Heuser Health

 

Sip Some Summer Smoothies

By: Lauren Berryman

 

Happy Summer! Here’s to more trips to the pool, cookouts with family and friends, and classic sweltering temperatures we Louisvillians know all too well!

 

Fresh, homemade smoothies are a popular way to stay cool this summer. The great thing about smoothies is that you can practically use any combination of fruits and vegetables stocked at home, including strawberries, bananas, pineapple, and oranges. Making smoothies at home is the best way to confidently know what is going into your drink.

 

Drinking smoothies boosts fruit and vegetable intakes, two food groups many lack. These nutrient-dense drinks are high in fiber aiding the digestive process and are also high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants boosting the immune system. 1

With the addition of fat free milk or nonfat yogurt, the amount of calcium is enhanced. And, with the addition of protein powder, peanut butter or chia seeds, smoothies can be a good source of protein.

 

But, which vegetable is a great source of both calcium and protein? Spinach. This dark green, leafy food is also high in magnesium and iron, leading many to distinguish spinach as a superfood. 2 However, if not fond of its taste, blending it in smoothies is an easy way to add it to the diet, while its flavor is masked by the sweet taste of other fruits and vegetables. Additionally, gradually adding spinach allows taste buds to adapt to its flavor.

 

Smoothies contain many natural sugars, but be cautious when adding yogurts and juices as this is an easy way to turn a nutritious smoothie into a higher calorie, sugary drink.

 

When deciding whether to use fresh fruits and vegetables opposed to frozen ones, research says that while frozen produce loses a little of its nutritional value, they are overall equally beneficial. 3 It mainly comes down to one thing – preference. Smoothies with frozen fruits and vegetables provide a thicker texture than their fresh counterparts.

 

While drinking smoothies offers many health benefits, it is important to do all things in moderation. The Produce for Better Health Foundation recommends capping smoothies at 8-12 ounces per day. 4

 

Want to be cool? Then, grab some fruits and vegetables, add some milk or yogurt, and scoop a handful (or two) of ice, and blend yourself a healthy and refreshing smoothie to stay cool this summer!

 

To access over 30 Healthy Smoothie Recipes, click here: https://www.myrecipes.com/healthy-diet/smoothie-recipes.

 

References:

  1. Wright, Brierley. “Health Benefits of Juicing vs. Smoothies.” EatingWell, EatingWell, 7 Nov. 2013, www.eatingwell.com/article/276763/health-benefits-of-juicing-vs-smoothies/.
  2. Ware, Megan. “Spinach: Nutrition, Health Benefits, and Diet.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 29 June 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270609.php.
  3. Brown, Mary Jane. “Fresh vs Frozen Fruit and Vegetables – Which Are Healthier?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 15 June 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/fresh-vs-frozen-fruit-and-vegetables.
  4. Wright, Brierley. “Health Benefits of Juicing vs. Smoothies.” EatingWell, EatingWell, 7 Nov. 2013, www.eatingwell.com/article/276763/health-benefits-of-juicing-vs-smoothies/.

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