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cancer fighting food

Top Nutrition Tips to Cut Your Cancer Risk

 

March is National Nutrition Month, so let’s talk about some cancer-fighting benefits of making healthy food choices. What you eat and what you don’t eat has a powerful effect on your health. Maintaining a healthy weight and nourishing your body with certain foods is key to good health and to reducing your risk of cancer.

Although there’s no one diet program that is right for everyone, it’s important to have some sort of healthy-eating plan. So, put your best fork forward with these five cancer-fighting strategies.

1. Know your healthy weight & maintain it

People who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of many serious health conditions, including cancers. To control weight gain, it’s about knowing what weight is healthy for you and maintaining that weight. (No, a few pounds here or there shouldn’t lead to extreme dieting, but knowing yourself and your ideal body weight is key.)

Maintaining a healthy weight throughout life can lower your risk of breast, uterine, prostate, lung, colon, kidney, pancreatic, esophageal, multiple myeloma, gallbladder, gastric, ovarian and thyroid cancers.

2. Replace one processed item a day with real food

Processed foods aren’t just microwavable meals – the term ‘processed food’ applies to foods that have been altered from their natural state in some way (and it can be for a variety of reasons, including safety, aesthetic desirability and convenience). Ingredients such as salt, sugar and fat are often added to processed foods, which leads to the consumption of these additives at more than the recommended amount.

But a few simple swaps can make a big difference in how you look and feel – and can also help lower your risk of cancer.
* Grab an apple or an orange instead of cookies.
* Substitute cucumbers and baby carrots for crackers. (Dip them hummus for a tasty treat!)
* Replace soda with a glass of water or sparkling water. Water helps your body get rid of toxins that put you at risk for diseases like cancer.

(Bonus tip – the perimeter of the supermarket usually contains natural foods and the center aisles contain processed foods… so stay on the border to stay healthier.) 

3. Add superfoods to your diet

Superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that contain large doses of cancer-fighting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
* Add dark green veggies like spinach, broccoli and kale to your salads and omelets.
* Snack on a handful of raw almonds or roasted pumpkin seeds instead of a bag of chips.
* Also, check out some of our favorite cancer-fighting recipes that contain superfoods.

4.  Limit red and processed meats

Research shows that people who eat more red meat (beef, pork and lamb) and processed meats (like bacon, sausage, hot dogs and salami) have a higher risk of developing colorectal and prostate cancers. Although there is not scientific consensus, the observed increased risk is often explained by the high iron and fat content in red meat and/or the salt and nitrates in processed meat. Additionally, cooking meats at a very high temperature can create chemicals on your food that may increase your cancer risk.
Need some red meat alternatives? Try some of our favorite cancer-fighting recipes like Rainbow Salsa (with grilled fish or chicken) and Pumpkin Soup (with a Garlic, Kale and Sesame Topping).

5. Reduce your alcohol intake

Although moderate alcohol use has possible health benefits, it’s also not risk-free. Excessive use can cause liver damage, heart problems and even cancer. To reduce your lifetime risk of cancer, NFCR recommends: On average, men should not consume more than 2 drinks per day and women should not consume more than 3 drinks per week

 

Preventative Cancer Research

A proactive way to reduce the number of patients dying from cancer is to prevent the disease from developing in the first place. That’s why NFCR-sponsored researchers have been investigating cancer prevention methodologies – and specifically links between nutrition and cancer – for decades. 

Scientist Dr. Helmut Sies¸ whose work was funded by NFCR for over 30 years, discovered that the antioxidant lycopene, a micronutrient found in tomatoes and other foods, can reduce the damaging effects of oxygen produced by our body’s essential metabolic processes. Lycopene has strong skin cancer prevention effects. His more recent research was focused on selenium, a trace metal found in certain foods that is essential for good health. There is evidence that selenium improves human health and helps prevent cancer – specifically colon cancer.  *Prevention tip: Read about how to add selenium to your diet.

Additionally, during his career, Dr. Sies studied essential fatty acids that can prevent inflammation and cellular signaling pathways in cancer development, and looked at the role of nitric oxide in cancer and heart disease-related events.

 

Dr. Michael Sporn, whose research was supported by NFCR, is known as the “Father of Chemoprevention” because his work led to the development of several synthetic triterpenoid compounds. These compounds are a class of chemical agents that have potent preventative effects against several types of cancer, including breast, lung and pancreatic cancers.

