All you need is a blender, fruit and a base, such as water, milk or yogurt. Making your own smoothies can help prevent fruit from going to waste, while providing benefits that will keep you on the right track towards good health.
Vitamins and Minerals
There are six categories of fruits that contain a variety of vitamins and minerals–citrus, berries, tropical, drupes, pomes and melons.
Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, oranges, tangerines and lemons, contain good amounts of vitamin C, potassium and folate. Vitamin C helps your immune system and synthesizes collagen that aids in the framework of your body. Potassium supports your heart function and helps maintain a normal blood pressure, while folate promotes healthy cells.
The berry category includes blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and grapes. They contain particular antioxidants that decrease inflammation and phytonutrients that help fight disease.
Tropical fruits include papaya, kiwi fruit, pineapple, avocado, coconut, pomegranates, bananas and mangoes. Typically, these fruits are sources of vitamin C, potassium, folate and manganese, which keeps your bones, blood sugar, thyroid gland and nerves healthy.
Common drupes fruits are cherries, apricots, peaches and plums. They provide beta carotene, potassium and vitamin C. Beta carotene helps your vision and immune system function properly.
Pomes fruits include apples and pears, which contain vitamin C and potassium. The melon category includes watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew and casaba, which all contain adequate amounts of vitamin C.
Drinking fruit smoothies can help you reach the recommended intake of fiber, which is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. One serving of fruit typically contains two to four grams of fiber with blackberries, pears and apples having the highest concentration of five to seven grams per serving. The soluble fiber found in fruit helps slow digestion and may help control blood sugar and lower cholesterol.
Creating your own smoothie means you get to choose a base of your liking. You can add water, cow’s milk, soy milk or yogurt to the fruit in order to add bulk. The healthier options would include water, low-fat milk or low-fat yogurt, which will add flavor and nutrients without a huge number of calories. The water will provide your body with fluid that is necessary for metabolism of food and transportation of nutrients. The low-fat dairy contains calcium and vitamin D, which help your bones stay strong.
When trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight, smoothies could be used as a meal replacement, not an addition. For instance, drink a dairy-based smoothie for breakfast or drink a water-based smoothie as a snack. Fruit smoothies can be a healthy additional any meal plan as long as you maintain portion control. Consult your doctor on how to best incorporate smoothies into your diet plan.
They are a great alternative to fruit juices and even ice cream