For those who have been following Iron-ic Wellbeing on social media over the last few weeks, you will be aware that we’ve been holidaying in stunning Switzerland. What a spectacular location for nature and adventure lovers alike – snow tipped mountains, glorious waterfalls, fabulous alpine hikes, locally produced cheese and chocolate (well, we were on holidays afterall…), genuine cows with bells and all day entertainment provided by paragliders and base jumpers within seemingly touching distance! What a lifestyle and it was very easy to assimilate into village life with its incredibly welcoming people and their positive, not to mention orderly, attitude. I’ll be writing more on “Swissisms” and their approach to life in coming weeks.
However, all good things must come to an end and so we find ourselves back home and gearing up to return to normal life. I must admit that despite drinking a well full of water, teas and and herbal tisanes on the plane flight home, and attempting to sleep in accordance with the local Australian timezone, I am suffering from the jetlag blues – day time grogginess, night time insomnia, clouded thinking and what little coordination I did have has mysteriously all but disappeared.
So today I pulled my sorry self outside and into Melbourne’s spasmodic but sufficient sunshine for a long walk and upon returning prepared this hydrating and “jetlag beating” Smoothie with only three ingredients – green tea, blueberries and banana.
Green Tea – I’ve been reading a lot about the multiple health benefits of green tea lately, and boy, there is a list as long as my arm. Whilst those of us with haemochromatosis are already aware that green tea is a powerful iron chelating agent and acts to inhibit iron absorption, one of the more interesting facts I also discovered is that tea (both green and black) is actually hydrating! Contrary to common belief that tea is dehydrating due to its caffeine levels, it is now understood that tea provides hydration benefits similar to water, with additional upsides including:
- An antioxidant powerhouse that increases energy, helps to balance blood sugar levels and fight the signs of ageing by increasing tissue strength
- Metabolism boosting and key to assisting with weight loss and bloating
- A partner in the war against bad cholesterol (whilst increasing good cholesterol), free radicals, fungal and bacterial infections
- Promotion of mental agility, combined with stress beating properties
Blueberries contain bioflavonoids and phenolic acid which tend to bind iron and prevent its absorption. In addition to this obvious benefit for those of us with haemochromatosis, blueberries are also a powerful antioxidant, are anti-inflammatory and a known “brain food”, helping to boost concentration and focus (which goodness knows I need right now).
Bananas are low in iron but rich in potassium and magnesium and also increase the production of melatonin, which is known to reduce the impacts of jetlag.
Using green tea as a smoothie base really does take the health benefits of a smoothie to the next level! Any chilled green tea can be used for this recipe, however for ease of use, and because I just love the flavour, I used a Green Tea in 3 Seconds Green Tea with Blueberries instant sachet. Note –I’m in no way affiliated with Green Tea in 3 Seconds, nor being paid for this mention. I just happen to think they are an amazingly innovative Australian business which is worthy of support AND more to the point, I love their organic products which are so handy and transportable for those of us with haemochromatosis. You can check them out here.
Another trick is to make green tea ice cubes to ensure you always have a ready supply of icy tea for use in your smoothies. I’ve also been known to pop these cubes into soups, sauces and casseroles as a clever way to offset iron absorption.
Whichever green tea method you choose – chilled tea, instant sachets or ice cubes – get blending and enjoy!
3 Ingredient Hydration Boosting Smoothie (AKA Kicking Jetlag to the Kerb)
1 cup green tea (or 6 ice cubes)
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Place all ingredients into your blender and blend to your desired consistency.
TIP: This is also a great smoothie for preparing or recovering from a venesection given its hydrating and antioxidant boosting properties.
If you tried this recipe and loved it, let me know by leaving a comment below!