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Six smoothie tips for a healthier you

March 14, 2017


Smoothie season is right around the corner! Get the skinny on these popular nutritious drinks from NCH’s nutrition expert Lindsay Sawyer Lim, RDN, LDN, M.B.A., M.P.H.

What’s the health benefit to a daily smoothie?

It’s a good, portable way to get fruits and vegetables into your diet! Fruits and veggies are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Include whole veggies and fruit (not just the juice) for fiber. A diet rich in fruits and veggies can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and some types of cancer and digestive problems.

Does a smoothie pack more nutritional punch than just eating spinach and other fruits and veggies ‘in the raw’?

You get the same nutrition as you would if you ate these fruits and vegetables individually. Don’t’ be fooled by products that say differently.

What items should be a mainstay of one’s daily smoothie?

Aim for at least one vegetable and one fruit. Keep it simple. You can also add yogurt or milk for extra protein, calcium and Vitamin D. Fortified almond or coconut milk with peanut butter also work well. I prefer these more natural choices over protein powders.

What should be avoided in a daily smoothie?

Be cautious about adding too many fruits. Fruits are wonderful, but they do contain natural sugar so don’t go crazy. Avoid adding extra fruit juice, sugar or honey. Choose low-fat dairy products to save on calories and fat.

How long does a smoothie last?

Try to drink the smoothie within 24 hours and no later than 48 hours. Enjoy it sooner rather than later for food safety, quality and taste.

Should a smoothie replace a meal?

It can, but I would recommend it only for one meal per day. Consistency in your diet is important! Diet plans that call for multiple smoothies or shakes are not sustainable; lack all of the needed nutrients for a healthy diet; and often lead to regaining weight once the habit ends. A smoothie will likely take up most of the calories for your meal – so don’t have a smoothie and a full meal as well.

See more suggestions for a super smoothie.