For individuals with a family history (or are otherwise at high risk of developing these diseases), the promising results of Dr. Sporn’s research offers hope that their chances of developing cancer could be dramatically reduced with the use of chemoprevention.

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Start Your Day Right with Cancer-Preventing, Nutrition-Packed Pancakes

Tuesday, March 7th is National Pancake Day! You can celebrate by trying our favorite sugar-free banana oat pancakes.

Research links certain types of cancers to obesity, so it’s smart to avoid too much of the typical calorie-laden indulgence. Luckily, we have a nutritious, delicious twist for you!

And don’t forget your cup of coffee – it’s a good is source of B vitamin riboflavin and contains antioxidant phytochemicals that may help prevent cancers of the colon, liver, pancreas and skin.

Banana Oat Pancakes with a Twist

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups almond milk, coconut milk or soy milk
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 bananas, chopped
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour or coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon flaxseed (optional)

Directions

  1. In a blender, puree almond milk and oats until smooth. Add bananas, flour, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and baking powder and puree a few seconds more. Let batter rest 10 minutes.
  2. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Mist with nonstick cooking spray or clarified butter (also known as ghee), then scoop batter into pan. Reduce heat to medium low and cook pancakes until air bubbles appear and underside is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook about 5 minutes more.
  3. Top with sliced bananas, strawberries, blueberries or dark chocolate chips if you like. And serve with real maple syrup.

Fun Facts to Flip Over

  • The earliest known pancakes were made about 12,000 years ago from ground grains and nuts, mixed with water or milk and cooked on hot stones.
  • In France, people like to make a wish before flipping their pancakes. They do this while holding a coin in the other hand.
  • Before baking soda was invented, cooks often used fresh snow as it contained ammonia, which helped the pancakes come out fluffy and soft.
  • The largest pancake in the world measured 15 meters in diameter. weighed almost 3 tons and contained 2 million calories.
  • William Shakespeare was a pancake lover! It is reflected in several of his plays.

Source: http://bit.ly/2l9sG8g

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Decadent, Delicious, Disease-Preventing Dark Chocolate

Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to celebrate your love with a food many love – chocolate. After all, chocolate tops most people’s favorite foods list, and it turns out there are some good health reasons in addition to the good taste reasons.  Chocolate – especially dark chocolate – is good for you.

Research shows that chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, improve memory and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[i] And, contrary to popular belief, research shows chocolate doesn’t ruin your complexion.

In the post below, don’t miss a unique chocolate truffle recipe!

dark chocolate barNot All Chocolates are Created Equal

While all chocolates contain antioxidants called flavonoids, dark chocolate and its main ingredient, cocoa, provide more health benefits than milk chocolate or white chocolate.
The stronger and darker the chocolate, the more flavonoids it contains and the more health benefits it provides.

For maximum health benefits when buying chocolate, look for:

  • Dark chocolate blocks with at least 70% cocoa solids.
  • Raw cacao or cocoa powder.
    One gram of cocoa contains over 30 mg of flavanols, whereas one gram of dark chocolate contains approximately 12.5 mg.To learn more about cocoa, read our blog post Cancer-Fighting Cocoa.
  • Cacao nibs, which are crushed, raw cacao beans. You can use these in place of chocolate chips in items like cookies, trail mixes or smoothies.

Cocoa & Skin Cancer Research

Helmut Sies, M.D., a biochemist at Heinrich-Heine-Universitat in Dusseldorf, Germany, is a leading cancer prevention expert and received funding from NFCR for his nutrition-focused cancer research. Dr. Sies’ key research breakthrough on micronutrients involves his discovery that lycopene – a carotenoid and antioxidant found in tomatoes – can help curb the initiation of cancer. His research has also shown that flavonoids (found in cocoa products) can prevent skin damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. High flavanol cocoa – which has similar amounts of flavanols as 100gm dark chocolate – improves skin health and hydration and may reduce risk of UV-induced skin damage.

Let’s be clear: This research doesn’t mean you should start rubbing cocoa products on your skin – but it does mean there could be skin-cancer fighting properties in some sweets!

