Recipe: Mixed Berry Smoothie

Packed with antioxidants and immune system boosting vitamins, smoothies are a healthy way to nourish your body with essential nutrients. They also have been shown to promote proper digestion and inflammation reduction. All you need is a blender, fruit, yogurt, and juice. 

YOU'LL NEED: 

  • 1 Cup Mixed Berries
  • 1 Cup Apple Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Spinach 
  • 1 Cup Strawberry Greek Yogurt

DIRECTIONS: 

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Serve and Enjoy!

Vitamins and Minerals

There are six categories of fruits that contain a variety of vitamins and minerals--citrus, berries, tropical, drupes, pomes and melons.

Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit, oranges, tangerines and lemons, contain good amounts of vitamin C, potassium and folate. Vitamin C helps your immune system and synthesizes collagen that aids in the framework of your body. Potassium supports your heart function and helps maintain a normal blood pressure, while folate promotes healthy cells.

The berry category includes blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and grapes. They contain particular antioxidants that decrease inflammation and phytonutrients that help fight disease.

Tropical fruits include papaya, kiwi fruit, pineapple, avocado, coconut, pomegranates, bananas and mangoes. Typically, these fruits are sources of vitamin C, potassium, folate and manganese, which keeps your bones, blood sugar, thyroid gland and nerves healthy.

Common drupes fruits are cherries, apricots, peaches and plums. They provide beta carotene, potassium and vitamin C. Beta carotene helps your vision and immune system function properly.

Pomes fruits include apples and pears, which contain vitamin C and potassium. The melon category includes watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew and casaba, which all contain adequate amounts of vitamin C.

 

Fiber

Drinking fruit smoothies can help you reach the recommended intake of fiber, which is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Adding spinach to your smoothie increases fiber intake. It may turn your smoothie a little green but you will not taste the spinach. 

One serving of fruit typically contains two to four grams of fiber with blackberries, pears and apples having the highest concentration of five to seven grams per serving. The soluble fiber found in fruit helps slow digestion and may help control blood sugar and lower cholesterol.

 

Smoothie Base

Making your own smoothie means you get to choose a base that you like best. You can add water, milk, almond milk or yogurt to the fruit in order to add bulk. The healthier options would include water, low-fat milk or low-fat yogurt, which will add flavor and nutrients without a huge number of calories. The water will provide your body with fluid that is necessary for metabolism of food and transportation of nutrients. The low-fat dairy contains calcium and vitamin D, which help your bones stay strong. Find what works best for you. 

 

Smoothie Tips

When trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight, smoothies could be used as a meal replacement, not an addition. For instance, drink a smoothie for breakfast instead of eating cereal and toast. Additionally, fruit smoothies can be a healthy additional any meal plan as long as you maintain portion control. Find what works best for you to incorporate smoothies into your diet plan.

 

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