Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals essential for a healthy living. They should constitute a part of one’s everyday diet. No single fruit or vegetable provides all the nutrients needed for a healthy life. A variety of vegetables and fruits should go into one’s everyday diet. There are many, especially kids, who don’t like to eat vegetables and fruits in their raw form. They can join the growing number of people who are drinking them instead. These delightful drinks not only taste good but are also great on your health. What better way to get your five portions of fruit a day than to whip up some in a blender and make a delicious smoothie. As well as giving you the vitamins, antioxidants and fiber you need to stay healthy, smoothie diet is also quick and easy to make.
What are smoothies?
“A smoothie (alternatively spelled smoothy , the name comes from the smooth property of the emulsion) is a blended and sometimes sweetened beverage made from fresh fruit (fruit smoothie) and in special cases can contain chocolate or peanut butter” – wikipedia. Smoothies are blended frozen drinks made from a combination of fruits and vegetables. Fitness centers and health food stores suggest these drinks as alternatives to fat-filled milk shakes or sugary soft drinks.
How to make a smoothie?
Fortunately there are no fixed recipes you need to learn to make a smoothie. You can get creative experimenting with different combination of fruits and vegetables. There are no combination of fruits and vegetables that should be avoided. Your taste preferences dictate the combination. Some people may like to avoid some combinations just because of personal preferences. The flavor is more enjoyable when fewer plant foods are combined.
There are four basic ingredients to a smoothie diet.
Liquid helps to start the blending process. Although water is sufficient, different types of liquids are used to enhance taste and nutrition value of the smoothie. Choice of liquid depends on your taste and dietary preference. Dairy milk is often the common choice. Soy milk, a great source of protein, calcium, isoflavones, is preferred over dairy milk, as it does not contain lactose or cholesterol and has a longer shelf life than cow’s milk. For those who want to avoid dairy milk or soy milk, almond and coconut milk are good alternatives. Fruit juices are commonly used to enhance taste and also the nutritional content of the smoothie. But users have to be aware of the added sugar; it can over power the natural sugars from real fruits. Many smoothie recipes use Yogurt. It is a good option as it lends texture to the drink and also provides calcium.
Fruits and Vegetables
All fruits and vegetables can be used. Do not go for the same fruit or vegetable every day because every fruit or vegetable contains different nutrients. Use the seasonal varieties as they could work out cheap. Mix and vary the colors to take advantage of all the available vitamins and minerals.
These help to flavor and thicken the drink. They also help to balance the macro and micro nutrient content in the smoothie diet. The common ingredients are:
- Protein powders make the smoothie a complete meal in itself
- Vitamin powders to supplement the nutritional value
- Wheat and Barley grass powder containing vitamins, minerals, enzymes
- Chlorella and Spirulina which are sources of vitamins and protein
- Common cooking flavorings like cinnamon, honey, brown sugar, nutmeg and vanilla extract give an added flavor
- Ice cream and dairy creamer give a dessert like shape and taste
- Peanut butter, almond butter add protein and add thickness to the texture
- Chia and Flax seeds – sources of omega-3 fatty acids
- Oats lower cholesterol and give lasting energy
Frozen fruits are generally used to give the smoothie a thicker texture. If you using more of fresh fruits, ice cubes may be added to make the drink cool and refreshing. Ice also tones down the sweetness of the smoothie.
You would need a good blender to blend in all the ingredients. Ninja blender reviews can help you find a suitable blender. Depending on the power of the motor and the volume of the ingredients, blending can take up to 45 seconds. Blend until all the ingredients turn into a circulating liquid.
Smoothie Vs Shakes
Traditional smoothies don’t take in added sugars or dairy products but contain only natural non-processed ingredients. Addition of processed sugars, dairy milk, ice cream or dairy cream wood qualify the drink as a shake rather than as smoothie.
Smoothie Vs Juice
While smoothie is a blending of whole fruits and vegetables, juice is a liquid extract of a fruit or vegetable. Smoothie takes in all the contents of the fruit and vegetable and hence does not lose out on the health benefits of the skin, seeds and fiber. Experts would rather like to see people eating the whole fruit. Since most juicing methods remove the produce’s fiber, drinking juice omits one of the key benefits of eating fruit, while delivering huge amounts of sugar and calories. Smoothies do provide fiber, as the entire fruit often goes into the blender, skins and all, but they still contain a lot of calories. Choosing a vegetable-based juice or smoothie is one way to reduce the sugar content, health advocates say.
Types of smoothies
Smoothies can be classified under the following categories:
Made from a combination of fruits, fruit smoothies include all the goodness that comes with eating fruits. They taste good and kids would love them for their flavor.
Dark vegetable greens such as spinach are used here. The greens give the smoothie a dark green color.
The aim here is to optimize the nutritional content and provide all of a person’s daily recommended vitamins and macro-nutrients in their natural form.
Weight loss smoothies
They contain ingredients that promote weight loss by increasing metabolism and reducing appetite. Healthy fats like flax seed or almond butter, caffeine based stimulants like green tea or coffee are used.
These are like shakes containing dairy products or ice cream. The added sugars give them a dessert like taste.
Start off your day right with a healthy smoothie diet. Healthy, convenient and portable, smoothies are ideal fuel-on-the-go for breakfast, an afternoon snack or dessert. Smoothies provide important protein, vitamins and minerals for your wellness.