until everything is very smooth. Enjoy immediately.