Loving the BITE: Ultimate Joint Health Smoothie
I’ve definitely been on a joint-health-kick lately. It’s been all ginger and cherries here at Loving the Bite Joint Health Headquarters. And this week, it’s pineapple and bromelain.
Joint health has been on my mind for good reason. We’ve discussed how cyclists can put their knees through almost 5000 flexions and extensions every hour. And that’s just your knees. When you think about all your joints, more than 300 of them, you know their health is crucial to your overall well-being and performance on the bike.
So this week, we’re going to do even more to take care of those joints.
Recipe of the Week: Ultimate Joint-Health Smoothie
- ¾ cup fresh or frozen pineapple (with core if possible)
- ¾ cup fresh or frozen, tart cherries
- 1 cup fresh greens like spinach, beetroot greens, etc.
- 1 cubic inch peeled ginger*
- 4-6 oz. organic Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
- ½-1 cup water as needed for desired consistency.
*Ginger Tip: You don’t have to peel the ginger, but if you’d like to, use the side of a spoon to easily scrape off the thin skin.
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
- To use as a meal: Follow directions as stated above. Increase amounts if more calories/volume is desired.
- To use as a pre-training smoothie: Omit greens and add 2 Tbsp beet-root powder and up to 1/12 tsp. salt.
- To use as a recovery smoothie: Add 5 grams l-glutamine.
If you’ve ever been laid-up with a sore or injured knee, shoulder, hip, or other joint, you know that they have a big impact on everyday life and cycling. And, once injured, they can take a long time to heal. Many times, anxious athletes get back to training too soon after a joint injury, only to find themselves back where they begun. On the couch.
With this mind, I’ve concentrated in proactive joint health this season. I’m recommending more supplements and foods that work to keep joints healthy, and pain and soreness minimal. We’ve discussed ginger at length, and cherries/cherry juice for joints and gout previously.
Now, it’s time for Bromelain.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples that exhibits anti-inflammatory benefits that reduce joint pain and inflammation. There have been dozens of studies that show positive effects, and that have tried to establish an effective dose without causing gastric upset. Bromelain is truly a Super Food nutrient and may also reduce risk of some cancers and the metastasis of cancer cells, heart disease, and arthritis. The majority of bromelain is found in the pineapple core and stem, and is extracted to create a supplement.
To add pineapples and bromelain extract for proactive joint health: Add ¾-1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple most days, including core if possible (by using our smoothie, perhaps). Or, take 3-4 separate doses of bromelain each day to total 240 milligrams (look at specific supplement to determine amount needed for 240 total milligrams).
To add bromelain extract for current joint injury: Take 4 doses of bromelain each day to total up to 1000 milligrams (again look at specific label for concentrations).
Take care of your body, and it will take care of you. One rotation at a time.
Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.