Smoothies and juicing are a popular way to make sure you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as getting the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that you need for good health. If you haven’t started getting the benefits yourself yet, no problem! It’s time to learn why smoothies and juices can help you live a longer, healthier life, and get some tips on what not to do with them to ruin the health effects.
Smoothies & juices are a great way to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables daily. Learn why smoothies & juices can help you live a longer, healthier life!
Why Smoothies and Juices Are Healthy
Smoothies and juicing have a few plus points working in their favor. One of the biggest is the ability to pack more fruit and veggies into your life! If you are someone who could stand to increase your servings of fruits and veggies every day, smoothies and juicing can be an easy way to bump up your intake! Chances are, you will consume far more than you would if you ate the whole food versions. It’s also a great way to broaden your horizons with the type of vegetables you eat and get nutrients from ones you wouldn’t normally eat whole.
Vegetable-based juices can be a super-easy way to make sure you’re absorbing lots of the nutrients you need for good health. If you’ve not been eating great until now, your digestion may not be as efficient as it could be and can mean you don’t absorb vitamins and minerals as well.
One of the great things about smoothies in particular, is the chance to use different combinations of fruit and vegetables to boost your intake. Green smoothies are a perfect example of this as they usually have a fruit in there too (often blueberries or banana). You can tailor them to include ingredients that offer more nutrition. For example, blending leafy greens, berries and avocados will give you vitamin C, vitamin E and a huge range of vitamins and minerals that you may not otherwise get from your diet.
Getting Started with Juicing and Smoothies
If you’re totally new to the idea of juicing or making smoothies, it’s often best to start small and build things up as you learn what works and what you enjoy the most. Try juicing and creating healthy smoothies once a week to begin with and look to build up to doing it every day. It can help to juice smaller amounts at first and drink it throughout the day rather than all at once.
This can be really important with juicing, especially if you’re trying out new foods that you didn’t eat whole in case they don’t agree with you in reasonably large amounts. Start off with fruits and vegetables that you already like to eat whole and gradually branch out into other options.
Some of the veggies that are usually easy to digest include celery and cucumber. The next step up is red and green lettuce, Romaine lettuce and spinach. From here, you can work your way towards leafy greens. These are more dense and can be more difficult to digest. Although they’re super healthy, they’re not always the best way to ease yourself into juicing in particular. If you’re not in love with the taste of juices, try adding a bit of ginger to help diminish that garden-y taste…if you know what we mean!
What to Include in Your Smoothies
One drawback of juicing is the lack of fiber content. Fiber is one of the most important things our body needs for a healthy digestive system! Smoothies keep the fiber content of fruit and vegetables intact because you blend the food as a whole. Fiber tends to be lost when you’re just extracting the juice. This means you can’t rely on juicing to give you fiber so you’ll need to make sure you’re getting plenty from elsewhere in your diet. Smoothies are a great way to do this either through using the whole fruit or veggie. You can also easily add ingredients that bump up your fiber intake like oats, chia seeds, flax seeds or our favorite Active Fiber Complex.
It’s also easy to blend healthy fats and protein into smoothies too. Some fruits are a natural source of healthy fats, including avocado, or you can add chia or flax seeds. For protein, you can include our favorite meal replacement powder, or fave protein powder, Greek yogurt, nut butters, cottage cheese, hemp and pumpkin seeds, almonds and kale.
What Not to Include
Just be careful not to add in too many sugary ingredients into smoothies. This can quickly turn an otherwise healthy smoothie into a sugar bomb that spikes your blood sugar levels. Stick to a balance of fruits, veggies, protein and healthy fats, which will give you a nice balance of nutrients. Lots of fruits are naturally sweet and can satisfy cravings for something sweet without needing to add too much else. You can also keep the sugar content down by opting for more greens in your juices or smoothies.
This is an awesome time to jump into our Rainbow Food Challenge! We host a 5-day challenge focused on eating a rainbow every day. One new color category a day — what a great way to launch your new smoothie habit! Interested? Find out more here.
What’s your favorite smoothie recipe? Share it below! Or perhaps you are in need of some smoothie inspiration? Download our free NewStart Smoothie Recipe Book here!