Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Smoothier path to health?

From the folks at Real Age comes this tip on a quick smoothie.

Tart apple and spicy cinnamon can sure get your taste buds tapping. But help control your blood sugar, too? It very well might. Turns out that a daily dose of cinnamon may help improve insulin receptivity -- an important part of blood sugar control.

Slip a little more cinnamon into your day with a Double Apple Cinnamon Smoothie (recipe below).

You may need only a little bit of cinnamon -- as little as a quarter teaspoon a day -- to reap blood sugar rewards. Just don't overdo it -- highly unlikely with a typical diet, but loading up via supplements could be toxic.

Another cinnamon bonus: When you add it to high-glycemic-index foods, it can help lessen their impact on your blood sugar.

This cinnamon-inspired smoothie recipe is brought to you compliments of the YOU docs -- Mehmet Oz, MD, and Michael Roizen, MD -- and their newly updated and expanded YOU: The Owner's Manual.

To be sure you get enough cinnamon -- this recipe serves two -- we suggest topping your drink with a generous sprinkling of the fragrant spice.

1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, not thawed
1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
3/4 cup vanilla or plain fat-free or light soymilk
3/4 cup low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt
1/8 teaspoon apple pie spice

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Cover; blend at high speed for 1 minute. Pour into frosty mugs, if desired, and top with powdered cinnamon.
Makes 2 servings.
Nutrition information (per serving): 204 calories; 3.4 grams fat (1.3 grams aging fats); 5.6 milligrams cholesterol; 34.9 grams carbohydrate; 9.1 grams protein; 2.7 grams fiber; 266 milligrams sodium; 566 milligrams potassium.