This morning I made smoothies with the kids. I was so happy when my kids actually drank it…and asked for more! Here are the basic ingredients, which I chose because these foods build the immune system. I talked to the kids about building their shields, which helps to fight off colds and flus and germs in general. I always want to explain to them why it’s important to eat well. Building their shield conversation seemed to sink into their pliable brains.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the ingredients I used.
Kefir (strawberry) - this yogurt is especially great because it has probiotics as well as prebiotics. Prebiotics are a specialized plant fiber that beneficially nourishes the good bacteria already in the large bowel or colon. The body itself does not digest these plant fibers; instead, the fibers act as a fertilizer to promote the growth of many of the good bacteria in the gut. These, in turn, provide many digestive and general health benefits
Kale (fresh from my garden!) – blending cruciferous veggies like kale, brocolli or cabbage, in a blender for a smoothie breaks the cell walls that cause a chemical reaction. This produces a substance called isothiocyanates which have been proven to have powerful immune boosting effects. Studies have shown they actually attack microbes such as viruses. Compounds in cruciferous vegetables enhance defenses against bacterial infections as well, including those infections that become antibiotic resistant! A protein in cruciferous veggies activate a gene that produce protective compounds that protect from inflammation and disease.
Mixed berries, including raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, have been found to help prevent bacterial and viral infections as well as help prevent cancer. Blueberries also have been found to help with memory loss and improve brain function.
Cherries – Cherries have a number of benefits. According to traditional Chinese Medicine, foods rich in red color help with building blood which helps improve sleep quality, as well as helps with the heart. Cherries are proof that this is sound advise. Cherries have been found to help sleep because it’s a source of melatonin. They are high in pectin which is a soluble fibre that helps to prevent heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol. They also help with inflammation and they have quercetin, which helps fight cancer. If you can get your kids to eat the sour kind, it may help improve their eyesight because of the large amounts of beta-carotene. Cherries are seriously good for you! My son doesn’t like them by themselves but loves the smoothie. I usually drink the leftovers and it is yummy!
Build Your Shield Smoothie Recipe:
1 1/2 cups of kefir
1/2 cup of almond milk
1 cup of frozen or fresh cherries
1/2 cup of fresh or frozen berries
2-5 leaves of kale
Blend and enjoy!