WHAT BENEFITS YOU WILL GET FROM FRUIT SMOOTHIES?
- Offer calcium if blended with yogurt, milk, or soy
- Provide fiber
- Rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, and flavonoids
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
Fruits are renowned for containing a rich array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant nutrients; but sometimes chomping on just an apple, strawberry, or other juicy fruit isn't completely satisfying. For delicious variety, try a smooth, homemade concoctions of fresh fruits blended with other healthful ingredients such as yogurt. A fruit smoothie makes a delicious, nutrient-rich snack or meal.
HEALING IN A FROTHY DRINK
Many people don't get enough fruit in their diets, and a single smoothie can pack two or more servings. Unlike plain juice, smoothies contain whole, pureed fruit, complete with soluble and insoluble fiber such as lignin and pectin, which reduce risk of heart disease and cancer. While nutritional values vary from one smoothie to the next, depending on what you add, even a basic strawberry-banana concoction is rich in potassium (which helps control blood pressure), vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber, making it a very potent "portion" for overall health and disease prevention.
Smothies are ideal when you need a portable, sippable stand-in for breakfast or lunch or if you want a refreshing, restorative snack. Choose from your favorite fruits, especially when they're in season, and strive for a balance of solid and liquid for best consistency. Cut fruit into small pieces and freeze for a frostier drink, or use crushed ice. But don't limit yourself to a single formula-with the right ingredients in hand, you can approach smoothies as a healing foods prescription. To tailor your smoothie to your nutritional needs and personal tastes, consider any of these combinations:
For a classic banana-strawberry smoothie, blend 1 ripe banana, 1/2 cup sliced strawverries, 2 ice cubes, and 1 cup orange juice.
For heart-protecting vitamin A, use cantaloupe cubes. Immune-boosting vitamin C can be had from mangoes-which also supply disease-fighting E-along with strawberries, blueberries, and orange juice. For the B vitamins folate, thiamin, and riboflavin, blend in wheat germ.
Blueberries offer fatique-fighting iron; banana, peaches, and orange juice supply potassium; and pineapple offers manganese, a mineral that aids digestion. A bit of soft tofu contains magnesium, to help maintain muscles and prevent cramps. Wheat germ also offers magnesium plus fatigue-fighting iron and wound-healing zinc. For a good dose of bone-building calcium, add 1/2 cup of low - nonfat milk or yogurt.
To have it all, nutritionally speaking, toss these into your blender or food processor: at least 1 whole fruit for fiber and vitamins, 1/2 cup soy or cow's milk for calcium and a punch of protein, and 1 tbsp. wheat germ for extra minerals and other important nutrients.
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