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Tips & Techniques

Smoothies: Good for You or Just a Delicious Nightmare?

Bob Mulligan, Ph.D. stated the conviction that most people could change their lives dramatically in terms of health and increased energy with just a few small changes

They need to get more whole foods, more fruits and vegetables in their diet, and, of course, get more physically active.

Well, what better way to get moving toward more vitality and more energy than a home-brewed smoothie?  Good thought Bob, but is there more to the story?

Is a Smoothie Good for You or Just a Delicious Nightmare?

The answer is simple yes AND no!  It all depends on what’s in them.  Some are nothing more than delicious nightmares like Jamba Juices Peanut Butter Mood Power Smoothie that packs nearly 1200 calories in one 30 oz serving.  That’s just pure craziness in a glass and Juice Bars should be required to post the calorie/fat/sugar counts for each of their items.  Unfortunately, they don’t and unfortunately, much of what you’ll find in a juice bar is anything but healthy.  Heres the good news, its super-easy to make your own and you’ll know exactly what’s in it.  The beauty of a smoothie is you truly can make one from just about any fruit and/or veggie.

Top 5 reasons why people are crazy about smoothies in their healthy lifestyle

  1. This may get a LITTLE technical here, but don’t give up because it’s a point you’ll be glad to know.  Freshly made smoothies provide an excellent source of bio-available vitamins and minerals which partner with enzymes and co-enzymes. Vitamins activate enzymes. Without the vitamins, they simply cannot work the way they’re intended. Enzymes are essential for absorbing, digesting and converting food. Enzymes produce energy at the cellular level and are critical for most of the metabolic activities taking place in your body. WOW!  That’s a biggie!
  2. Your body can absorb more of the vitamins and minerals than if you ate the fruits and vegetables whole. Many of the nutrients are stuck in the fiber and by blending fruits and vegetables, you break down the fiber and release the vital nutrients into a form your body can more easily use.
  3. Literally, any fruit or vegetable can become part of a delicious smoothie.   You can easily sneak some green vegetables into a fruity smoothie and the kids won’t even know its there.  Spinach is easily hidden in a smoothie, but amazingly enough, kids who won’t eat spinach will drink a green smoothie where spinach is the main ingredient and they’ll love every gulp.
  4. Smoothies are easy.  What fruit do you have in your fruit basket, fridge, or freezer?  You can try to blend every type and they’re all good on one level or another.  You truly can’t go wrong.
  5. Smoothies are a perfect morning wake-me-up; afternoon pick-me-up; or quick meal on the go!

There are two things you can add to smoothies to pop the nutrition

  1. Flaxseed, ground (about two tablespoons).  Flaxseed has become our modern miracle food because of its high content of alpha-linolenic acids.  OK, you’re probably saying what in the heck is alpha-linolenic acid for crying out loud?  Actually, its a type of plant-derived omega 3 fatty acid, similar to those found in fish such as salmon.  Multiple studies have shown that flaxseed is beneficial in lowering total cholesterol, including LDL (the bad cholesterol) levels.  It is believed that it may also help lower blood triglyceride and blood pressure.  We could go on and on about the benefits, but we don’t want to bore you.  Trust us, its really, really good for you and it tastes good, too.  It adds kind of a nutty flavor.  Note: Flaxseed does have 3 grams of fat per tablespoon, but its an all-natural, unprocessed, vegetable-based fat, so you may want to ignore it.  It may not be right to ignore it, you could.  Having said that, you don’t want to drink more than one or two smoothies a day, the flaxseed is a healthy addition.  When you’re not having a smoothie for breakfast, you can sprinkle flax seed on your cereal.  It’s just plain good for you, fat grams be damned!
  2. Whole Nectar Ultimate Soy Protein Smoothie Mix.  It’s the only soy protein powder on the market that’s made with whole soybeans.  It’s rich in protein, with a delicious nutty flavor. You may like the way it blends (none of that powdery taste that you get with so many protein replacements).  It’s delish!  You can buy this at Costco when they have it, but if you don’t have a Costco in your area, you can look online and try to buy it directly from the company.  It’s worth every penny!

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