Real Food Chocolate Truffles

The Chocolate Truffles recipe below provides a healthy twist on a classic Valentine’s Day favorite. They’re easy to make and your sweetheart will LOVE them!
Adapted from Diana Keuilian


chocolate balls
INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup dates, pitted and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey, melted
  • Melted dark chocolate
  • Unsweetened, shredded coconut flakes
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Minced dark chocolate pieces

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast, stirring often, until golden. Set aside to cool.
  2. Place the dates in a small bowl with hot water and cover for 10 minutes. Discard the soaking water and place the dates and cooled pecans in the food processor, along with the cocoa powder, sea salt and honey. Pulse until coarse and crumbly.
  3. Cover a tray that fits in your freezer with parchment paper. Form the dough into 30 balls and roll in the toppings of your choice.
  4. Place the truffles on the prepared pan and freeze for 15 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

Fun Chocolate Facts

*Eating just ONE chocolate chip gives the average adult the needed energy to walk 150 feet.
*A dark chocolate bar has approximately 10-15g of sugar. A glass of orange juice has about 22g of sugar.
*Chocolate is harmful to dogs and can cause seizures and even death.
*Chocolate syrup was used to depict blood in the iconic shower scene of Hitchcock’s film “Psycho.”

http://www.2020site.org/fun-facts/Fun-Chocolate-Facts.html

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Cancer-Curbing Cauliflower: Your Carb Replacement

Cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables in the cruciferous family and can be used to replace carbohydrates – anything from starchy potatoes to rice.

cauliflower diagram

Cauliflower’s impressive array of nutrients – including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals – help keep our immune system healthy and strong.

Studies have shown that eating three to five servings of cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and kale each week can significantly lower your risk of developing cancer.[1]

Cauliflower Fried Rice

(Adapted from Skinny Taste)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 large egg
  • pinch of salt
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 small onion, diced fine
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 scallions, diced, whites and greens separated
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce, or more to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Remove the core and let the cauliflower dry completely.
  2. Coarsely chop into florets, then place half of the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is small and has the texture of rice or couscous – don’t over process or it will get mushy. Set aside and repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
  3. Combine egg and egg whites in a small bowl and beat with a fork. Season with salt.
  4. Heat a large saute pan or wok over medium heat and spray with oil.
  5. Add the eggs and cook, turning a few times until set; set aside.
  6. Add the sesame oil and saute onions, scallion whites, peas and carrots and garlic about 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft. Raise the heat to medium-high.
  7. Add the cauliflower “rice” to the saute pan along with soy sauce. Mix, cover and cook approximately 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside but tender on the inside.
  8. Add the egg then remove from heat and mix in scallion greens.

 

[1] https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cruciferous-vegetables-fact-sheet

 

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Tasty Tomatoes: Anti-Cancer Attributes & A Healthy Recipe

While people debate the age-old question about whether tomatoes are a fruit or vegetable, here’s an undisputed fact: Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins A, C and E, and the antioxidant lycopene.

Studies show that lycopene may help prevent prostate, lung, and stomach cancers. The powerful antioxidant can also help reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by reducing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. Plus, there’s some evidence that cancers of the pancreas, colon and rectum, esophagus, oral cavity, breast and cervix can be reduced with increased lycopene intake.

 

What Types of Tomato Products Should I Eat?

Lycopene is a lipid-soluble compound, which means that consuming it with fat (oil) increases its bioavailability. So you will obtain more lycopene from the fresh tomatoes in your salad when they are paired with a full fat dressing ins
tead of reduced fat dressing.

Additionally, our bodies extract the most benefit of the lycopene from processed tomato products, such as tomato paste, sauce and ketchup. So keep the tomato-y condiments on hand for a healthy boost!

Need a tomato-heavy recipe suggestion? Try the delicious fish recipe below. Bon appétit!


Sear-Roasted Halibut with Tomato & Capers 

Adapted from Fine Cooking

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2  tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb thick skinless halibut fillet (or other mild white fish, like cod), cut into 4 even pieces
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the tomatoes, capers, oregano, vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
  3. Season the fish with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and dredge it in the flour, shaking off the excess. Heat the oil in a 12-inch (preferably nonstick) ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the fish, evenly spaced, and cook without touching until it browns and releases easily from the pan (check by gently lifting one of the corners), about 3 minutes. Flip the fish, sprinkle the garlic around it, and cook until the garlic just starts to brown on some edges, about 30 seconds.
  4. Pour the tomato mixture around the fish and transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast until the fish is just firm to the touch and opaque when you pry open a thicker piece with a paring knife, 3 to 6 minutes.
  5. Let the fish rest for a couple of minutes and then serve with the tomato mixture spooned over it.

