The Harvard School of Public Health recommends nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily. For most, the thought of trying to incorporate so many fruits and vegetables into a single day can seem daunting, maybe even impossible. For times when the hours in the day aren't enough, smoothies might be the easiest way to get the recommended daily servings of those nutritious fruits and veggies. But while smoothies can be a great source of vitamins and minerals, it is important to stay mindful of the ingredients.
Most smoothie chains have the appeal of a quick, healthy fix when a snack attack strikes. The downside to this seemingly health-conscious choice is that most of the smoothies are jam packed with sugar. The base for a majority of these smoothies are fruit juices with high sugar content; most of which comes from high fructose corn syrup. High sugar content results in an increased release of insulin, which is damaging to our liver. And repeated overload of these unhealthy sugars actually has the opposite effect on your health, than what the idea of a healthy smoothie originally offered.
Instead of spending upwards of six dollars on a sugary smoothie, opt to make your own at home. This way you are in charge of the ingredients. Another common smoothie base is dairy, which can also cause digestive problems for many people. A more nutritious option is almond milk, coconut milk, or rice milk. All these will aid in consistency, without the adverse effects of lactose.
Another substitute for fruit juice is vegetable juice. Vegetables are dense with nutrients; and by juicing or adding whole fruits, you are able to get the benefits of these whole plant foods such as vitamin B, C, and fiber. An efficient digestive system, lowered cholesterol, a stronger immune defense, and boosted metabolism are some of the advantages one can expect to gain from a smoothie made from all the right ingredients.
Smoothies can be a quick and nutritious way to meet the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Adding freshly juiced vegetables to the mix helps to incorporate even more servings, without having to consume a basket full of food. Nature has a diverse availability of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that are simple to add to any meal plan. So take advantage and see how adding a smoothie can assist in your health.