If you had to choose just one thing to keep healthy, it should be your heart.
Heart disease is the most common cause of death in America; one out of every four deaths in the U.S. is related to it.
But Big Pharma’s treatments for heart disease come with their own slew of problems…
The most popular heart drugs are statins. So popular that the pharmaceutical industry pulled in almost $30 billion on statin sales last year alone. But they have some of the nastiest side effects out there: muscle pain, fatigue, memory loss, digestive problems… the list goes on and on.
But you don’t have to sign up for a lifetime of debilitating side effects. You don’t have to wear out your joints on the cardio machines. And you don’t have to give up your favorite foods. You can boost your heart health in one fell swoop just by enjoying one drink a day, as long as that drink is a heart healthy smoothie.
Now, let me just say outright that I’m not interested in choking down some florescent green concoction filled with chalky power, bitter greens, and enough carrots to choke a horse. There are plenty of smoothies that can get you all those vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants in a delicious, filling, and refreshing glass.
The smoothies we are going to show you today are delicious — in fact, I’ve been using them to trick my two-year-old into getting his vitamins and nutrients without having to force vegetables down his throat. Now he asks me to make them almost every morning. If a finicky two-year-old can enjoy them, you know they are pretty tasty…
Here are a couple of smoothies so delicious, you’d never know they were “healthy”…
Avocado Apple Explosion
This is one of my favorite smoothies, I drink at least one or two a week for breakfast. It is filling, delicious and chock full of superfoods that each target heart health in their own unique way. The avocado gives this a smooth silkiness, while the sweetness of the apple pairs brilliantly with the earthy tang of the kale. The almond milk and flaxseed give the Avocado Apple Explosion a wonderfully nutty aftertaste.
- 1 apple, chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1 cup kale, chopped
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 heaping tablespoons flaxseed
- Handful of ice (optional)
Just place the ingredients in your blender and blend away…
Heart Health Benefits
- Avocado — rich in vitamin B6, which can help reduce inflammation that can lead to heart disease. Its monounsaturated fatty acids have also been shown to help lower the risk of heart disease.
- Apple — you know why an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Because it helps fight C-reactive protein, which can increase the risk of heart disease. The mighty apple also contains compounds that delay the breakdown of LDL, the “bad cholesterol.”
- Almond milk — in vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that can reduce plaque buildup in your arteries. Almond milk is also high in healthy fats like omega fatty acids, which helps to prevent high blood pressure.
- Kale — is bursting with antioxidants. Kale contains 45 different flavonoids, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack.
- Flaxseed — this small seed packs in a big benefit to your health. It is rich in omega-3s which have been shown to help avoid hardening of the arteries.
The next smoothie is a tropical treat that is a perfect way to refresh yourself on a warm spring or summer day…
Pina Colada Blast
Quick bummer alert: this Pina Colada contains no rum. You could add a cup of rum for a more traditional Pina Colada flavor, but it might not be the best idea for your morning health smoothie. I’ll leave that up to you…
The Pina Colada Blast works great to replenish you after any exercise or summer activities. It also has just about everything you need to help ward off heart disease.
- 2 cups fresh pineapple, chopped
- 1 whole banana
- 1-2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup spinach
- Handful of ice
Heart Health Benefits
- Pineapple — citrus fruits like pineapple are high in vitamin C, which has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. We use fresh pineapple since the canning process tends to damage some of the nutrients in the fruit. Canned pineapple, for example, has only 60% of the vitamin C that a fresh one packs.
- Banana — perhaps the best source of potassium for your money. Potassium reduces the effects of sodium on the body, which can help control blood pressure.
- Coconut Milk — rich in lauric acid, which can boost HDL — good cholesterol — levels.
- Spinach — there’s a reason Popeye ate spinach to boost his brawn; it is a nutritional powerhouse. It is high in vitamins A, C, E, K as well as a slew of other antioxidants. Heart-wise, it contains potassium and magnesium, which can help reduce blood pressure. It also contains CoQ10, which has just been shown to lower heart failure mortality.
If you still cannot stomach the greens in these two smoothies, and you have a bit of a sweet tooth, you’ll be quite pleased with our next concoction…
When most people think of chocolate, ‘health’ isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But you don’t have to treat it like a guilty pleasure. Both cocoa and dark chocolate have a slew of cardiovascular benefits. So while this smoothie tastes like a dessert, it is perfectly suitable for a healthy breakfast.
Chocolate Almond Delight
- 2 cups almond milk
- 3 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 ripe banana, frozen
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 2 teaspoons maca powder
Here’s why this smoothie is deceptively healthy…
Heart Health Benefits
- Cocoa Powder — like Kale, cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, which can increase your HDL (good cholesterol). It has also been shown to reduce inflammation associated with heart disease.
- Maca Powder — maca is a root that grows in the mountains of Peru. It contains iron and can help restore red blood cells, which can help fight cardiovascular diseases. Maca is not only good for your heart, you might notice a big difference in the bedroom, too. It has also been shown to improve sexual health, stamina, and energy levels.
- Almond Butter — this delicious alternative to peanut butter is packed with monounsaturated fats, which can reduce “bad” cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
So there you have it, two easy and delicious ways to boost your heart health without resorting to prescription drugs or exhausting exercise.
We make these smoothies in our office all the time, and they are a big hit. I invited senior Health Wireeditor and nutritional consultant Ken Swerenegen to help me whip up a batch of these smoothies and explain in more detail exactly why these superfoods can supercharge your heart.
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