At Lifeway, our favorite time of year is always spring – when the weather gets warmer, the days get longer and the rain starts pouring. You read that right, we love rain. Why? Well, like the old adage says, with April showers come May flowers. More precisely, May produce. We love spring because it means we have access to fresh fruits and vegetables in every shape, size and color we could want.
Fresh fruit for smoothies and parfaits, crisp crudite for salads and snacks. You name a crop, we can come up with something to do with it. We don’t just love fruits and veggies because of the delicious things we can make with them. We also love them for the incredible things they do for our bodies.
Colorful fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes called phytonutrients or phytochemicals. These enzymes serve various functions in plant development and have been shown to be beneficial to human health.
Phytonutrients exists in different concentrations in different colored fruits and vegetables, hence why it’s important to eat, or drink, a variety of colors when you reach choose your produce.
When it comes to red fruits and veggies, there are tons of options to choose from: apples, cherries, raspberries, tomatoes, cranberries, beets – the list goes on! Our favorite of the bunch, at least right now, is the strawberry.
Plump, sweet and juice, strawberries are perfect for snacking and for blending up in powerful kefir smoothies. They contain lots of vitamin C and are high in manganese and fiber as well. But back to the phytonutrients. In terms of phytonutrients, they also contain:
Flavonoids/flavonols – help reduce free radical damage to cells. Free radical damage can lead to a variety of dangerous health issues, including cancer
Anthocyanins – anthocyaninis also fight free radical damage and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties
Ellagitannins – ellagitannins and ellagic acid help stimulate your body’s natural “recycling” process and helps protect your body from aging
Had enough science for the day? So have we. The point is this: red-colored fruits and vegetables, including succulent strawberries, provide a myriad of health benefits and should be abundant in your diet. Even better, they’re delicious when blended with kefir (and Frozen Kefir!) in recipes. Try our new favorite Strawberry Kefir Float.
Strawberry Kefir Float
- 1 cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir
- 6 large strawberries, sliced
- 2 bananas, sliced and frozen
- 1 heaping scoop Lifeway Original Frozen Kefir, to garnish
Place all ingredients into your blender in the order listed above, except for the frozen kefir. Blend on high until desired consistency is reached. Pour smoothie into your cup, top with frozen kefir and enjoy!