Smoothies are refreshing drinks made from a mixture of pureed fruits, vegetables, and a liquid base. Oftentimes, people who are practicing a healthy diet drink this. It is undeniably a healthy treat that gives a lot of benefits to the body. This vitamin-packed drink is usually consumed in the morning because it is a great way to start your day.
Smoothies are very flexible. There are lots of interesting options to choose from when deciding what to put in your healthy mix. Let’s learn more about what makes a good smoothie and its benefits to the body.
Components Of A Smoothie
Liquids are an important part of your smoothie. This decides how creamy or runny your blend is. Here are some liquids that people use in their smoothies.
- Milk gives smoothies creaminess and thickness. It is one of the favorite liquids in making smoothies because it is rich in calcium which supports strong bones. Milk also has the ability to mask the unpleasant taste of some greens.
- Non-dairy kinds of milk such as almond milk, soya milk, and coconut milk won’t affect the taste of your smoothies but can make them creamy. These milk substitutes are ideal for those who have lactose intolerance.
- Yoghurt is another great option. It is packed with nutrients like milk, such as vitamins B-2 and B-12, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and is also high in protein. A healthier option is when the yoghurt used is unflavored and fat-free.
- Fruit juice is a flavorful liquid option. They are full of vitamins, but the only thing to be considered is the excess sugar it contains.
- Coconut water is one of the staples when making a smoothie. Aside from its very subtle flavor, it is also packed with nutrients such as carbs, fiber, protein, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, and calcium.
Base can be a mixture of fruits or vegetables depending on the taste that you’re after and the vitamins and nutrients that come with them. Choosing the ingredients for a smoothie are influenced by the texture, color, flavor, and taste.
- Fruits are considered one of the best gifts of nature. Not only are they colorful, but they are also packed with nutrients. For a creamier base, you can use banana, avocado, and mango. These three are a good source of many vitamins and are a great source of folate, which helps in red blood cell formation and cell growth. Another great fruit is berries. They are rich in antioxidants, fibers, and vitamin C and add color to your drink. The commonly used berries in smoothies are strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, including acai berries, goji berries, and cranberries.
- Vegetables create a good balance in your smoothies. They are packed with health benefits and add bright colours to the drink. A good mix of greens and superfood vegetables improves the immune system and rejuvenates the body. Commonly used greens include kale, broccoli, spinach, arugula, romaine, and parsley. For other vegetables, many use carrots, zucchini, beets, and squash.
- Seeds and nuts are not only limited as a snack or add crunch to certain dishes, it can also be incorporated in smoothies. It can be nut butter to make a thick consistency or can be crushed and added as toppings. They are packed with healthy fats, proteins and fibres. They are an ideal component when trying to lose weight due to their fat content not being fully absorbed in the body. They also aid in calorie burning. Commonly used nuts are almonds, macadamia, and peanuts, while for seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds are the favourites.
Ice gives smoothies the chill factor. A good amount of crushed iced blended into your healthy concoction can make it more refreshing and enjoyable. Aside from using plain ice, many smoothie fans also use frozen fruits to give their drink extra flavour and added vitamins.
Benefits Of Smoothies
Because smoothies are a mix of many healthy fruits and vegetables, it offers a wide range of health benefits. Here are some:
- Aids weight loss
- Hydrates the body
- Controls cravings
- Helps with digestion
- Improves immunity
- Good source of antioxidants
- Helps manage sleep disorders
- Helps the body detoxify
- Enhances brain power
- Good source of fibre
- Lowers risk of heart disease
- Regulates blood sugar
Extras To Boost Your Smoothie
CBD oil is a great additive to your smoothies. It is known for its many therapeutic benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties. However, many people also use CBD oil for pain relief and to help manage sleep. You can add a few oil drops, melted CBD gummies or infused juice to your blender.
Ashwagandha is a famous medicinal herb that has been used since ancient times and can be added to your healthy mix. It is known for its positive health effects like the regulation of blood sugar, management of anxiety and depression, boosted fertility and testosterone levels in men, and it can also improve brain function.
Chaga can be added to your smoothies. It is said to fight inflammation, lowers cholesterol, prevents and fights cancer, lowers blood sugar, and boosts your immune system. It is also rich in fibers and other nutrients that support overall health.
Maca is another great adaptogen that can provide additional health benefits to your refreshing drink. It is known to have effects on the fertility of both men and women. It is rich in vitamins B, C, and E, which help balance the hormones in the body and increase energy and stamina.
Astragalus is a powerful adaptogen that can also be added to your smoothies. It is said to be full of antioxidants that protect the cells against free radicals. It also can help to boost the immune system that protects the body from respiratory infections, lower blood pressure, and is beneficial for people with diabetes. Astragalus also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Easy Smoothie Recipe
Individuals who have busy schedules and are always on the go are the ones who go for a quick smoothie mix. Aside from all the nutrients and energy, it can also keep them full for a longer time. Here’s an easy smoothie recipe that is packed with nutrients and doesn’t take long to make.
What you’ll need:
- 1 banana (frozen if you want to skip ice);
- ½ berry of choice;
- 1 cup spinach;
- ½ cup full-fat milk;
- ½ cup almond milk;
- A handful of nuts of choice ;
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon;
- CBD oil drops (as desired).
What you’ll do:
- Blend all the ingredients together except cinnamon and CBD oil. Blend until you reach a smooth consistency.
- Add in your cinnamon and CBD oil, and blend for another 15 seconds.
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