Related NFCR Research

NFCR-funded researcher Dr. Helmut Sies, a world-renowned scientist in the field of cancer prevention, discovered that lycopene has the highest antioxidant capacity of carotenoids (colorful pigments in fruits and vegetables).

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7 Cancer-Fighting New Year’s Resolutions

At the beginning of each new year, almost half of adults in North America resolve to better themselves in some way. From spending more time with family and friends to saving money to losing weight, New Year’s Resolutions are often made with the best of intentions but can be challenging to keep. In fact, studies show that more than 20% of resolutions are broken after the first week, 40% are broken after one month and 60% after six months.[1] YIKES!

In honor of 2017, we’ve put together seven cancer-fighting resolutions that are worth fighting to keep. If you can’t commit to all seven, simply pick one or two and stick with them. Your body will thank you.

1. Give your body the nutrients it needs.  

What you eat – and don’t eat – has a powerful effect on your health. Maintaining a healthy weight and nourishing your body with certain foods is key. A few simple changes to your diet can make a big difference in how you look and feel – and can also help lower your risk of cancer.

Add superfoods to your diet.
Superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that contain large doses of cancer-fighting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
* Add dark green veggies like spinach, broccoli and kale to your salads and omelets.
* Snack on a handful of raw almonds or roasted pumpkin seeds instead of a bag of chips.
* Also, check out some of our favorite cancer-fighting recipes using superfoods.

Replace one processed item a day with real food.
* Grab an apple or an orange instead of cookies.
* Substitute cucumbers and baby carrots for crackers. Dip them hummus for a tasty treat.
* Replace soda with a glass of water or sparkling water. Water helps your body get rid of toxins that put you at risk for diseases like cancer.

2. Schedule your screenings.

Regular cancer screenings help with early detection and prevention of cancer. Screening tests include mammograms for breast cancer, colonoscopies for colorectal cancer, pap smears for cervical and uterine cancer, body checks for skin cancer and more. Talk to your doctor to see what screenings are appropriate for you given your family history, age and lifestyle choices. For more information on cancer screenings, see NFCR’s Cancer Detection Guidelines.

3. Use sunscreen every day (even during the winter months).  

Skin cancer rates are on the rise and sunscreen has been proven to reduce the risk of skin cancer. While people with fair skin may be more likely to develop skin cancer due to sun exposure, people with darker skin tones are at risk as well. Sunscreen protects against sunburn as well as harmful ultraviolet rays that can wreak havoc on your skin on cloudy, overcast or winter days where there is no sunshine. Sunscreen also helps prevent premature aging.

4. Get moving every day.  

Studies conclusively show that exercise helps relieve stress, weight gain and reduces cancer-related risks. It can even help cancer survivors live longer. So, get out there and dance, run, bike or walk. Exercising at a moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes every day has so many benefits.

5. Reduce your alcohol intake.

Although moderate alcohol use has possible health benefits, it’s also not risk-free. Excessive use can cause liver damage, heart problems and even cancer. To reduce your lifetime risk of cancer: On average, men should not consume more than 2 drinks per day and women should not consume more than 3 drinks per week.

6. Quit smoking. 

Smoking harms nearly every organ and organ system in the body. It can also cause 14 different types of cancer. If you are a current or former smoker, your risk of developing lung can be up to 25 times higher than someone who never smoked. Quitting reduces your risk, even if you’ve smoked for years.


7. Travel the world with Fly to Find a Cure.


Fly to Find A Cure
 is an NFCR program aimed at raising funds to accelerate vital cancer research projects with travel incentives. For every dollar donated, you earn airline mileage from your choice of popular airlines programs: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan®, American Airlines AAdvantage®, United MileagePlus® or Delta SkyMiles®. A major portion of your gift is also tax deductible. So make a resolution to travel to a new city or exotic location this year and fight cancer at the same time. To learn more, visit http://nfcr.org/miles.

From all of us at NFCR, we wish you a happy, healthy, safe 2017!

 

FUN FACTS ABOUT NEW YEAR’S

* The first New Year’s celebration dates back 4,000 years.

* Noisemaking and fireworks on New Year’s Eve is believed to have originated in ancient times, when noise and fire were thought to dispel evil spirits and bring good luck.

