Recipes

Autumn Pear, Spinach and Kale Smoothie

Alessandra Pecorella shares her special recipe for this delicious Autumn smoothie with us. The benefits of all the ingredients combined in this smoothie are tremendous. It’s a low calorie healthy punch, rich in fibre (healthy digestion), vitamins and minerals (healthy immune system, circulation, brain and nervous system, cancer prevention, anti inflammatory).

Recipe

2 brown Packham pears
Generous Handful of spinach ( washed)
2 stalks of curly kale ( leaves off the stalk, washed)
Handful of almonds
Optional pumpkin seeds

Prepare all you ingredients and blend the immediately with 450 ml of fresh spring water. This will yield 700 plus ml of smoothie that can be an excellent breakfast or mid morning snack. I personally have it as lunch.
Store is in a glass bottle and consume within 12 hrs of blending.

Benefits

PEAR

Boost Immune System
Pears help to boost the immune system because they contain antioxidants such as vitamin C and copper which fight off free radicals and disease in the body.
Osteoporosis Prevention
Fruits and vegetables help to maintain a healthy pH level and pears are a good source of boron, which researchers believe may help the body to retain calcium.
Increased Energy Levels Eating a pear can be a great pick-me-up if you feel sluggish in the afternoon.
Digestive Health
Pears contain a lot of fiber, which is essential for a healthy digestive system. Fiber helps to keep food moving efficiently through the colon.
Cancer Prevention Pears contain vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant which is an important part of your body’s cancer fighting arsenal. The fiber content in pears is very effective at promoting colon health.
Healthy Pregnancy
Pears contain 10-20 mcg (about 5% of the RDA) of the natural form of folic acid, folate, and they should be included in a healthy prenatal diet.

SPINACH

Flavonoids — a phytonutrient with anti-cancer properties abundant in spinach — have been shown to slow down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells. Furthermore, spinach has shown significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer.

Anti-Inflammatory
Neoxanthin and violaxanthin are two anti-inflammatory epoxyxanthophylls that play an important role in regulation of inflammation and are present in unusual amounts in spinach.

Antioxidants
The vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium present in spinach all serve as powerful antioxidants that combat the onset of osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and high blood pressure.
Blood Pressure spinach have been shown to effectively lower blood pressure.

Vision
Both antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are especially plentiful in spinach and protect the eye from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Immunity
One cup of spinach contains over 337% of the RDA of vitamin A that not only protects and strengthens “entry points” into the human body, such as mucous membranes, respiratory, urinary and intestinal tracts, but is also a key component of lymphocytes (or white blood cells) that fight infection.

Skin
The high amount of vitamin A in spinach also promotes healthy skin by allowing for proper moisture retention in the epidermis, thus fighting psoriasis, keratinization, acne and even wrinkles.

Bones
One cup of boiled spinach provides over 1000% of the RDA of vitamin K that is essential for maintaining the strength and density of our bones.

Brain and Nervous Function
The abundance of vitamin K in spinach contributes greatly to a healthy nervous system and brain function by providing an essential part for the synthesis of sphingolipids, the crucial fat that makes up the Myelin sheath around our nerves.

KALE

Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fibre content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below. Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more. Kale is high in Vitamin K. necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and blood clotting. It is filled with powerful antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. Kale contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders. High in Vitamin C for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration. High in calcium, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility. Kale is a great detox food rich in fibre and sulphur.

ALMOND

Good for your brain: Almonds are a source of many nutrients which help in the development and health of the human brain. Almonds have been connected to a higher intellectual level and they have long been considered an essential food item for growing children. Almonds also contain two vital brain nutrients, riboflavin and L-carnitine, which have been shown to increase brain activity, resulting in new neural pathways and a decreased occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that almonds in the diet, as well as almond oil, is nutritive to the overall health and functioning of the nervous system.

Regulation of cholesterol: Regular consumption of almonds helps to increase the level of high density lipoproteins (HDL)and they reduce the level of low density lipoproteins (LDL).
Bone Health: Almonds are a fantastic source of many vitamins and minerals, and phosphorous. Phosphorous can have a considerable impact on the strength and durability of bones and teeth, while also preventing the onset of age-related conditions like osteoporosis.
Good for your heart: The mono-unsaturated fats, protein and potassium contained in almonds are all instrumental in heart health. Vitamin E is an effective antioxidant and also reduces the risk of heart diseases, while the presence of magnesium in almonds can help avoid heart attacks. Almonds help reduce the presence and impact of C-reactive proteins which causes artery-damaging inflammation. Almonds are also a great source of folic acid. Therefore, they help to reduce the level of homocysteine, which causes fatty plaque buildup in arteries. Furthermore, the flavonoids in the skin of almonds combines with Vitamin E to form a powerful shield against artery wall damage.
Immune System Strength: Almonds contribute to alkalise the ph of our body. they have a high content of Vitamin E, . Antioxidants like the Vitamin E found in almonds affect all major diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Research has actually shown that people who ingest high levels of Vitamin E are actually 30-40% less likely to contract heart disease.
Anti-Inflammation: .Almonds have two very important fatty acids, both linoleic and linolenic acids. Those fatty acids help to reduce inflammation all around the body. The fatty acids also help to reduce the levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), and they promote healthy skin and hair! All in all, almonds pack a powerful, healthy punch.
Regulation of blood pressure: The potassium present in almonds helps to regulates blood pressure, and almonds are very low in sodium, which helps to control fluctuating blood pressure.
Boosts energy: The presence of manganese, copper and Riboflavin in almonds helps in energy production and metabolic rate.
Protection against diabetes: Almonds also help to reduce the reactionary rise inglucose and insulin levels after meals. This modulation offers protection from the dangerous spikes in blood sugar which diabetics often suffer from following a large meal, or a meal with an unexpectedly high level of sugar in it. Almonds help regulate the abrosption and processing of glucose, making the entire process much smoother, and subsequently safer.
Good for pregnancy: Almonds contain folic acid, which helps reduce the incidence of birth defects in newborn babies. It also stimulates healthy cell growth and tissue formation. Neural tube defects are conditions where the neural tube is either underdeveloped or is partially missing in the fetus. Doctors regularly prescribe folic acid supplements to pregnant women to ensure proper development of the tube, and almonds have enough folic acid to keep mothers and their babies healthy.
Weight loss: Unsweetened almond milk can be used if you are attempting to lose weight. The mono-unsaturated fat contained in almonds satisfies appetite and prevents over-eating. The dietary fiber in almonds also contributes to the sensation of being full, despite eating only a small amount. Studies have revealed that an almond-rich, low calorie diet is good for obese people to assist in shedding their excess weight.
Prevention of constipation: Almonds are rich in fiber, and like most other fiber-rich foods, almonds help prevent constipation.

View Alessandra’s teaching schedule.