Smoothies are a tasty, functional way to get in your fruits and veggies for the day. Let’s find out with nutrition Expert Lindsey Pine how to make that perfect, healthy blend for yourself!
Seriously, have you ever met someone who said they don’t like smoothies? Whether they function as a meal, snack, pre-workout or recovery shake, or convenient to-go meal, your smoothie is only as healthy as you make it!
Adding fruit to a smoothie is one of the best ways to start your day. While fruit has naturally occurring sugars, it also has many vitamins and minerals. Fruit also contains immune-enhancing and anti-aging antioxidants and phytochemicals, plus fiber to help stabilize blood sugar. The recommended daily amount of fruit for healthy men and women is 1 1/2 to 2 cups, so adding fruit to a smoothie is a great way to get your daily fill.
Assuming you’re not vegan or don’t have an allergy to it, a great liquid of choice in a smoothie is regular milk. In addition to containing calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin B12, cow’s milk has 12 grams of carbs and 8 grams of protein per cup. This is ideal for fueling muscles and assisting in recovery.
Nut and coconut milks are a great option, but unless you seek out an unsweetened one, many store-bought brands contain added sugars and hardly any protein.
Here are a few important smoothie tips to keep in mind the next time you throw it all in the blender:
THE RIGHT RATIO
For a 16 ounce smoothie, use up to approximately 1 cup of fruit, ¾ cup of liquid and ½ cup Greek yogurt.
LOAD UP THE VEGGIES
Don’t be scared to throw veggies into your smoothie for lots of added nutrients and fiber.
WATCH THE SUGAR
To reduce added sugars, always use unsweetened milks, plain yogurt, unsweetened nut butters and watch your portion size of added sweeteners. Protein powders are also often a hiding spot for added sugars.
PREP IT TO-GO
Don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning? Prep a smoothie for breakfast the night before and take to work in a to-go cup.
Don’t want to take the time to clean a blender? Use an immersion blender.
ADD THE GREEN STUFF
Add veggies like spinach and cucumber, plus healthy fats from avocados!
For more fun smoothie tips, visit Lindsey for the full article!
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Lindsey Pine, MS, RDN, CSSD, CLT is a Los Angeles-based dietitian, specializing in food sensitivities and culinary creations. Whether she’s working with students at University of Southern California or in her private practice, Lindsey helps others find the healthy foods that they love so help sustain their long-term success. To find your tastiest balance in life, connect with Lindsey at Tasty Balance Nutrition.