The super smoothie contains grapejuice, blueberries, strawberries, apple, lingonberry, acerola and aronia. The ones which contain the highest amounts of superfoods are the cowberry (aka lingonberry) – a tart, red fruit related to the cranberry – and acerola, a red cherry-like fruit that has 30 times more vitamin C than orange juice.
The final ingredient of the smoothie is aronia, or chokeberry, an American blackberry once described as the ‘healthiest berry in the world’.
Nutrionists already know that fruits contain compounds known as polyphenols which protect the heart and help prevent clogged arteries.
In animal tests, pig heart artery walls relaxed when they were exposed to the fruit juice cocktail. The researchers, from the University of Strasbourg, say that in a human, this would boost the flow of blood to the heart and ensure it got a healthy balance of nutrients and oxygen.
The team – who report their findings in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Food and Function – also measured the antioxidant ability of different recipes to neutralise harmful molecules in the body that can damage DNA and cells.
The study found that some polyphenols were more potent than others – and that their ability to mop up harmful ‘free radicals’ that can damage DNA and cells was more important than the amount of polyphenols in each fruit.
To make the super smoothie you will need the following:
126ml grape juice (30 grapes)
20ml blueberry puree (15 blueberries)
20ml apple (half an apple)
10ml lingonberry juice (8 ligonberries)
8ml acerola juice (5 acerola berries)
8ml aronia juice (5 chokeberries)