I was absolutely thrilled when the Thrive Alive Foundation in Canada asked me to develop some healthy anti-cancer smoothies for them. I had a blast creating some different flavoured anti-cancer smoothies for this project, which I will share with you over the coming month. Please support this fantastic non-profit organization that supports cancer patients in Canada with resources for cancer treatments not funded by government or health care plans.
I start with one of my all-time favourite berry smoothies. I make this Brazil nut mixed berry smoothie every week because it is loaded with anti-cancer goodies and tastes absolutely delicious.
I don’t know about you, but I welcome any opportunity to throw berries of all colours and shapes into my smoothies. Berries are small but mighty! Berries are full of anthocyanins that can help repair and protect DNA.They are also rich in cancer-preventing antioxidants that can help prevent the body from oxidizing or rusting. Each colour contains different phytochemicals, so mix it up and try to include as many different varieties as possible.
The best thing about berries? They look and taste divine! Berries are available all-year round fresh or frozen. I have chosen raspberries, blueberries and strawberries for this smoothie, as these berries are the most widely available in most countries. But feel free to use cranberries, blackberries, cherries or any other berries that take your fancy. Different blends will yield smoothies of slightly different personalities. But I haven’t tasted a blend I haven’t enjoyed yet! They are all berry good! I understand that berries can get expensive. To save money, buy fresh berries when they are in season on special and freeze them. You can also find fantastic deals on frozen berries at bulk stores.
Now for the raw nuts and seeds. I love to include raw nuts and seeds in my diet way to boost my immunity. Raw nuts are not only delicious and an extremely versatile way to add flavour and texture to smoothies, but they also contain essential oils and nutrients that boost the immune system and help prevent cancers from forming. I always soak my raw nuts and seeds to remove the anti nutrients and phytates, make them more digestible. To read more about this head to my soaking page of the resources section. Most of us are familiar with raw almonds, cashews and macadamia nuts. But have you ever tried the more exotic Brazil nut? Those of you who made Eva's Brazil Nut Chocolate Milkshake would be familiar with delicious Brazil nut milk. If you are not familliar with raw Brazil nuts, let me introduce you to one of the best kept secrets in the raw nutty world!
Brazil nuts are the jewels of the Amazon. They are rich and creamy and contain the antioxidants quercetin and campferol that may suppress the growth of cancers; as well as methionine, which promotes antioxidant production and combats free radical damage which can help with premature aging. Brazil nuts are also one of the richest sources of selenium - about 2500 times more than any other nut. In fact, just two raw Brazil nuts account for the daily requirement of selenium. Brazil nuts are also a fantastic complete vegetarian protein with a full amino acid profile. They are are also a good source of calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and Vitamin B.
Things to be aware of when purchasing Brazil nuts: the shells contain aflatoxins, which have been linked in some studies to liver cancer. The EU have strict importing regulations for whole Brazil nuts for this reason. Always purchase raw shelled Brazil nuts from a health food store with a high turnover to ensure maximum freshness and quality; and always store Brazil nuts in a sealed glass container in the fridge, as these nuts are even more susceptible to rancidity due to their very high fat content.
I absolutely love to blend Brazil nuts with filtered water to make milk. This “milk” adds a delightful depth of flavour to this berry smoothie. I love the selenium boost that these Brazil nuts bring. But feel free to use raw cashews, raw almonds or raw macadamia nuts and this smoothie also tastes fabulous.
If you are allergic to nuts or just want to make this smoothie more affordable, use soy milk or rice milk. This also tastes delicious.
The final blast of goodness in this smoothie is the addition of the raw ground flaxseeds (also known as linseeds). Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that help to produce cancer-fighting phytonutrients such as lignans. They blend beautifully into smoothies. I try to include one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds into my diet every day. You can also add flaxseed oil to your smoothies. But I prefer ground flaxseeds, as they contain both the fibre and the oil. You can grind your own in a coffee grinder that is not being used for coffee or use a spice grinder.
The cinnamon is optional in this smoothie. This shake tastes great without it. But I think the cinnamon adds a little kick that elevates this smoothie from great to phenomenal! Either way, this nutty fruit smoothie is berry berry good!
I am heading to the airport now to fly to Australia to love on my gorgeous new nephew Sullivan, and to bake allergy free treats with my niece Alexendra. I am so excited I could burst! I will share the fruits of our labour in the coming weeks.