For those of you who don’t know, our Queen Bee spent many years in Hawaii. Those impressionable years impacted our hive, and you will find odes to the island life peppered amongst our menu and décor. If you have not yet tried the 808, this smoothie spotlight will surely have your tastebuds tantalized!
808: Mango, banana, coconut butter, coconut palm sugar,
lime juice, vanilla-infused salt, spirulina, coconut water,
ginger, coconut-hemp mylk
For nearly 4,000 years, the mango tree has been cultivated in India and Southeast Asia. Today, “the king of fruits” continues to be grown in India, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Central America, Africa and Australia. The mango fruit has over a hundred varieties, each of which differs in shape, size and taste. The unripe green skin transitions to golden yellow, red or orange red in ripe fruit.
The nutrient breakdown of mangos resembles that of a multivitamin’s nutrition facts label. Almost all vitamins and minerals are present in mangos, in varying degrees. A 100g serving provides nearly 50% of the RDA for vitamin A and about 30-40% of the RDA for vitamin C. Alongside the daily dose of vitamin A are carotenoids, which are converted to vitamin A within the body.
Eating the rainbow, or consuming a diverse range of food, provides a bounty of polyphenols, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The vibrant orange, red, yellow and green hues of mangos are just one example of this bounty. Mangos are known to provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and play a role in scavenging free radical. The anti-inflammatory role of mangos has been tested in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease. Aside from the juicy interior, the whole mango is used from the stem to the skin and seed.
One serving of banana (one medium fruit) provides nearly 25% of the RDA for potassium. Bananas are rich sources of vitamin A, B, C and D, aiding in healthy immune function, bone and tissue growth, and the absorption of calcium. Not only are bananas nutrient dense, they are an excellent food source for digestive health. Banana’s non-digestible fibers help maintain healthy bowel activity. Better yet, bananas contain prebiotics, food for the healthy bacteria in our gut. So aside from making your smoothie creamy and delicious, you are helping your second brain, your gut!
We’ve touched on the difference between coconut oil and coconut butter in our post about the Queen Bee. To quickly summarize, coconut oil is the extracted fat from coconut meat, while coconut butter is extracted fat plus fibrous shreds from the meat.
Coconut based products have been in the spotlight due to their saturated fat content. Saturated fats are thought induce inflammatory effects and increase risks for cardiovascular disease. However, not all saturated fats are created equal. Coconut butter contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs do not require digestion prior to absorption; therefore, they provide quick source of energy.
Coconut Palm Sugar
Coconut palm sugar comes from none other than the coconut palm tree! The sugar is made from the sap, that is extracted, boiled and dehydrated. Coconut palm sugar resembles brown sugar, both in taste and color. The uniqueness of this sugar is that it contains nearly 80% sucrose with the remaining percentages to fructose and glucose. For reference, cane sugar contains about 50% fructose. The body preferentially uses glucose for energy and storage. Fructose has limited use within the body. Generally, fructose is sent to the liver for processing upon absorption, whereas glucose can be sent throughout the body to tissues in need of energy. Excess fructose is eventually converted to triacylglycerol and sent to adipose or muscle tissue. Though there are differences between the digestion, absorption and use of fructose and glucose, they are both simple sugars and are recommended to be consumed in moderation.
Was Harry Nilsson on to something when he lyricized about a doctor’s recommendation for putting the lime in the coconut? Like most other citrus fruits, limes are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Pre-research labs and retrospective studies, the health benefits of limes were tested among sailors in the 1600s and 1700s. As scurvy became an epidemic among sailors, the English Navy opted to treat this disease with lemons, thinking the acid was the cure. Eventually, limes were substituted for lemons and scurvy disappeared. Turns out it was the vitamin C content, not the acid, that cured the scurvy outbreak. More recently, the antioxidant properties of limes have been evaluated with regard to cancerous cells. Researchers at Texas A&M University concluded lime extract inhibited the growth of pancreatic cancer cells. Other studies have evaluated its effects on colon and breast cancer, and lymphoma.
If you see salt on our smoothie menu, you might initially be turned off. But we highly recommended giving it a shot! Singing Dog Vanilla produces a Celtic sea salt infused with organic vanilla for the ultimate sweet and savory combo.
Singing Dog works with hundreds of vanilla producers throughout Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. These farmers are paid market price for their vanilla beans and Singing Dog shares a percentage of their sales with these farmers. Though these vanilla products are slightly pricery than its competitors, Singing Dog guarantees organically grown, non-GMO and high-quality products. Better yet, their mission is to provide fair trade and sustainability for all parties involved in the sourcing and production of their products.
Spirulina is a cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, that grows in aquatic ecosystems. The earliest recorded consumption of this superfood dates back to the Aztec civilization. Blue-green algae contain bioactive compounds, that impart many nutritive and health benefits.
One tablespoon of spirulina contains 4 grams of protein, 11% of the RDA for vitamin B1, 15% of the RDA for vitamin B2, 21% of the RDA for copper and 11% of the RDA for iron. For plant-based consumers, spirulina is an excellent source of protein and iron. When consuming spirulina for its iron content, be sure to pair it with vitamin C to ensure adequate absorption! Spirulina contains all amino acids, deeming it a complete protein. The one downside to spirulina is its B12 content. The form found in spirulina is inactive in the human body; therefore, confers no benefit.
Nutrition aside, spirulina research points toward antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune responses. It has also been evaluated for its ability to reduce allergies and improve blood lipid levels. Interested in learning more about the research on spirulina? Check out these three research studies 1, 2, 3.
Between coconut oil, milk, butter, meat, water and coconut palm sugar, nearly all the coconut is used – something we stand behind. Coconut water is as the name sounds, the liquid found within young, green coconuts. It contains nearly 95% water, as compared to 50% water found in coconut milk.
The most common use of coconut water is hydration. It contains ample electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. In addition to these nourishing components, coconut water contains vitamin C, fiber and carbohydrates.
Emerging research looks at the benefit of coconut water on kidney stone prevention, antioxidant function, heart health and blood pressure. Most of the research has been performed in labs, with some only on animal studies; therefore, more needs to be performed in order to provide accurate findings.
The ginger plant grows leafy stems with beautiful flowers, but it is the root that provides its culinary and therapeutic use. Today, ginger grows all around the world from China to India to South America, Africa and the Middle East.
Ginger is a powerful flavoring agent, as a little bit goes a long way. The flavor profile of ginger can be difficult to describe: it is slightly peppery and warming with a subtle sweetness. Despite the descriptive dilemma, it is a complementary flavor in both spicy and sweet dishes.
The therapeutic benefits of ginger are wide ranging, including its use for motion sickness, diarrhea, gas, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, and morning sickness. Ginger has also been used in the treatment of arthritis, appetite regulation, headaches and respiratory ailments. Topically, ginger can be used in treatment for thermal burns or insect bites.
Coconut-hemp mylk blends the benefits of hydration and fat from coconuts with the protein and fatty acid content of hemp seeds. The protein content in hemp seeds is found to be more digestible than animal-based protein sources. Our coconut-hemp mylk is made daily using organic coconut shreds, organic hemp seeds, filtered water, yacon, mesquite, vanilla extract and a touch of pink salt. While the flavor is distinctive on its own, this mylk is the perfect complement to the tropical taste of the 808.
That rounds out the smoothie spotlight for this month! Stay tuned for next month's post on the Mojo Rising. We love to hear from you so if there's anything you'd like to see on the blog, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Good Health,
With gratitude, we get by with a little help from our friends:
Disclaimer: The information presented in this blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The Nectary does not provide medical advice or treatment nor it is a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider before consuming anything mentioned within these posts.