Written by Dr. Filza Swalah, ND
Summer is finally here and without doubt, we are busier than ever. From summer barbeques to hitting up the cottage, we’ve got things to do, places to be and people to meet. With all the hustle and bustle around us, the last thing we want to be is too exhausted to enjoy the rest of the summer. Or worse, not get enough of the vital nutrients and minerals to function optimally in the long run!
One way to ensure you are fueling your body for optimal health, wellness and activity is by making sure you are putting nutritious foods into your body.
First things first, think about your fruits and vegetables intakes. Growing up, we were always told to eat our vegetables. Ingrained in our minds from an early age, yet how many adults do you think actually eat enough of the green stuff? Well, according to the CDC, only 1 in 10 adults eat enough fruits and vegetables.11 in 10! Think about you in relation to others in your family, do you tend to eat more or less plants than them? Chances are, even if you are the one who typically eats more plants – you are probably still not eating enough. And it’s understandable, it’s hard to eat the recommended amount. In fact, 52% of individuals in survey said they faced barriers eating Health Canada’s fruits and vegetable intake recommendations because of taste preferences, lack of free time, dietary and cultural restrictions, and a lack of availability in their area.2
Now, “enough” is a subjective term and we know that as humans we are all unique and have unique needs. With the plethora of research citing a thousand-and-one reasons we should be eating a variety of fruit and veggies throughout the day it’s not unreasonable to assume the average person would benefit from an increase in their intake.
Enter – functional superfoods. Functional Superfoods can be powders, juices, bars, that are formulated with high-dose beneficial ingredients like greens, herbal extracts, plant oils, and more to help someone – like you - increase their intake of necessary nutrients in a small, easy-to-take package.
One such functional superfood is VegeGreens.3 It’s a source of antioxidants. In fact, it has the antioxidant equivalent to 6-8 servings of vegetables! It contains unique vegetables like alfalfa, barley greens, spirulina, chlorella, beet root and more. And the cherry on top? It has herb & botanical extractsfor extra support like ginkgo biloba, Siberian ginseng and more! VegeGreens also comes in 4 delicious flavours like Pineapple Coconut and Cucumber Mint. So, munch on a stalk of celery or sip on a cool glass of Cucumber Mint flavoured VegeGreens? That’s practically a no brainer.
Another amazing Superfood option is PhytoBerry,which is a higher concentrated berry based whole food supplement that is loaded with over 30 fruit concentrates, phytonutrients, and plant oils. With whole body antioxidant protection in mind, a single serving of PhytoBerry is a great source of antioxidants for the maintenance of good health! 4
Another extremely important nutrient to include is protein because it has many important roles in the body. Protein helps to build and repair body tissues.5 A very important questions to ask yourself is …. are you getting enough protein? Health Canada recommends that most adults consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.6 This means that someone who is 150 lbs (68 kgs) should be consuming about 54.4 grams of protein/day.
If you aren’t getting enough protein, one delicious and easy way of doing so is with Harmonized Protein.5 This protein is like no other. The cattle that produce the milk used to create these proteins are grass fed year round and raised without the use of growth regulating steroids or milk inducing hormones (including rBGH). Harmonized Protein also contains a family of botanical ingredients that includes Betula pubescens, Zea mays, Bitter Gourd, and Spirulina, for added nutrition and support.
While these superfoods come in a myriad of delicious flavours, one of my favourite ways to use it is in a delicious smoothie! You can have this smoothie on your way to the cottage or poolside!
Piña Colada Superfood Smoothie
- 1 scoop Unflavoured Harmonized Protein
- 1 scoop Pineapple Coconut VegeGreens
- Handful of kale or spinach
- 1 small frozen banana
- ½ cup frozen pineapple
- 1 cup water or coconut milk
- Start by adding ¾ cup of the liquid and all the kale or spinach to the blender. Blend on high to get all the leafy chunks broken down.
- Add remainder of ingredients to blender and blend on low speed and increase to high.
- Continue blending on high speed for 50-60 seconds until mixture is smooth. At this point you can add the remaining ¼ cup liquid if you want a slightly thinner smoothie!
- Pour into glasses and enjoy!
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017, November 16). Only 1 in 10 Adults Get Enough Fruits or Vegetables. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p1116-fruit-vegetable-consumption.html.
- CBC/Radio Canada. (2019, March 14). More than half of Canadians may have trouble adopting new food guide, survey suggests | CBC News. CBCnews. https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/canada-food-guide-survey-half-of-canadians-face-barriers-1.5056251.
- Health Canada – Product Information, VegeGreens. Accessed 07/26/2021 at: https://health-products.canada.ca/lnhpd-bdpsnh/info.do?licence=80107985
- Health Canada - Product Information, Accessed 07/26/2021 at:https://health-products.canada.ca/lnhpd-bdpsnh/info.do?licence=80036256.
- Health Canada - Product Information,Harmonized Protein. Accessed 07/26/2021 at:https://health-products.canada.ca/lnhpd-bdpsnh/info.do?licence= 80038541.
- Health Canada. (Nov 2010) Dietary Reference Intakes Reference Values for Macronutrients. Retrieved on Feb 15, 2018 from: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/hc-sc/migration/hc-sc/fn-an/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/nutrition/dri_tables-eng.pdf