Posted on Oct 16, 2020, 2 p.m.
Smoothies have a bad rap for being lacking in fibre and being high in sugar content, but if done right fresh homemade smoothies that are made using organic foods can help to change your breakfast routine for the better, especially for those in a rush who may skip it.
When done right it is tough to beat the health benefits of a good nutrient-packed smoothie. A green smoothie can have all the nutrients that you need to stay supercharged all day, plus blending veggies can be an easy way to get picky kids to eat some of the veggies they really don’t want to eat.
Studies have shown that some fiery spices such as ginger and cayenne pepper can help to jumpstart your metabolism, meaning that they help you to burn more fat, sugar and carbs. If you are not a fan of these spices, tossing them into a smoothie might be a good option. For a good calorie-burning smoothie try blending a 2-inch piece of ginger and one-quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper with a half of a ripe avocado, one cup mango chunks, a half cup of fresh coconut juice, and two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.
Many fruits can help to relieve inflammation and pain due to their antioxidant properties. This may be helpful to those who suffer from frequent arthritis-related joint pain and inflammation. For a simple pain-relieving smoothie try blending two tablespoons of almond butter with one cup of Greek yogurt, a half cup of bing cherries, and a half a cup of unsweetened tart cherry juice.
Many anti-ageing antioxidant fruits such as blueberries also have protective effects on the brain; blueberries are linked to better memory and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease dementia. For a brain-boosting smoothie try blending together one cup of blueberries with one cup of water, a half cup of spinach, one-half cup of Greek yogurt, one-quarter cup of coconut milk, one teaspoon of matcha powder and one-half teaspoon of turmeric.
Probiotics in fermented foods can do wonders to help support gut health such as helping to stimulate the growth of beneficial gut bacteria which help to guard the intestine against harmful bacteria and viruses as well as support our immune system. For microbiome gut-friendly smoothies try blending one cup of raspberries, peaches and strawberries with one-half a cup of plain full-fat kefir and one-half tablespoon of flaxseeds.
Trying to lose weight? Protein and fibre are the keys to feeling satisfied to avoid snacking. The Macronutrients that can be found in a smoothie can help to ward off unhealthy cravings, plus smoothies can be a healthier snack option for staving off hunger pangs. For a delicious, nutritious and filling smoothie try blending four ice cubes with half a chopped apple, one-half cup of chopped pineapple, one-half cup of Greek yogurt, one-third cup of fresh coconut juice, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and one-half teaspoon of cinnamon.
A smoothie can help you to use food to your advantage to make some heart-friendly options that are rich in potassium to help keep blood pressure stable and reduce the risk for heart disease, stroke and other potentially life-threatening health conditions. For a heart-healthy smoothie try blending one peeled and chopped kiwi with one half medium banana, one-half cup of almond milk, one-half cup of sliced strawberries, and one teaspoon of ground flaxseeds.
In addition to helping reduce blood pressure, the ingredients that you put into a smoothie can also help to keep blood sugar levels from spiking, plus a nutrient-dense smoothie can be a healthier alternative to standard sugary breakfast fares such as cereals and processed granola bars. For a smoothie that will not increase the risk of diabetes try blending one chopped apple with one cup of kale, one cup of almond milk, one teaspoon matcha powder, and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.
Vitamins and minerals in plant-based foods that you can put into a smoothie can help you to combat skin issues such as acne, dark spots, and uneven skin tone due to the antioxidant properties in fruits and vegetables that will also help to protect your skin from the damaging effect of too much sun exposure. For an anti-ageing smoothie that will help to promote younger-looking skin try blending one fresh chopped apricot with one-half cup dried diced apricot, one-half cup of Greek yogurt, one-half cup of blueberries(optional), one-half cup of grated carrot, one inch of fresh ginger, one-half teaspoon of turmeric(optional), one teaspoon of organic honey, and one teaspoon of cinnamon.
Smoothies made with fibre-rich fruits such as bananas can help to start the day off right and keep you full and energized until lunchtime. For a filling and energizing smoothie try blending four ice cubes, one medium banana, one-half cup of blueberries, one-half cup of almond milk, two tablespoons of organic peanut butter and one-third of a cup of coffee.
Not only can what you put into a smoothie keep you energized but what you put into one can also help put you to bed. Many fruits and vegetables contain melatonin which the body naturally produces to regulate your sleep cycle. A melatonin packed smoothie before bed can help to keep you from tossing and turning while you sleep. To help promote a good night of sleep try blending four ice cubes with one cup of greek yogurt and three-quarters of a cup of unsweetened tart cherry juice.
When made right, homemade smoothies can be a great addition to a healthy balanced diet as they can be rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants that confer health benefits for the body and mind. Smoothies are flexible to many different ingredients and have benefits that make it worth grabbing your favourite fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds to start experimenting with blending.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.