With everyone joining this fitness train, the need for healthier eating options is increasing. What’s the point of working out if you’re still eating sausages wrapped in bacon soaked in cooking oil covered in cheese?
So I am here to back the magic that is smoothies, as a healthy option to the usual rubbish we put in our bodies.
It’s important to know a little about what you’re putting into your body, so I’ll start with Fruit Smoothies:
a) Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, oranges, tangerines and lemons. These contain:
- Vitamin C that helps your immune system and synthesizes collagen that aids in the framework of your body.
- Potassium which supports your heart function and helps maintain a normal blood pressure.
- Folate that promotes healthy cells.
Orgasmic Orange Recipe: Orange Dream Creamsicle
b) Berries includes blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and grapes. They contain:
- Antioxidants that decrease inflammation.
- Phytonutrients that help fight disease.
Bombastic Berry Recipe: Breakfast Berry
c) Tropical fruits include papaya, kiwi fruit, pineapple, avocado, coconut, pomegranates, bananas and mangoes. These contain Vitamin C, Potassium, Folate as well as:
- Manganese, which keeps your bones, blood sugar, thyroid gland and nerves healthy.
Playful Papaya Recipe: Tropical Papaya Perfection
d) Drupes fruits are cherries, apricots, peaches and plums. They provide potassium and vitamin C, as well as:
- Beta carotene which helps your vision and immune system function properly.
Apricot Recipe: Apricot-Mango Madness
e) Pomes fruits include apples and pears, which contain vitamin C and potassium.
Apple Recipe: Mint Apple Berry
f) The melon category includes watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew and casaba, which all contain adequate amounts of vitamin C.
Wonky Watermelon Recipe: Watermelon Wonder
Fruit smoothies are also a source of fiber which helps slow digestion and may help control blood sugar and lower cholesterol.
On to Veggie Smoothies
We learned in primary school how important spinach, kale and other greens are to our diet. Now the idea is to add veggies to your fruit smoothies uping the amount of fiber (yay roughage) and vitamins you are getting. yes you can put sukuma in your smoothie (stop making that face). The beauty with smoothies is you get the solid fiber, so if you aren’t big on eating veggies, finding a balance to suit your taste buds will create a yummy way to ensure you get your veggies for the day.
Check out WebMds top Leafy Greens to get the gist of what veggies are perfect for smoothies.
Here’s something you could try:
NB: you need a pretty strong blender to make sure you don’t end up with overly large chunks of veg. Baby spinach is the easiest on less powerful blenders.
Depending on how bulky you want your smoothie to be you can add water, cow’s milk, soy milk or yogurt to the fruit [and veggies]. Go for low-fat options on the dairy if you want a healthier drink.
- Water will provide your body with fluid that is necessary for metabolism of food and transportation of nutrients.
- Low-fat dairy contains calcium and vitamin D, which help your bones stay strong.
Some people opt to use almond milk or coconut water.
- A smoothie is a meal in itself. Don’t have a full meal and follow it with a full plate of food.
- You can freeze your fruits to keep your smoothie cool as opposed to using ice-cubes.
- It’s a nice breakfast option, or something to boost you during the day.
Smoothies are perfect, I think, if you want something that tastes good and makes you feel great. You can get a little creative and try different combinations and ratios of fruit to fruit and/or veggies. This I feel is a better alternative to protein shakes, as it’s a lot more natural. Give it a go and feel free to share your experiences and recipes.