To explain in few words, smoothies are amazing. They are fast and easy to digest, great morning boost of energy and contain enough nutrients to supplement the diet (if made right). In comparison to already prepared juices, that almost always contain extra sugar and artificial flavors, smoothies are natural, more delicious (once your taste buds get accustomed to them) and offer more energy without sugar.
The recent debate about sugar being as dangerous as salt when it comes to health has only confirmed the beliefs of some who have tried to campaign against the mass overkill of sugar in soft drinks and juices. The study carried by Dr. James DiNicolantonio and presented in the American Journal of Cardiac Science has claimed that sugar is more of a culprit when it comes to heart diseases. The research group has explained that sugar provides stimulants to certain areas of brain which make the blood pressure rise. Although in its infancy and yet to be widely accredited, it is still an ample affirmation for people who try to stay away from extra sweet things.
The best alternative in such a case is, without discussing the merits and de-merits of the research to stay away from sugar where possible. After all it may or may not have a massive impact on the health of the heart but overdose of sugar definitely is not good if you are trying to adapt a healthy lifestyle. Hence the void that you may feel of losing away from the carbonated drinks, juices and energy drinks can easily be filled in by the smoothies. They are simple, easy to make, delicious, healthy and once you get the taste of having less sugar, almost addictive. Our taste buds are capable to adapt, a process that most of us forget when we try to make life style changes.
According to Laura Michele Oliver a registered dietitian in Brooklyn New York, fruit smoothies are one of the best if not the best source of vital minerals. Not only they contain vitamins, they contain excessive content of fiber which may not be fully available in an ordinary fruit serving. Since you can easily make your own smoothies, you hold the power to adapt them according to your taste. You can make them based on milk, yogurt, water, soy milk, vegan options, lactose options or just plain fruits. The flexibility of making your own smoothie also helps evaluating your diet regime, providing sufficient control mechanisms that are very critical for all people concerned about their intake. The last benefit of smoothies is actually the most important, not only they can serve as supplements; they can be the entire meals. Vegetable smoothies are great as lunch replacements, they contain enough fiber in easy to digest form and calories that can keep you functioning efficiently while keeping the stomach busy as well.
All you need for a smoothie is a blender, some fruit (organic is always preferred) and some recipes. The other two we cannot share, but some delicious recipes we can share with you. Hopefully you will try them sometimes!
Ideal for breakfast after your exercise
The preparation time depends on just gathering the ingredients; almost anyone with any level of cooking can easily prepare the smoothie. In case some berries are not available, increase the amount of available berries will help although the benefits will not be replicated. The berries contain specific antioxidants that help decreasing inflammation – in case of muscle sourness from exercise – and phytonutrients that help fight disease and build immunity in the body.
Multiply ingredients proportionally in case you want to make more servings
Time: 5 minutes approximately
- ¼ cup blackberries
- ¼ cup raspberries
- ¼ cup strawberries
- ¼ cup blueberries
- ½ cup plain unsweetened goat’s milk yogurt (soya yogurt for lactose intolerant or vegan people. Could be replaced or completely removed if necessary. In case goat milk yogurt is not available, any unsweetened yogurt can be used as preferred by the individual)
- ½ cup filtered water
- 2 ice cubes
- 1-2 drops liquid stevia (optional)
Add all ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.
Stevia is completely optional and in most cases, absolutely unnecessary. For people having high sugar cravings, it is optional to add some stevia for extra sensation of sweet, over time, the stevia can be slowly removed.
Tropical Green Smoothie
The tropical green smoothie is designed to provide you with Vitamin C, Potassium, folate and manganese and the main benefits include strong bones, controlled blood sugar, healthier thyroid glands and better health for the nerves. Add to it the benefits of lime and ginger and you have an extremely wonderful smoothie that is both delicious and useful. The high fiber in smoothies (due to more fruit content than normal consumption) also makes the digestion process for the stomach easier.
Time: 5 minutes
- 2 kiwi fruits, peeled
- 2 handfuls baby spinach (must try ingredient, it may look out of place but its benefits are immense and the taste will be hardly felt within the fruits. More for the substance rather than style!!!)
- ½ cup frozen pineapple
- ½ cup coconut water
- 2 ice cubes (more in case you like your drinks truly chilled. Can also totally be removed from the smoothies, they add crunchiness to the drink and are widely used in shakes and smoothies because of the additional texture that they provide)
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger (fresh ginger can also be used along with the extract of ginger. Better to use organic ginger for smoothies if possible)
- ½ lime, juiced
Add all ingredients to the blender and process until smooth.
We hope that you will be trying these smoothies and hopefully you will like them.
Photo credit: TinyTall
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