To keep our brains in tip-top shape it’s a smart move to go deep green daily, like with this spinach pear smoothie below. A study published in Neurology that monitored more than 7,000 adults ages 45 and older over an average of 16 (from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys) found that high blood levels of the antioxidant duo lutein and zeaxanthin, which are present in dark leafy greens, corn, egg yolk, peas and pistachios, may be associated with a lower risk for dementia.
Beta-cryptoxanthin, found in winter squash, carrots, sweet potato, papaya, oranges and peaches, was another antioxidant linked to improved brain functioning. It’s likely these antioxidants help limit the amount of oxidative damage to brain cells that can contribute to memory and other brain malfunctions. That makes this verdant smoothie a smart move to help recover better. Makes one serving.
Spinach Pear Protein Smoothie
3/4 C milk or unsweetened dairy-free milk
1/2 C plain Greek yogurt
1 scoop plain or vanilla protein powder
1 ripe pear, cored and quartered
2 T hemp hearts (optional)
2 t honey
1/2 t ginger powder
1 C frozen chopped spinach
Place milk, yogurt, protein powder, pear, hemp hearts (if using), honey, ginger and spinach in a blender container and blend until very smooth.