Disclosure: This post is sponsored by DOLE, but all opinions are my own.
If you are an avid reader of my blog you probably know how much I adore all things Disney. So when another favorite of mine, DOLE, asked me to develop a recipe inspired by the upcoming Disney/Pixar film Cars 3, I was fueled up and ready to go!!When I think of food as fuel, I think of smoothies. Especially green smoothies! But it can be challenging to craft a green smoothie that you CRAVE. Luckily, I have one for you today. My Green Fuel Protein Shake is a citrus-infused, creamy and protein-boosted green smoothie. It is so tasty that you will totally forget how many greens and other healthy things are in here!The recipe serves two, but I always drink it all myself. Proper green smoothies should leave you chugging them. Fuel up your day with today’s recipe and hear more about Cars 3, National Eat More Fruit and Veggies Day and how to enter to win an adventure road trip prize woth over $10,000!.. Fuel your body with this sunshine-filled, sweet and creamy green smoothie! I have been drinking this all week long and it keeps me super hydrated while filling my body with lots of nourishing plant foods!
In addition to today’s smoothie-tastic, Disney-fied recipe, I also want to celebrate National Eat More Fruit and Veggies Day (which is May 25th, aka today!) with a few fun facts.
But first, What is National Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day? It is a national holiday created by the Dole Nutrition Institute (DNI) and others in 2015 to encourage greater produce consumption and help reverse various negative health trends, among them improper diet and inadequate exercise as the leading causes of preventable death.
..Aka, to get more people to embrace MORE fruit and veggies in their daily meals. I am so on board for that.
More plants = a very good thing.
The DOLE Nutrition Institute – a super cool place I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago..
Fruit and Veggie Fun Facts, from the DOLE Nutrition Institute:
* Eat greens to feed your brain! Folate-packed foods like asparagus and salad greens have been linked to lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia in women.
* Strawberries promote heart health. In a study from the University of Toronto, patients at risk for heart disease saw a 13% drop in bad LDL cholesterol after adding three cups of strawberries to their diets. Strawberries also support brain function and are high in vitamin C, fiber and manganese – all for only 46 calories per cup!
* Pineapples are a wonder healer. This sweet, tropical fruit is the only source of an enzyme called bromelain, which has been proved to reduce inflammation, provide pain relief and help skin injuries heal faster. It may even alleviate asthma symptoms.
* Down with Diabetes, Up with Broccoli! British researchers found that sulforaphane – an indirect antioxidant in broccoli – reduced production of free radicals by 73%, protecting blood vessels from damage that quadruples the risk of heart disease, a condition people with diabetes are five times more likely to develop.
* Blueberries…in outer space! Researchers at Tufts University believe that blueberries may someday protect astronauts against the radiation-induced free radical damage experienced during extended space flight.
* Strong to the finish … Cuz I eats me spinach! Spinach may be one of the healthiest foods on earth, supporting six body systems: heart, eyes, brain, skin, bones and immunity. Popeye’s favorite food may even help maintain mental sharpness and reduce risk of certain cancers, according to preliminary research.
* Bananas top the charts worldwide. The iconic yellow fruit is not only North America’s most popular produce, it is also one of the most-purchased single items in the supermarket – not only in the U.S. and Canada but around the world.
* Cauliflower can fight prostate cancer? Cauliflower contains glucosinolates, which may trigger your body’s own natural defense systems. Canadian scientists found that men with prostate cancer who ate cauliflower more than once per week cut their risk of the cancer turning aggressive by more than 50%. (Whoa!)
* Grapefruit, a (not-so-hidden) weight-loss secret. The old “grapefruit diet” has finally been proven by science. Researchers at the Scripps Clinic found that people who ate half a grapefruit with every meal for 12 weeks lost an average of 3.6 pounds, while those who drank grapefruit juice three times a day lose 3.3 pounds.
Many subjects lost more than 10 pounds in the study!
* Kiwi fruit: An ancient Chinese secret. While New Zealand is nearly synonymous with kiwi, the sweet, exotic fruit originally came from China in the early 20th century. Each kiwi fruit contains more than the Daily Value of vitamin C and is a heart-healthy food. Eating two to three kiwis a day can even significantly lower blood clot risk!