Pomegranate, Orange & Raspberry Green Smoothie

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Looking for another beginner smoothie?  This nutrient packed smoothie can easily be adjusted as you evolve into a higher vegetable diet.  Sipping on this will help repopulate the gut with good bacteria and provide an ample amount of magnesium, vitamins C & K and helps in detoxification.  This anti-inflammatory drink also has neuroprotective effects and will help to balance neurotransmitters, including glutamate and GABA.

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 c. Kale (use Dino kale for those needing lower oxalate)

1 c. Spinach (sub with Dino kale for those needing lower oxalate)

1/2 c. Pomegranate Seeds (fresh)

1/2 Banana (frozen)

1 c. Raspberries (frozen)

1 Orange (peeled)

1 tbsp. Rose Hips (optional)

1 slice Fresh Ginger (use smaller amounts for those unfamiliar with taste or spice)

1 c. Filtered Water

 

Instructions

Place kale, spinach and water at the bottom or a high powered blender and blend until a juice like consistency.  Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour smoothie into cups and serve. If your child dislikes the color, serve in a stainless steel thermos. If your child has a problem with the texture of the smoothies, freeze them into popsicles.

 

Tidbits

This nutrient packed smoothie can easily be adjusted as you incorporate more vegetables.  Sipping on this will help repopulate the gut with good bacteria and provide an ample amount of magnesium, vitamins C & K and helps in detoxification.  This anti-inflammatory drink also has neuroprotective effects as it high in quercetin and will help to balance neurotransmitters, including glutamate and GABA.  This is higher in phenols/salicylate.

Quercetin- Inhibits glutamate release and is found in onion (highest in red onion), raw chili peppers, asparagus, kale, berries, plums, peppers, broccoli, sophora japonica leaf/flowers “These results suggest that quercetin inhibits glutamate release from rat cortical synaptosomes and this effect is linked to a decrease in presynaptic voltage-dependent Ca(2+) entry and to the suppression of PKC and PKA activity.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23933436

  • Protective effects of onion-derived quercetin on glutamate-mediated hippocampal neuronal cell death “This is the first report on the detailed mechanisms of the protective effect of quercetin on HT22 cells. Onion extract and quercetin may be useful for preventing or treating neurodegenerative disorders.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3793334/

Ginger “From these results, we can say that the ginger extract has a neuroprotective role against monosodium glutamate toxicity effect.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19579948

Vitamin C- Vitamin C is intertwined with glutamate signaling and glutamate release. It has the ability to neutralize free radicals, reduce oxidative stress, improve mitochondrial function and offer protection during glutamate release. The use of whole food sources such as rose hips, guava, kiwi, strawberry, cherry, blackberry, blueberry, raspberry, beet, carrot, spinach, broccoli, kale, cabbage, parsley, brussel sprouts, ginger, cauliflower, cranberries, asparagus, etc. are much preferred over supplementation in my opinion (glutamate risk and may contribute to oxalate issues).

  • “Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties that may prove to be helpful in treating HD. Inside the body, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) changes form to become the negatively charged ascorbate. Ascorbate can then directly neutralize very reactive free radicals by donating its own electrons to them. In this way ascorbate can protect other cell components from oxidation by free radicals. Oxidation can cause cell components to lose their ability to function normally, and excessive oxidative damage may eventually lead to nerve cell death. It has even been found that ascorbate prevents free radicals from oxidizing its fellow vitamin, vitamin E! The release of ascorbate from nerve cells is actually linked to the uptake of another molecule into the nerve cells. This molecule is glutamate, an excitatory neurotransmitter that can be toxic to nerve cells. It can exert toxic effects either when it is present in large amounts or when the nerve cells are overly sensitive to it, as are nerve cells in many people with HD. Because glutamate is excitatory, it is often released by nerve cells during times of motor activity. When it is released by one nerve cell, it travels to the next nerve cell to stimulate it. When glutamate has done its job as messenger, it can either be broken down or taken back up by the nerve cells that released it.
    Researchers found that when glutamate is taken back up by the nerve cells, these cells simultaneously release ascorbate. Because glutamate release is tied to increased production of free radicals, this ascorbate release mechanism might have evolved in order to protect nerve cells. The more glutamate that is released by the nerve cell, the more is taken back up later. Because glutamate is “exchanged” with ascorbate when it goes back into the nerve cell, the cell can regulate how much ascorbate it releases based on how much glutamate was originally released. This mechanism allows the cell to release appropriate amounts of ascorbate because it can measure how much free radical production may have been stimulated by the glutamate release. But glutamate is not the only factor responsible for increasing free-radical formation during this time. When a cell is more active, it has to carry out more metabolic processes, and at a faster rate, which also increases the natural production of free radicals. Therefore, the levels of extracellular ascorbate should be highest during times of motor activity: this is a time when the cells are most likely producing increased levels of free radicals themselves and may need extra protection from glutamate toxicity.” http://web.stanford.edu/group/hopes/cgi-bin/hopes_test/vitamin-c/

Vitamin K- “Vitamin K is very important for GABA and glutamate balance as well, as it is needed for healthy calcium metabolism where it reacts with glutamate and calcium to deliver calcium to the bones and teeth, and it prevents accumulation of excess calcium which would contribute to cell death. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin; however, unlike other fat soluble vitamins, it is not stored in the body and must be consumed on a daily basis. Typically, vitamin K is produced when the friendly flora in our gut process leafy greens, but if dysbiosis is present or you’re not eating leafy greens, then vitamin K is not produced in sufficient numbers and deficiency may develop.

  • The pancreas uses Vitamin K abundantly for sugar regulation. In addition to the brain, the pancreas is also very vulnerable to accumulation of excessive glutamate or other excitotoxins, which will further impair regulation of sugar. As we discussed previously, too much or too little insulin or glucose can both contribute to excess glutamate Therefore, keeping glutamate and GABA in balance is critical for the health of the pancreas and all its functions and the health of the pancreas is vital for maintaining the balance.”http://www.holistichelp.net/…/how-to-increase-gaba-and…/

Pomegranate- “Neuroprotective effects of pomegranate effects are reducing accumulations of amyloid plaques in hippocampus, preventing neuronal tissue loss, modulating GABA and glutamate levels, inhibiting acetylcholine esterase and inhibiting lipid peroxidation in brain.” A comprehensive review of the neuroprotective effects of pomegranate.

Magnesium- found in dark leafy greens, squash seeds, nuts, whole grains, beans and avocado is beneficial in many ways.  Magnesium protects against glutamate damage, sits on the NMDA glutamate receptor, calms cells, helps to raise GABA, improves motility and can help to resolve many various health issues. It is also my understanding that one will quickly burn through magnesium due to neuron firing when in an excitotoxic state (or a flare). Low magnesium is also associated with oxidative stress and a significant fall in cellular glutathione, low vitamin D and a dramatic increase in free radical generation. “improvements in neurological function not only are limited to sensory or motor function but also involve behavior and cognition.” “One of the vital functions for CNS magnesium is modulation of the NMDA glutamate receptor. Low levels of magnesium significantly enhance excitotoxic sensitivity and may be one of the mechanisms by which magnesium depletion precipitates seizures in otherwise healthy individuals. Furthermore, magnesium deficiency has been demonstrated in neurodegenerative disorders, such as AD, where it was correlated with cognitive scores. Patients with lowest magnesium levels had the lowest Global Deterioration Scale scores and Clinical Dementia Ratings. A review of studies found that magnesium may be useful in improving cognitive function and other symptoms in AD patients.”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3307240/#ref61 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3765911/