Who loves smoothies? I know I do. There’s nothing quite like a smooth, creamy blend of fruits and veggies to make your taste buds and body sing.
Smoothies have many benefits beyond good taste; they can help you increase the number of fruits and vegetables in your diet, which is a cancer-protective eating style. This is a good thing, as it can be hard to meet your vegetable requirement of about 2 ½ – 3 cups per day for adults, and fruit requirement of about 1 ½ – 2 cups per day for adults. So packing a few servings into your glass is a good start.
And, unlike juices, smoothies use the whole fruit or vegetable. So you’re getting all of that fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemical goodness in the entire plant food.
Here are a few tips for building a better smoothie:
- Fill at least one-third of your blender with vegetables, such as carrots, peppers, cucumbers, greens, and celery.
- Add unsweetened fresh, canned, or frozen fruit—oranges, bananas, berries, mangoes, peaches—to add natural sweetness and nutrients
- Skip the added sugars, such as honey, table sugar, or agave. Let the fruit serve as all the sweetener you need.
- Add fortified soy or dairy milk to increase protein, as well as calcium and vitamin D in your smoothie.
- Add a pinch of spice, such as ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, or cardamom, to further increase flavor and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Try this Mango Carrot Ginger Smoothie for starters.
Thanks to Sharon Palmer for guest blogging and recipe
Sharon Palmer, RDN, The PlantPowered Dietitian, is a Los Angeles-based, award-winning food and nutrition writer, plant-based food expert, and author of Plant-Powered for Life and The Plant-Powered Blog.