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The Benefits of a Smoothie Diet
Smoothies are a delicious way of enjoying nature's best in fruits and vegetables. They are a great way to eat a meal in a glass, offering a fast and easy means to preparing and eating. Many people today do not get enough proper nutrition due to busy lifestyles and fast convenient foods are their mainstay. A smoothie offers a fast and convenient way to consume fresh fruits and vegetables without the added preservatives and processed sugars. Even if a person does not like the taste of vegetables, the smoothie will be covered by the flavor of the added fruit, making it easy and pleasant to consume the food.
A smoothie is a drink created from fresh fruits and vegetables with a liquid, from either water or dairy or something similar. Other flavors and textures can be added if desired and it helps to make the smoothie a complete meal to add proteins.
The Benefits of a Smoothie Diet, Fruits in Particular
The smoothies included on the smoothie diet are high in nutrients. It gives the body a good amount of vitamins and minerals and even healthful essential fatty acids when certain ingredients are included. This combination is a good way to receive the nutrient necessary to give the body energy. It takes energy to be able to move about and moving about , or exercising, is vital to a healthy body. If the desire is to lose weight, then exercising while going on the diet will help to facilitate both weight and fat loss. Smoothies offer a way to gain all the nutrients necessary in one glass, making it an easy diet to follow without a lot of prep work.
Being dehydrated is a major concern for some people. They do not take the time needed to drink the water their body needs each day. Or they drink junk food drinks that do not give the body any nutritional benefit. Being on the smoothie diet insures the body will stay well hydrated, since the smoothies are primarily liquid created from healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. Even if the main liquid of the smoothie is milk or yogurt, those are primarily made from water, so the body derives plenty of water from the drinks.
Many smoothie recipes contain dairy foods, which makes the smoothie recipe high in calcium. Calcium is a vital nutrient and is responsible for helping the body to have strong bones. Adding milk to the recipes helps to add this nutrient to the body. When the recipe calls for yogurt, there are added benefits in the form of good probiotics, which aids the digestive system. Using whole dairy over low fat will provide a higher level of the nutrients.
The smoothie diet is one of the easiest diets to create and follow. It does not take rocket science to concoct smoothie recipes and pour them into a glass to drink. It takes significantly less time than it does to prepare food and cook a meal. Adding ingredients to the smoothie allows the offering of extra nutrients. Adding a tablespoon of extra virgin cocnut oil gives a good dose of healthy fatty acids as well as antioxidants.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This meal gives the energy to face the rest of the day. If we eat junk for breakfast, the result will be a sluggish feeling, and weight gain. If we eat a nutritious meal we will have energy to burn, we will want to get up and move around. Often, breakfast is overlooked due to time restraints. Busy lifestyles have us getting up late and running, unable to stop and cook a healthy breakfast. A smoothie for breakfast makes it possible to have a nutritious and quick breakfast. It only takes a few minutes to fix and drink. Much of the ingredients can be prepped the night before, so it will be ready to go the morning of. Some smoothies will allow for fixing ahead of time and storage in the refrigerator.
One of the best breakfast foods are fruit. These are packed with nutrients and have enough sweetness to them to satisfy our sweet tooth. By pairing fruit with nutritious oils and dairy, the result is a drink that will give the body energy and satisfaction. No hunger pangs, just a good feeling of wellness. Pick and choose ingredients that offer the highest level of nutrition and ones that work well together to help give the body an energy boost, which is the most important aspect of a breakfast food.
Most of the smoothie recipes do contain fruit a few contain vegetables. Fruits are high in carbohydrates. Good carbs are what gives the body the energy needed to move. Fruits contain natural sweeteners, which the body assimilates faster and easier than processed sweeteners. Caution should be made when looking to drink a prepackaged smoothie over one that is home made. Prepackaged smoothies may contain added sugars and calories, which will not facilitate weight and fat loss, but will instead add to it.
The smoothie diets give the body a high amount of antioxidants, which are vital nutrients. Antioxidants are vitamins like A, C and E. These help the body to fight off free radicals. Free radicals are agents that attack the cells in the body and can lead to detrimental diseases like cancer. If the body has enough of these antioxidants, it can fight off these illnesses because it boosts and strengthens the immune system.
