If you’ve been following the posts on Facebook, then you know I’ve been giving my new Ninja blender a workout. Fruit and vegetable smoothies are a delicious way to add raw foods to your diet. By slurping down just one nutritious smoothie a day, you are more likely to be getting the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables into your diet. And why is that so important?
Unlike juicing, where the fiber is removed, smoothies use the entire fruit or vegetable. So your drink includes complex carbohydrates and the cleansing benefits of fiber. This bulk helps you stay fuller longer, and helps lower cholesterol. Fiber also helps eliminate toxins and prevents constipation, colitis and varicose veins. Additionally, a diet high in fiber will reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Foods like raspberries, raisins, bran, oatmeal and prunes are high in soluble fiber and make a good addition to your smoothies.
These phytochemicals counteract aging and can reduce your susceptibility to cancers caused by free radicals that form in the body. Antioxidant deficiencies are also implicated in early stages of heart disease, eye disease, and age-related declines in memory. By making smoothies with fresh vegetables and fruit, such as strawberries and apples, you give your body the power to fight disease.
Heat kills enzymes. The only way to get them from your food is to eat some foods raw. Making smoothies at home or at your office ensures you get these beneficial nutrients. Enzymes from vegetables and fruit are critical to efficient digestion and absorption of food. This in turn supports a healthy immune system and promotes good health.
Dairy isn’t the only way to get your calcium. Green smoothies that incorporate parsley, spinach, kale and broccoli are an excellent way to get adequate calcium.
Unless you are diabetic, have metabolic syndrome or are prone to yeast infections, the natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables provide the body needed energy and can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. Unlike processed sugar, when you blend a piece of fruit into your smoothie, you are also getting vitamins, enzymes, minerals and antioxidants. Skip the artificially sweetened junk food, and enjoy a nice juicy fruit in your smoothie.
The best way to get your vitamins is from enjoying whole foods. The Vitamin A found in carrots, mangos, and tomatoes is good for healthy skin and provide antioxidants. B Vitamins found in strawberries, avocados, nuts and seeds are essential for brain function. Citrus fruits are full of Vitamin C, helping fight infections and build strong bones.
Smoothies provide nutritional support for every system in your body – cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, immune, musculoskeletal, nervous and respiratory systems. But more on that in another post.
For now, fire up the blender and whirl up your own healthy smoothie for breakfast, an afternoon snack, or early evening energy boost. Post your favorites here to share!