Is Your Smoothie Really Healthy?

Smoothies are popular for people who want to lose weight and eat healthy. These drinks serve as a great snack or breakfast for those who want a glass full of fresh fruity (or vegetable-y) goodness.

They are typically consumed as alternatives of eating full meals. People drink them for detoxification and weight loss purposes, and many have jumped on the bandwagon. These are usually made from fruits and vegetables soy milk, fruits, yogurt, skim milk or even green leafy vegetables. They are usually lower in calories than many meals, so they are excellent for you if you want to lose weight while taking in all the essential nutrients and minerals. Smoothies are perfect for people on the go – these drinks are highly portable, you can take it anywhere and not miss out on any meals.

While smoothies are ever prevalent today, not all of them are equal. Some may be high in sugar, and some may have more fat content than you really think. They can have unhealthy bases like sugar-laden fruit juices, flavored sugar water, regular or full cream milk, ice creams and sherbets, chocolate and fruit syrups, sugar and other sweeteners and whip cream. Even with fruit, you cannot expect your drink to entirely be healthy when you add any of the ingredients mentioned above. The challenge in incorporating smoothies in your diet is: knowing the quality of your smoothies, or whether or not they are really healthy and not junk food in disguise.

Good news is that there are ways for you to make sure that you’re getting a healthy drink. Here are some tips to follow:

#1 Make your own smoothie!

Fresh vivid smoothie ingredients and blender

It’s easy to be waylaid and buy ready-made smoothies from juice bars or from supermarket fridges. Buying your drink pre-made doesn’t assure you of the freshness and quality of the ingredients. How would you know if your strawberry smoothie is made from fresh strawberries or artificial strawberry syrup?

If you made your own smoothie, you would be the one to pick out the fruits and vegetables, ensuring the quality of the produce that goes into your smoothie. If you are particular about using organic produce, then this step should sit well with you.

Aside from that, you would also be able to pick out the base and leave out the unnecessary unhealthy stuff such as additional sweeteners, cream milk and extra ingredients.

#2 Put a whole, balanced meal into one drink

Pick out ingredients which have the right vitamins and nutrients, protein and fiber and blend them together! It may not be that savory as eating the real things, but at least you’re sure that your diet is whole and complete.

#3 Keep your smoothie simple

Too much unnecessary ingredients may make your smoothie too complicated and load it up with calories. Try sticking to four ingredients and essentials such as nonfat milk, yogurt, soy milk, or green tea and some calcium.

#4 Stay away from sugar

Many people are used to having their smoothies taste sweet, and you may, too. This may lead you to use too much sugar or other sugar substitutes. If you have a sweet tooth, use healthier sweeteners like organic honey or stevia. Stick to fruits and vegetables with low glycemic indexes to keep a balance in your blood sugar levels.

#5 Choose healthy

Beetroot juice in glass on wooden cutting board

Remember the basics. Healthy smoothie bases include fresh fruit or vegetable juice, raw or almond milk, bottled water, tea and fermented beverages. Healthy ingredients that you may incorporate include fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, protein powders, Chia seeds, superfoods (morringa, spirulina, goji, maca etc), herbs or spices, supplements and sweeteners like honey and stevia.

#6 Have fun

As you can see, you can mix and match quite a number of ingredients and make a wide range of smoothies for the whole year. The last thing you want is to get tired of your recipes. So go ahead, check out recipes online and have fun!

About the author

Justine R

On an eternal quest for happiness, Justine tries to lead a positive lifestyle by giving back to the universe and following natural approaches to parenting, health, food and beauty. When she's not on the beach, she keeps herself fit (and sane) by running and doing yoga.

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