Heart healthy green smoothie No. 4: The fibre firecracker!

Today we’re moving beyond basic green smoothies into health warrior territory! Black beans in my morning smoothie! What? This might seem a little weird at first, but if you think about Mexican cuisine, you remember that black beans, cinnamon, and chocolate were born to have parties together!

Benefits of this green smoothie

  • Black beans are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods. They’re full of protein, fibre, and powerful antioxidant phytonutrients called anthocyanins. These flavonoids are the same ones which give blueberries their amazing health benefits and help to reduce cancer risk. Black beans are high in folate which helps to reduce levels of homocysteine (which you want to keep low to reduce heart disease risk), and full of fibre which reduces  blood cholesterol as well as stabilises blood sugar.  A one-cup serving of black beans contains 15 grams of fibre which would be the equivalent of eating 4 cups of brussel sprouts or 15 plums!
  • Chia seeds. The health benefits of chia are numerous.  They help to slow down digestion and minimise blood sugar spikes thereby reducing inflammation markers including c-reactive protein. They’re fibre rich: a 1 oz. serving has 11 g of fibre (more than 1/3 of the RDA), they’re full of Omega 3 fats which are great for heart and brain health, they fight belly fat, improve blood pressure, and help you feel full faster.
  • Cinnamon is another fantastic ingredient that helps your metabolism by regulating your blood sugar, and increases your glucose metabolism about 20-fold! It’s high on the antioxidant list: the scant 1 tsp in this recipe has an ORAC value of 2190. One caveat with cinnamon: make sure you choose ceylon or “true” cinnamon vs. cassia cinnamon. Most standard supermarket cinnamon is the cheaper cassia kind that contains coumarin which can act like a a toxin if you ingest more than the daily allowable amount. If you want to reap the sizeable heart healthy benefits from taking larger doses of cinnamon (like in this recipe), you will want to get yourself some ceylon cinnamon. I buy big bulk bags of ceylon cinnamon sticks, and then grind up a few at a time to last me a week or so.
  • Cocoa/cacao powder: Dark chocolate is good for your cardiovascular health. This review of 136 research publications found that cocoa and chocolate may exert beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk via effects on lowering blood pressure, anti-inflammation, anti-platelet function, higher HDL, and decreased LDL oxidation. Because cocoa antioxidants block LDL oxidation, they can prevent plaque formation, improving circulation and lowering your risk of heart disease.A recent meta-analysis found that the highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in heart disease.
  • Fibre! This green smoothie recipe contains 27.5g of Fibre, or 100% of the RDA! Job done. (Spinach: 7g.  Black beans: 7.5g. Orange: 2g. Banana:3g. Chia seeds: 8g.)

Heart healthy green smoothie No. 4: The fibre firecracker!

Today we're moving beyond basic green smoothies into health warrior territory! Black beans in my morning smoothie! What? This might seem a little weird at first, but if you think about Mexican cuisine, you remember that black beans, cinnamon, and chocolate were born to have parties together!
Course Green Smoothies
Cuisine Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Refined Sugar Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2
Author Laura Livesey

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spinach
  • ½ cup black beans
  • 1