Lately our newspapers, radios and tv screens are filled with tragedy and sadness and I find myself reading, listening and watching in complete disbelief as I witness our world drifting under a troubled and dark cloud. It really unsettles me that human kindness seems to be getting further removed from our lives on a daily basis and my heart goes out to all those affected by all the recent events. I keep praying that we can find a way to bring metta (loving kindness) back into our world and I am reminded daily just how important it is as a parent to teach my children that each one of us, regardless of race, colour or religion are all equal and everyone should have access to the same rights and privileges without fearing for their lives or seeking refuge.
It seems too trivial to blog about food or insignificant things, but sadly life goes on, so for now I am holding onto the positives and relishing in the small gifts we receive on a daily basis. One of these gifts is being able to enjoy time with my kids as schools have closed for the summer and what’s better still it seems like we have finally been blessed with beautiful sunshine (a rather rare occurrence here in the UK). Definitely the ideal weather to enjoy smoothies as they offer that perfect balance of something cold, refreshing, filling and equally nutritious. I am so excited today to share with you my new recipe using the fabulous Aguaje from Minvita (I love their products)!
Aguaje, which is pronounced ‘Ah-gua-hay’, is the name used in Peru for the fruit of the palm tree which grows all over the Amazon regions of Brazil and Peru. I believe they call it ‘Buriti’ in Brazil and ‘Moriche Palm’ in other places. This extraordinary fruit is particular high in beta carotene (vitamin A) and is said to have 7-12 times more vitamin A than carrots. Vitamin A is a great dietary source for kids and pregnant woman and is really important during reproduction. It plays an essential role in embryogenesis, vision and maintaining healthy bones, teeth, soft tissue and skin.
Research shows that a diet high in carotenoids (including beta carotene) may reduce the risk of ovarian and breast cancer in pre- and postmenopausal women and the evidence suggests that it is the antioxidant abilities of carotenoids that reduces the proliferation of cancer cells. Studies compared the associated benefits between vitamin A obtained from food sources compared to those from supplements and it was evident that supplements did not deliver the same results. Interestingly another couple of studies looked at the use of beta-carotene supplements and lung cancer and these indicated an increased risk in lung cancer (especially when the subjects drank more than one unit of alcohol each day). Whilst supplements have their place, it is always better to obtain your nutrients from food as we know that a diet high in carotenoids obtained from fruit and vegetables is important in the prevention of cancer.
One of the biggest selling points of Aguaje is that it is especially well-known for its phytoestrogen properties. Phytoestrogens mimic the female hormone oestrogen by binding to oestrogen receptors and thereby tricking the body in thinking that it has sufficient levels of oestrogen. It is therefore highly effective in balancing hormones during menopause and alleviating hot flushes and all the other associated menopause symptoms. Phytoestrogens also support fertility and some argue puberty. Apart from this it seems to be the perfect superfruit for those females yearning for the perfect curvy female figure, as it is said to help shape the female figure by putting curves in all the right places, which is done through its hormone stimulating properties (although I will add that despite hundreds of positive personal accounts, there is little scientific information to back these findings). Over and above this Buriti oil is well-known for increasing collagen and keeping the skin young and radiant by reducing wrinkles, lines and scars and also used to protect against the harmful rays of the sun.
So there is no doubt that if you are a female this is definitely a superfruit you want to add to your daily routine.
So to summarise here are some of the benefits of Aguaje
- Helps to balance hormones
- Controls hot flushes and other associated menopausal symptoms
- Boost collagen and keeps skin young and radiant
- Protects the skin from sun damage
- High in Vitamin A, E and C
- Shapes the female figure
I hope you enjoy this smoothie (I know my little monkeys sure do) and remember I would love to hear your feedback so please leave me a comment. To ensure you get notified when my next post is out, click the subscribe button on the top right hand corner of my blog.
- Osiecki, H (2015). The Nutrient Bible