Smoothies, the healthiest start of busy mornings, are more than just a beverage. They are the “food poetry” in themselves which spell taste, nutrition, and a feeling of fullness in every sip. The blending of colorful ingredients deriving the smoothness in texture and consistency justifies why they are being called “smoothies”. If you love them as a summer drink, an energy drink during your workout sessions, or simply to hydrate yourself, then here are a few things you must know. These information and options might make you fall in love with smoothies again and again.
The goodness of smoothies
Nutritional values and benefits of smoothies vary as per the type of fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients used in it. Most of them are the powerhouse of nutrients, dietary fibers, carbohydrates, protein, healthy fat, vitamins, and minerals. The powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and phytochemical properties of smoothies help in inhibiting oxidative stress, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.
Tips to make smoothies healthier and reap maximum benefits
The choice of ingredients is the key for making healthy smoothies. It also decides the effect of smoothies on your body. For example, smoothies for weight gain, weight loss, detox, cooling effect, or healthy skin are all different. If not sure, you must discuss with your dietician as which smoothie is good for you. A few more points to be considered are mentioned below.
- The smoothie should have enough fiber to make it more digestible and to adjust the glycemic index. Some healthy rich sources of dietary fiber that can be added in smoothies are cooked daliya, oats, and muesli.
- At least one serving of any fruit is good to add in a smoothie as they enhance the flavor and provide natural sweetness to the smoothies. Avoid artificial sweeteners by considering honey or jaggery in limited amount. Dates are also a good choice for non-diabetics.
- Smoothies are not meant to replace your healthy meals unless you are on any strict fitness regimen and recommended so by your expert.
- Consider green smoothies if you are looking forward to boost your immunity as they provide nutrients and antioxidants in abundance. They also help in detoxifying the body.
- If you are focusing on weight loss, be cautious of the ingredients and portion size as smoothies are also rich in calories. Normal adults can consume 350-400 ml per day to decrease unhealthy cravings.
- Blend gently and add more fiber-rich foods, as rigorous blending increases the glycemic index of smoothie which might give a spike in blood sugar level.
- Prefer homemade smoothies over the market ones. The smoothies available in market are loaded with unhealthy sweeteners and other ingredients that are not good for health. Also, smoothies are a healthier choice over the fruit juices which are high in glycemic index and low in fiber and nutrients.
Try These Healthy Additions to Your Smoothies
- To make the smoothie healthier, consider adding herbal supplements, spirulina, matcha powder, ginseng powder, wheatgrass powder, and protein supplements.
- Adding healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, coconut oil, avocado, and almond butter can provide omega 3 and monounsaturated fatty acids which are essential for healthy heart, liver and overall health.
- Enhance the power of your smoothie by adding spices and herbs like cinnamon, nutmegs, cardamom, turmeric, ginger, basil, parsley, mint, dill, and oregano.
Here are some interesting smoothies you would love to include in your diet
Orange smoothie contains an array of antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenoids, and ascorbic acids which help in fighting with free radicals and boost immunity. Avoid consuming this at night due to its acidic properties.
Enjoy this sweet and tangy smoothie with a ton of benefits. This smoothie reduces oxidative stress and the risk factors associated with heart and kidney disease.
This smoothie will detoxify your body and will definitely give you fresh vibes. The richness of nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants in this smoothie helps in digestion, weight loss, heart, kidney, and skin problems.
The combination of fruits and tap-root vegetables (carrot and beetroot) contains lot of nutrients like dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and healthy antioxidants which keeps your liver healthy, maintains your blood pressure, improves digestion, heart, and overall health problems.
The magical collection of berries in this smoothie provides numerous health benefits. They help in reducing the risk of diabetes, hypertension, oxidative stress and also protect the liver, heart and kidney from various diseases.
The flavorful cluster of this healthy smoothie is completely beneficial for heart, digestive and immune system. The fiber, antioxidants, and nutritional content helps in weight loss while preventing diabetes, blood pressure and cancer.
This glowing skin smoothie has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and natural bleaching properties. It can lighten up the skin complexion, purify the blood and protect the skin from sun damages.
Blackberries contain a wide range of healthy nutrients including fiber, vitamin C, K, manganese, potassium, and powerful antioxidants. They help in fighting cancer-causing substances and support skin, heart, brain, and oral health.
You can start your refreshing day with this delicious smoothie. It is beneficial for healthy reproductive system and helps in preventing the growth of fibroids in the uterus.
Things to avoid
- Avoid combining the wrong ingredients together as they do more harm than good. The selection of fruits and vegetables to be mixed with dairy products should be done appropriately. Dairy foods with citrus fruits can cause indigestion, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and some other gut issues.
- Avoid using artificial sweeteners as fruits are already rich in natural sugar called fructose.
- Avoid storing smoothies in the fridge for future use. They should be consumed within 1-2 hours after preparation.
- Avoid mixing too many ingredients, as they can become bitter in taste and harmful for your body. One single source of each ingredient is good enough for a healthy smoothie.
People suffering from any kind of chronic illness should always consult a dietician or healthcare provider before consuming smoothies on a regular basis. Pregnant and lactating women must consult their doctor to discuss about the quantity of smoothie and the variety of foods, spices and other ingredients to be used.