* It was once believed that the first visitor on New Year’s Day would bring either good luck or bad luck for the rest of the year, depending on who he/she was.

* December 31, 1907 marks the very first ball lowering in Times Square.

Source: MSN

[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/homo-consumericus/200912/miscellaneous-facts-about-new-year-s-resolutions

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Taste the Cancer-Fighting Power of Kale

kaleKale is a nutritional superstar as it provides one of the most concentrated sources of nutrition we have.  Per calorie, kale provides more iron than beef and more calcium than milk. It’s packed with at least 45 antioxidant flavonoids and contains 10 times the daily value of the important, yet often overlooked, vitamin K.

Early research shows that a diet containing the powerful antioxidant vitamin K may reduce the overall risk of cancer. Try this nutritious, delicious cancer-fighting recipe that’s perfect this time of year.

Kale Salad with Butternut Squash & Toasted Almonds

(Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2012)

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ medium shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1½ cups butternut squash, cubed into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, cut into ½ inch wide ribbons (5 cups)
  • ¾ cup chopped almonds, toasted
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (for shaving)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. To make dressing: Whisk 5 Tbsp oil, vinegar, shallot and mustard in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  3. Combine squash with 2 Tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Then roast for approximately 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until squash is tender and lightly golden.   Let cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile heat remaining oil in large skillet over high heat. Add kale and cook, tossing frequently, until bright green and slightly wilted, 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat, add 3-4 Tbsp of dressing and toss to coat.
  5. Combine squash, kale and toasted almonds. Season with salt and pepper.  Using a vegetable peeler, shave Parmesan over vegetables.  Drizzle more dressing if needed.
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Taste the Cancer-Fighting Power of Curcumin

Curcumin has been used for centuries in India and other parts of Southeast Asia as both a cooking spice and a medicine to treat arthritis and gastrointestinal upset. Some studies have shown that curcumin may be helpful in treating or preventing certain cancers including triple negative breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer.

** Please note: if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, consult with your medical team prior to making new additions to your diet or lifestyle changes.

So how can we add curcumin to our diets? Cook with the spice TUMERIC- it’s active ingredient is curcumin.

The recipe below has even more healthy benefits as salmon is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids that provide well-documented benefits for the heart and brain.

Sweet Lemon-Pepper Turmeric Salmon 

(Recipe adapted from Perchance To Cook)

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

¼ cup lemon juice
a large pinch of ground black pepper
¼ tsp + ⅛ tsp of ground turmeric, divided
½ tsp honey or agave nectar
½ pound of salmon (about 8 ounces- use wild salmon if possible)
extra slices of lemon
an extra drizzle of honey

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, a large pinch of ground black pepper, ¼ tsp of ground turmeric, and ½ tsp of honey together.
  2. Place your salmon into a large ziplock bag, pour the lemon mixture into the bag, and put everything into the fridge to marinate for about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Remove the salmon from the bag and place on a cookie sheet. Cover the salmon fillets in two spoonfuls of the mixture from the bag, and then place the salmon skin side up.
  5. Cook for 6 minutes, and then flip the salmon so that it is flesh side up. Then, sprinkle ⅛ tsp of ground turmeric on top of the salmon and sprinkle some more pepper on top. Cover each filet with a slice of lemon and a drizzle of honey.
  6. Cook for 6 more minutes, or until the salmon flakes easily.

Other ways to add tumeric to your diet: 

Try tossing turmeric with roasted vegetables. Cauliflower is especially delicious served this way. You can even sprinkle it on scrambled eggs or soups, or blend it into a smoothie.

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Green Goddess: Healthy Anti-Cancer Smoothie Recipe

 

 

Eating a colorful diet is a good way to make sure you’re getting a variety of vitamins and nutrients that can help prevent cancers. This recipe mixes a few colors from the rainbow and ends up with the “G” in ROY G BIV.

The green goddess smoothie adds a variety of superfoods to your day; you’ll get vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber and antioxidants in this delicious drink.

Ingredients
Serves approximately 4 cups

  • 2 cups of purified water
  • 5 cups of spinach leaves
  • ½ lemon squeezed
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1 ripe pear
  • (Optional) berries and/or a splash of your favorite juice or cider

Directions

  1. In a high speed blender, add all ingredients
  2. Pulse for 2-3 minutes or until items are liquefied

 

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