In addition to antioxidants, healthy smoothies also contain high levels of vital vitamins and minerals that come from the fresh foods added. All fruit is healthy, containing good levels of vitamins and minerals. Each fruit varies in the content of the nutrition; it helps to include a big variety of fruits while on the smoothie diet. For example, oranges and strawberries contain vitamin C. Cantaloupe, papaya, and peaches contain vitamin A, and B vitamins are found in bananas and cantaloupes. Bananas are known for containing potassium. Ever hear of the advice to eat a banana to keep from getting muscle spasms? Cantaloupe also contains potassium. Copper is found in kiwi, peaches, and pineapple. Bananas, blueberries, and strawberries contain manganese.
Fiber is a valuable substance in food for the body. Without fiber the body would stop up, digestive system would become sluggish and unable to absorb all the nutrients needed to be healthy. Fruit provides a natural source high in fiber, especially if the peels and skins of the fruit are eaten (like pears, apples and even berries). The meat of the fruit also contains fiber, especially kiwi, bananas and papayas and even cherries and strawberries. When eating a healthy smoothie diet be ready for a good digestive system cleanse.
A good healthy smoothie needs an added protein because fruit itself is not too high in protein. Adding dairy, like milk or yogurt helps to provide the needed protein. Even a spoon of powdered milk will give the smoothie a nice protein boost. Protein is needed along with carbohydrates to help the body. While the carbs give energy, proteins give the cells substance, to build muscles, to move.
One of the major benefits of the smoothie diet is the low fat content in the food. Some fat is needed, so do not feel bad by choosing to use whole dairy foods. However, if you want to go lowest possible fat, choose the low fat versions of milk and yogurts.
The Benefits of Drinking Green Smoothies
Not all smoothies are made with fruit only. There is a line of smoothies that add vegetables, in particular, green veggies, thus the term "green Smoothies." Going on the smoothie diet insures the body will get plenty of fruit, which is good because as discovered above, fruit contains many good nutrients. However, vegetables are just as good and contain added nutrients, some even higher in antioxidants than fruits. Many people though may turn their nose up at the thought of drinking a pureed vegetable, thinking it will not taste good. Or perhaps they feel only the diehard nutrition 'freaks' drink such smoothies. But the truth is vegetables are a great addition to the ingredient list for smoothie recipes. They do add their own flavors, but often, the fruit and dairy will overpower the vegetable. This allows the benefit of eating their vegetables but only tasting the fruits.
Raw vegetables are the most nutritious. When we cook vegetables, they lose some of their nutrition. Since creating smoothies requires raw ingredients, the nutrition derived from vegetables is high. The benefits of drinking a diet smoothie made with vegetables are powerful. Again, there are pre-packaged green smoothies, but often the veggies included in these are processed and pasteurized, and this causes the vegetable to lose its nutritional benefits. It is better to stick with making all smoothies from scratch to derive the most nutrition.
The diets of today, or lack of good diet, means that people are not gaining the full benefit from the foods they eat. If a person eats a lot of processed foods and junk foods, then it is likely they are not receiving any fresh fruits and vegetables. This causes a host of problems in the body starting with deficiencies of the essential vitamins and minerals we need in order to stay healthy. People think they can gain their nutrients from swallowing supplements, but the benefit is not the same. The best way for the body to get these vital nutrients are from eating highly nutritious whole foods, mainly from fruits and vegetables. Consuming green smoothies, smoothies with vegetables gives the body added vitamin A, B, C and K as well as folate, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and zinc.
Vegetables help with weight loss and maintenance. The added vegetables in the smoothies makes them more satisfying and thus people are not as hungry after consuming them and are able to make it to their next snack or meal without being too hungry in between. A really good green smoothie will have sixty-percent fruit with forty percent vegetables. This combination makes the food easier to digest and the body gains the benefit of the nutrients as a result. Junk foods go through the body faster and thus hunger comes on faster, but also because of junk food, the body is not able to absorb all the nutrients from the foods. Eating fruits and vegetables, especially in raw form, slows down the digestive process just enough that the body is able to absorb all the proper nutrients. It also gives a fuller feeling longer, curbing the hunger and stopping the need to graze and snack. In essence, the more junk food you eat, the hungrier you will be and you will keep eating more to try to satisfy the hunger.
Smoothies are actually very good to taste. This is why so many enjoy making smoothies for quickie breakfasts and snacks regardless of their main diet. So many people do not like the taste of vegetables and smoothies, especially green smoothies. This gives them the opportunity to include vegetables without the worry of the taste hindering the enjoyment of it. Because smoothies are more fruit, the fruit flavor overpowers the vegetable flavor.
