Investing in Yourself with a Daily Smoothie
Smoothies have become an increasingly popular trend in the wellness industry, and are often marketed as health foods. They are versatile in the sense that they are portable, good for the family, and can be made to different tastes or preferences. They are easy to prepare but can be purchased in its freshest form or bottled form in major grocery stores or specialty cafes.
Some smoothies can be loaded with fruit and veggies, while others can be packed with sugars and other unhealthy ingredients. In this article, we explain a few important things you’ll need to know about smoothies, including ingredients, and some of their health benefits like smoothies for detoxing.
What are smoothies?
Smoothies can easily be described as thick, creamy beverages blended from vegetables, juices, pureed fruits, nuts, seeds, yogurt, or milk. Mostly, a basic smoothie starts with a base and a liquid as the essential ingredients. Further, ingredients can be combined as you like.
Common ingredients for smoothies
Most popular ingredients in both homemade and commercially-manufactured smoothies include:
● Vegetables – Kale, spinach, wheatgrass, avocado, arugula, beetroot, cucumber, microgreens, carrots, and cauliflower.
● Fruits – Banana, berries, apple, pineapple, mango, and peach
● Herbs and spices – ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cacao nibs, cocoa powder, basil, and parsley
● Nuts and seeds – Almond butter, walnut butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flax meal
● Nutritional and herbal supplements – bee pollen, protein powder, spirulina, matcha powder, and mineral supplements
● Liquid – Water, milk, fruit juice, vegetable juice, nondairy milk, iced tea, coconut water, and cold brew coffee.
● Sweeteners – Raw sugar, maple syrup, simple syrup, honey, pitted dates, fruit juice concentrates, ice cream, stevia, and sorbet.
Types of smoothies
Smoothies can be classified into the following categories:
● Fruit smoothies – Feature one or more fruit types blended with fruit juice, water, ice cream, or milk.
● Green smoothies – Feature fruits and green vegetables blended with water, juice, or milk. They are usually heavier in veggies compared to regular smoothies, with the fruit only added for purposes of sweetness.
● Protein smoothies – Start with one fruit type or vegetable and a liquid, plus a major protein source like cottage cheese, yogurt, protein powder, or silken tofu.
Health benefits of smoothies
Smoothies can be an awesome way of incorporating healthier foods into your daily diet for the following benefits.
● They help boost the intake of vegetables and fruits – Smoothies made mainly from fresh produce increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, which facilitate in providing essential vitamins, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.
● They support increased consumption of fiber – Fiber is a crucial nutrient that helps in digestion through the prevention of constipation, and the growth of essential bacteria in the digestive tract.
● They are rich in cleansing properties – Besides being tasty and nutritious, smoothies are essential in detoxing. Fruits and vegetables contain natural cleansing properties. For example, blueberries have little calories but contain high levels of antioxidants, which happen to be the main detoxifying agents.
An adult is required to consume at least 400 grams, (equivalent to 5 servings per day) of fruits and vegetables, but because most people may find it difficult to attain this target, a smoothie can substitute 2-3 fruit and vegetable servings.