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The Food & Brain Connection

The Food & Brain Connection

Mental health is having a huge impact on Canadians: 1 in 5 people are living with a mental health condition and/or struggle. Increasingly, research is showing that nutrition plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of depression and other mental disorders.

At Blended, we've been learning more about this connection; we're committed to sharing information and continuing to develop blends that support your mental and physical health. Here's some of the research results so far:


1. Diet quality plays a part in the presence and severity of depressive symptoms across population groups. Higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish may reduce the risk of depression in adults.

2. Studies have associated depression with levels of specific nutrients. For example, zinc deficiency has been associated with increased depressive symptoms. Folate deficiency has been observed in individuals with poor response to anti-depressant treatment. Vitamin D deficiency and low levels of antioxidants have also been linked to depression risk.

3. The important sharing of knowledge on how dietary patterns can influence mental health and the inclusion of nutrition as a part of a full treatment program is not happening at the rate it should be.

NUTRIENTS FOR YOUR MIND
Here are some of our favourite foods, vitamins and minerals for supporting mood and mind:
Maca: if you know Blended, you know we're big fans of Maca Root. It's a natural mood elevator, hormone balancer and energy-booster. Find it in these blends: Maca Energy and Shroom Energy.

Zinc: activates hormonal, neurotransmitter and signalling pathways in the gut which modulate brain functions like appetite, sleep, neurogenesis, cognitive function and mood. Find packed into our Nutty-Chocolate blends.

B12: this essential nutrient can be easy to miss (especially on a plant-based diet), but it's a mood-booster and can help the symptoms of depression. Find it in our The Remedy and The After Party blends.

Vitamin D3: you may be feeling a lack of Vitamin D (the "sunshine vitamin") in the depths of winter. D3 is fat soluble, so we recommend combining with healthy fats to get your max absorption. Take a supplement with any of our blends (they contain the nutrients for supporting absorption).

Folate: this is the B-vitamin that's needed to convert carbs into energy, make red and white blood cells, and produce RNA and DNA. Find it in our Greens Daily Dose, Daily Greens Keto, The Remedy blends.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: these important fats are essential because the body needs them for healthy brain function - and they fuel brain metabolism! A good source of Omega 3 is chia seeds, which can be found in our Sweet Sleep Mango Kale and Blue Coconut Keto, Vita-C Immunity, Chia Energy & Acai Bowl blends.

When you need a mood-lift, try one of the blends below. Each one is packed with essential nutrients for mind and natural energy-boosting.
Maca Energy
Shroom Energy
Nutty Chocolate Lover
Chia Energy Bowl
The Remedy
Greens Daily Dose
The After Party

If you have any questions about which blends are right for your health goals and taste preferences, please email us at info@blendedforyou.com. 

The Big Fuss About Zinc

GETTING ZINC
We heard on the wire that Zinc supplements are currently in high demand, even selling out in stores, due to Zinc's immune-boosting properties and disease-fighting potential. We don't need to say the C-Virus word here, no one needs that on a Wednesday, but if you follow our e-news you know we love to share the 'why' behind all things nutrition.  If you're new to the Blended For Wellness e-news, welcome.  

Before you race to the store for your supplements, let's get into where it is found naturally in the foods you eat, what will support max absorption of this essential nutrient, and which of our smoothies have an impressive Zinc % of RDI level. 
THE ZINC 101
Zinc is a micronutrient that helps your immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses. It also plays an important role in helping the body heal wounds, supports sense of small and taste, and can even boost your mood.  Needless to say, there are a lot of reasons why you want to make sure you're getting enough of this hard-working micronutrient. 

Foods High in Zinc
Animal/seafood: red meat and poultry, shell fish (oysters, crab, lobster), eggs
Plant-based: legumes, nuts, seeds (hemp, flax, chia), whole grains (quinoa and rice), vegetables (spinach, mushrooms, asparagus), cacao. 

 
Maximizing Your Zinc Absorption 
If you're taking a zinc supplement, take it when eating protein for max absorption: red meat, poultry, fish, tofu, sprouted proteins and legumes are great foods for supporting your body's absorption of zinc. 

Important flag: the protein casein, which is found in dairy products, should be avoided while eating zinc rich foods as casein is an inhibitor for zinc absorption.  We've suggested a few zinc-rich BFY smoothies below, avoid blending with cow milk if that is your usual go-to liquid (when wanting to max zinc absorption). 
ZINC-PACKED BLENDS 

If you're wanting more Zinc love in your diet without getting into a supplement? Add any of these blends into your smoothie box:
Maca Energy 
Maca Java
Shroom Energy 
Nutty Chocolate Lover 
Choco-Banana Hero 

Bonus: all the blends above are delicious spooned straight from the pack like 'nice' cream. Like 100%+ Zinc RDI containing nice cream. Click here to easy-shop them all: NUTTY CHOCOLATE BLENDS

Happy Blending!

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