Lose Weight and Fat on the Smoothie Diet
The smoothie diet makes it easy to lose weight and body fat because of the ease in both the creation of smoothies and the ease of drinking them. It is almost too easy, but once a person starts the smoothie diet and sees how easy it is they may have to force themselves to eat whole foods again.
If you eat smoothies for each meal, you will want to try to incorporate more protein by adding protein powder (found at health food stores). A spoon or two of this and it makes the smoothie a complete meal. Feel free to add extra foods to the recipes, if you want the recipe sweeter, try throwing in some extra pieces of fruit, especially berries, will add to the sweetness factor.
Smoothie Creations - A Quick How To Guide
The star of the smoothie creation is the blender. You cannot make a decent smoothie without one, so if you do not have one, go purchase one. You can use a food processor too if that is all you have. You will want a decent blender, one that will be able to handle pureeing whole pieces of fruit and vegetables.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are always the best, however, frozen will work just as well. Sometimes fresh fruits and vegetables may not be available, so you will have to turn to frozen. Canned fruits and vegetables can work in a pinch, but only if you absolutely cannot find them in fresh or frozen form. Remember canned foods are processed and cooked and have lost some of their nutrients in the process.
Some fruits and maybe a few vegetables may contain enough juice to create a good smoothie, providing all the liquid needed. However, some do not and the addition of a liquid is needed. Many smoothie recipes call for milk or yogurt. Some may use water and some may use a dairy substitute. This gives some protein in the mix as well. Other "liquid" choices include nut milks, tea, actual fruit juice, ice cream, yogurt, sparkling water, and plain water.
If you are on the smoothie diet and drinking them with every meal or in place of every meal, you will want to sprinkle protein powder in the mix. Protein powder is made from soy, rice, and whey.
A well-balanced smoothie meal will have fruit, vegetables, and protein. Even if you are making one of the fruit only recipes, you can add some sneaky vegetables into the mix and no one will be the wiser. Sneak in a bit of chopped spinach or kale. Try some celery or even beetroot. If you cannot find fresh vegetables, visit your local health food store and purchase green plant powder, and add a spoonful of this to turn the fruit smoothie into a green smoothie.
If you want the smoothie to taste sweeter instead of grabbing from the sugar bowl try some of these suggestions: a ripe banana, a spoonful or two of honey, stevia, or agave nectar.
Do you want to spice up the smoothie or give it more flavor? Try adding some extra ingredients that add a burst of flavor like vanilla extract, cayenne powder, almond extract, coconut milk, cinnamon, salt, or a spoonful of nut butter.
If you enjoy a thicker and colder smoothie try crushing ice and including it in the blender. Only do this when you plan to drink the smoothie right then. You cannot store smoothies with ice chunks for too long in the refrigerator or the smoothie will be too thin and runny. Some smoothies may be good as frozen pops, experiment with this, especially if it is hot weather, and if you enjoy frozen pops.
If your blender is new, you may need to experiment with the settings to figure out which ones will work best for the smoothie recipes. Sometimes you may need to puree to get the desired texture, while other times just the blend setting will work.
Just because you are on the smoothie diet does not mean you cannot enjoy whole foods too. If you have made a smoothie using berries, save a few for garnishment once the smoothie is done. You can also garnish with different fruit or even a wedge of lemon or a mint sprig or parsley leaf (depending on whether or not the smoothie is sweet or savory).
Tips For Making Good Smoothies
If you find you have a fruit or vegetable that is difficult to blend into a drink, try "juicing" it first. You will need a juicer in order to do this. Juicers are able to handle turning even the toughest pieces of fruit and vegetables into a liquid. If you do not own a juicer, try peeling the fruit or vegetable first. Blend the center first. Chop the peel into fine pieces and add it a little bit at a time until the smoothie is the consistency you desire. Always chop the fruit and vegetables before adding to the blender.
If the smoothie is too thin, try adding a bit more fruit,or ice cubes. If it is too think, thin it with liquid, milk, yogurt, ice cream, or even fruit juice or water. If you wish for a creamy smoothie use yogurt or ice cream for the liquid instead of water and ice.
It is okay to refrigerate or even freeze a smoothie if you cannot consume it right after creating it. Allow a frozen smoothie to thaw in the refrigerator for a day, or allow it to sit out at room temperature for about an hour. If you refrigerate it, drink it within a day.
If you plan to use fruit juice for the liquid try freezing it in ice trays first, that way it will help the smoothie to have a thicker frozen texture.
When blending the smoothie always test a spoonful first to make sure of the flavor and texture before pouring it into a glass.