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Heart Healthy Smoothies for Labor Day

Maintaining cardiovascular health requires year-round attention to a balanced and healthy diet, especially in the warmer summer months. But even as we transition to fall, these heart-healthy smoothies are particularly refreshing:

Banana Ginger Blast: This takes 2 servings. Combine 1 sliced banana, ¾ cup (6 oz) vanilla yogurt, 1 Tbsp honey, and ½ tsp freshly grated ginger. Drinking this healthy beverage will ease digestive aches, heartburn, and nausea due to ginger’s outstanding anti-inflammatory effects.  Moreover, it only carries about 150 calories, 1 gram of fat, and a wide range of antioxidants between the ginger, yogurt, and banana.

Antioxidants Everywhere: To put it mildly, this mixture packs quite the nutritious punch. Combine 3 Tbsp water, 1 green tea bag, 2 tsp honey, 1½ cups frozen blueberries, ½ medium banana, ¾ cup calcium fortified light vanilla soy milk. Microwave the water on high until steaming hot in a small bowl. Add the tea bag and allow 3 minutes of brewing. Remove the tea bag. Stir the honey into the tea until it dissolves. Combine the berries, banana, and milk in a blender with ice crushing ability. Add the tea to a blender. Blend ingredients on ice crush or the highest setting until smooth. Your smoothie is ready! Green tea, blueberries, and a banana all contribute to a heart-healthy diet due to their high levels of antioxidants. In addition to being low in saturated fats, light vanilla soy milk is also a good source of vitamins and minerals. 

Berry Berry Nice: Despite their small size, berries are a rich source of powerful antioxidants. And because of its delicious character, you’ll want to have this beverage first thing in the morning.  Start with 1 cup frozen unsweetened raspberries, ¾ cup chilled unsweetened almond or rice milk, ¼ cup frozen pitted unsweetened cherries or raspberries, 1½ Tbsp honey, 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger,1 tsp ground flaxseed, and 2 tsp fresh lemon juice. With the energy from the raspberries, the vital nutrients from the superfood flaxseed, and the anti-inflammatory effects of the ginger, this drink is the perfect way to kick off your day.

Watermelon Wow – You won’t find any food that tastes quite like watermelon, so treating your taste buds to a smoothie made from one will be a great delight.  Start with 2 cups chopped watermelon, ¼ cup fat-free milk, and 2 cups ice. Make sure the watermelon does not contain any seeds! Combine the watermelon and milk, and blend for 15 seconds, or until smooth. Add the ice, and blend 20 seconds longer, or to your desired consistency. Watermelons are a wonderful source of heart-healthy vitamin C and pantothenic acid.