Smoothies are good for you, according to science. Here’s how to get the most out of them, with 4 easy DIY recipes

Smoothies are tailor-made for the on-the-go Insta generation. They’re quick, easy to make, immunity-boosting, and look great on your social media feed. But beyond the obvious, nutritionist Amrita Kotak, founder of RealLife Nutrition (@reallife.dietitian on Instagram and Frise and Shine on YouTube)shares why they’re worth adding to your diet – and why you shouldn’t overdo it.

Benefits of smoothies

They’re a great way to pack in food from different food groups, each of which give us different nutrients that come together for the optimum functioning of our bodies. Typically made with either milk/plant milk or yoghurt and ice as a base and to this, you can add a variety of toppings of your choice, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, protein powders, cocoa fruits powder, oats and dried fruits.

Smoothies score over fruit juices in that the fiber from fruits and veggies is retained in them.

The perfect blend of fat, fiber, good carbs and protein, they’re also an excellent option if you’re one of those people who don’t like to eat large breakfasts or meals, need to eat on the go, or are unwell and need to pack in nutrients in an easy-to-eat fashion. Being a balanced snack, there are no fluctuating blood sugars, which means better hunger regulation.

How to get the most out of your smoothie

1. Get the timing right

Ideally, pick either of these times.

+ Breakfast: Your stomach is empty from a night of not having eaten anything, and the semi-solid/liquid consistency of a smoothie allows for energy to be absorbed quickly from the food. A great way to kickstart your day.

+ Post workout: a milk/yoghurt and fruit-based smoothie makes for a perfect post-workout snack, in part because it gives you that one-two protein-carb combo, which helps to refuel your body and aid in a quick recovery. If you’re using a protein supplement, add it to your smoothie.

2. Go seasonal

Use fresh, seasonal produce for the best quality and for max nutrients. Change up your smoothie recipes to get in different nutrients (spinach, berries, avocados etc).

3. Don’t overdo it

Your smoothie should be around 200ml (1 glass), and ideally be consumed only once a day. You still need adequate dietary fiber and foods you can chew on (instead of simply swallow), so a purely liquid diet is not the way to go. Also, since smoothies go down easily, you could end up consuming more than you should in a single sitting, sending your calorie count skyrocketing.

Also, blending fruits destroys the plant cell walls, releasing free sugars that aren’t all that healthy, if consumed in excess.

Four smoothie recipes to try

Packed with protein, carb and fiber, here are some of our go-to smoothie recipes.

1. BANANA SMOOTHIE

Bananas are a great source of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and potassium. Consume immediately to reap max benefits.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 overripe Banana
  2. 1/3 Cup Yoghurt or 1/2 Cup Milk
  3. 1-2 Dates for added sweetness (if needed)
  4. Ice to adjust consistency
  5. Optional: Add Mango and once the smoothie is ready, top with 1 tbsp Chia seeds

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