Some of us don’t really like to eat veggies and prefer munching on junk food. Even if you know the benefits of fruits and vegetables, you don’t really want to replace your spicy steak or fried sardines with them. Smoothies can be a great option to sneak some vegetables and fruits into a regular diet.
Smoothies vs. Juice
Some of us confuse juices and smoothies. Juice is the liquid extract of vegetables and fruits that excludes fiber. On the other hand, a smoothie is the complete blend of fruit or vegetables that includes fiber. You have to remove skin, seed, and cores prior to blending a smoothie.
Juicers are exclusively used to make juices, while blenders are the perfect gadget to prepare smoothies. Because of additional fibers in smoothies, they are much more beneficial than juices are. If you pick the ingredients carefully, then it is the perfect substitute for your meal. It is possible to incorporate fats, proteins, carbs, vitamins, and minerals to prepare a healthy alternative.
Nutrition Facts about Smoothies
How nutritious is a smoothie? Well, it is difficult to judge the exact values because it all depends on your ingredients. Besides, to get an idea of smoothies’ nutrition value here is one example of an average fruit smoothie.
Ingredients– 2 regular size bananas, 4 small size strawberries, ½ cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1 tablespoon sugar.
Serving size– 1 cup ( approx. 200 grams)
Calories– 160-165 calories
Nutrients– Sugar, protein, fats, Cholesterol, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, and much more.
How long do 160 calories last? Burning such calories would require at least an hour of walking or 30 minutes of cycling.
Key Benefits of Smoothies
It is not that smoothies are only nutritious; they have a number of other benefits too. Some of the key benefits include:
- It is quick and easy to prepare.
- Smoothies prevent dehydration.
- It works for weight loss.
- Kids love smoothies.
- There is a wide range of recipes.
- It helps to control your food cravings.
- Smoothies are good sources of antioxidants.
- Smoothies improve digestion.
- Smoothies boost the immune system.
- There is a high fiber content.
- They detoxify the body.
- Reduces chances of cancer.
- Drinking smoothies improves sleeping.
- It is good for your skin, hair, and nails.
- It is portable.
- It boosts brain power.
- Your hormonal functioning is balanced.
- Smoothies are great sources of plant-based collagen protein.
Tips to Make a Healthy Smoothie
Preparing smoothies is not rocket science. Though it is easy to prepare, some added tips will help you add smoothies to a perfectly healthy diet.
- Use a Quality Blender
Texture and grind are all important to make a perfectly smooth smoothie. For the best smoothie, you must choose a quality blender. Blenders like the Vitamix blender can give you the best smoothie experiences.
You should choose high-quality blender brands like Blendtec and Vitamix. They are long-lasting, durable, and efficient. You can also clean them with their pre-programmed settings. The powerful motor and thick stainless steel blades bring the perfect smoothie texture within minutes.
- Know your Recipe
Before you try to make a smoothie, please read the entire recipe first. You must gather ingredients and clean the blender beforehand. Also, the addition of ingredients in the correct order has a significant effect on the final result.
Blend ingredients as per your recipe. In case you are trying something new, there are no limits. Do experiments in a small volume. The ratio of items plays a big role in the overall taste of your smoothie.
- Limit Added Sugar
Try to limit added sweeteners in a smoothie. For the best healthy smoothie, you should try to stick with natural sugars, like in honey, maple syrup, or milk. Adding brown sugar, saccharine, or any artificial alternatives can limit its health benefits. For diabetes patients, it would be wise to use zero cal. sugar in your smoothie.
On another note, adding too much sugar changes the actual taste of the fruits and vegetables in your smoothie. All fruits have phytonutrients and natural sugars; using raw ingredients is more beneficial for your health. Make sure you clean your blender every time you use it. There should not be anything leftover from your previous uses.
- Add Vegetables
Most people do not have enough veggies in their diet, so smoothies are an excellent option to incorporate vegetables. You can try pumpkin, avocado, beetroot, tomatoes, and a lot more veggies in these healthy alternatives. You can combine salad items like capsicum, cabbage, zucchini, and some fresh leaves to add minerals and vitamins to the drink.
- Add Calcium
You can add dairy items like low-fat milk or skim milk to check your calorie balance. Also, it’s an excellent opportunity to add calcium to your diet. It not only adds calories, but it also enhances the taste of the smoothie. Only a half cup of milk can add 4 grams of protein, 50 calories, and 15% of your daily calcium needs.
- Make it Creamy and Thick
Some of us love to sip creamy smoothies. For that, you can add soft silken tofu or low-fat yogurt to your smoothie. Yogurt is also a good digestion-friendly probiotic.
In case you are lactose intolerant, you can also try non-dairy products. You can add nut butter, avocado, pulverized nuts, or ground flaxseeds to thicken your smoothie. Flaxseeds are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, minerals, fibers, vitamins, and proteins.
- Watch out For Extras
You can enhance the nutritional profile of your smoothie by adding extra items. These extras can be nut butters, cocoa powder, oats, avocado, and much more. A mere tablespoon of nut butter can add 100 calories to the drink.
Use measuring spoons and cups while adding high-calories ingredients. This will help you not to overdo any item. Keep a note of ingredients added. Also, do a rough calculation of the total calorie count.
Smoothies can be a perfect alternative to your diet. Follow the tips and try your healthy drink. Surely, smoothies are the best nutritious drink for all.