A smoothie is a healthy and delicious way to start the day, and this one helps rev metabolism. That's because it contains maca root powder—a Peruvian superfood that contains two amino acids (leucine and glutamine) that prompt muscle cells to use energy more efficiently. The payoff: A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increasing intake of these amino acids can boost fat burn by 18 percent and increase calorie expenditure by 25 percent for 51⁄2 hours.
What’s more, plant sterols in maca powder interfere with cholesterol absorption in the small intestine. Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that this effect can lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol by up to 74 percent. Bonus: The potassium in bananas enhances focus.
Here’s the yummy recipe:
3⁄4 cup** mixed frozen berries**
1** frozen sliced banana**
3⁄4 cup** vanilla almond milk**
2 tsp.** maca powder***,* like Navitas Naturals, $20 for 24 servings, NavitasNaturals.com and Whole Foods Market stores
In blender, puree berries, banana, almond milk, maca powder and 6 ice cubes. Serve immediately.
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