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Spring In Your Step – Rhubarb Strawberry Smoothie

 First Ferment Water Kefir

 

3 strawberries

1 cup spinach

2-3 sprigs thyme

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 stalk rhubarb

1 banana

1 tsp honey

1.5c first ferment water kefir

optional- 1 scoop of protein powder

Combine all ingredients into blender and add ice. Blend and enjoy!

 

Team Happy Gut wants to share how heart health, water kefir, strawberries and rhubarb all connect together. 

Heart Health

We are all striving to keep our tickers as healthy as possible, and our smoothie this week features two mighty ingredients to help prevent heart disease.

As always, the rich probiotics in water kefir provide an incredible base for prevention and intervention with various diseases. There are many studies around how probiotics help keep your heart healthy, but they tend to be full of scientific jargon. To make it simple, probiotics help produce T-Cells in the body, boosting the immune system, and fighting the build up of cholesterol. They also create acids that counter cholesterol production in the first place, making water kefir a great option for people who want to stay healthy, and for those who want to get healthy. If you are interested in checking out one of the many studies, follow the link below:

 

Potential of probiotics in controlling cardiovascular diseases

 

So there it is. The probiotics in water kefir alone can help your heart. But what about if you wanted to supercharge your brew? Spring is here, and that means that fresh rhubarb and strawberries are readily available. Not only are they tangy and delicious, but did you know that both fruits also help to prevent and combat heart disease?

 

Strawberries are an easy one to identify for heart health, as they already look like little versions of one of our most important organs. Strawberries activate a protein called Nrf2 which makes strawberries a great antioxidant and also helps to reduce LDL, the “bad” cholesterol. Strawberries are also natural anti-inflammatories, and help lower C-reactive proteins, making them powerful allies for preventing and reducing the risk of heart disease.

Who knew that these delicious berries also had so many benefits!?

 

Rhubarb is this week’s other super booster. Rhubarb can help increase the levels of good cholesterol, especially since it is high in fibre. So make sure you use rhubarb stalks in your smoothies, for the extra heart helping boost, and a nice, tangy punch to your brew. Rhubarb is also full of antioxidants, which help to ensure that free-radicals don’t accumulate and cause heart disease. What an underrated fruit! The rhaponticin in rhubarb also helps stabilize blood sugars, and can help prevent/combat diabetes, further        decreasing your risk for related heart disease.

 

PRO TIP: Remember, diet and exercise are important for maintaining heart health! Adding water kefir to your healthy diet, and spending 30 minutes per day on light exercise can greatly reduce your risk for heart disease.

 

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