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Drink Your Colors with Kefir: Outrageous Oranges

Continuing down the rainbow in our Drink Your Colors with Kefir series, we’ve reached orange – the color of sunsets, basketballs, pumpkins, carrots and, well, oranges. It’s a bright color that you definitely can’t miss with your eyes, and one you don’t want to leave out of your diet!

All fruits and vegetables (and even some animals) get their coloring from pigments. Orange fruits and vegetables get their coloring from a group of pigments called carotenoids, a type of phytonutrient that has powerful antioxidant properties. The most well known carotenoid pigment is beta-carotene; it’s found in bright orange fruits and vegetables, including carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Beta-carotene is necessary for good health, as it is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A, also known as retinol, promotes good vision, especially in low light, and helps maintain healthy skin, tissue, membranes and bone.

Orange fruits and veggies aren’t just abundant in carotenoids – they’ve got a lot more going for them! The juice round fruits that we call “oranges” are rich in vitamin C and fiber, and they contain flavonoids with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. To put it simply, orange fruits and vegetables are:

  • Good for your immune system
  • Good for your digestive system
  • Good for your eyes
  • Good for your heart

That’s thanks to their vitamins, minerals and phyonutrient enzymes, of course. Are you convinced you should eat more of them yet? We sure are! While raw oranges and carrots make great snacks for munching, we’re all about the smoothies these days. We put our heads together and came up with a new Outrageously Orange Carrot Creme Kefir Smoothie, made with carrot juice, orange juice, Lifeway Frozen Kefir AND Lifeway Lowfat Madagascar Vanilla Kefir! We’re sure you’re going to love it.

Outrageous Orange Carrot Creme Kefir Smoothie

carrot-orange-creme-kefir-smoothie

 

Combine all ingredients in a blender in the order that they are listed. Blend on high until desired consistency is reached.

*This bright shining smoothie is slightly indulgent and makes a great dessert or treat. To lighten the calorie load a bit, leave out the frozen kefir and use a few ice cubes instead.

Sources:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/999.html
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/carotenoids
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002400.htm
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270191.php
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=37