When provided with the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, our bodies can function optimally, leaving us feeling more alive and energised.
A quick and delicious way to boost your health are smoothies.
A recent tells us that most Australians are not as healthy as they think. We need to eat higher quantities and a greater variety of fruit and vegetables every day to meet the minimum Australian benchmark.
Even if we think we are eating enough vegetables, we may not be getting all the
nutrients we need because:
- As we age, our digestion becomes less efficient and we no longer absorb many of the nutrients in our food.
- Food today is less nutritious than in the past due to modern agricultural practices.
- Food today contains more pesticides, which are more demanding on our bodies.
How to increase your nutrient intake
Smoothies are a quick, easy and delicious way to increase your nutrient intake. Smoothies can contain all the goodness and fibre from the fruits and veggies, unlike juices which have the fibre removed. The fibre is important for gut health.
Here are three smoothie recipes I enjoy:
Blend a cup of frozen raspberries, half a fresh beetroot (chopped), one small Lebanese cucumber (chopped), juice and zest of one lemon and a cup of water.
Variations: Use blackberries or mixed berries. A couple of slices of fresh ginger will add a delicious zing (and extra anti-inflammatory impact).
What it’ll do for you: Berries are high in antioxidants and low in sugar. Beetroots have anti-inflammatory properties and are high in iron, folate, and B vitamins. When combined with the vitamin C in citrus, the iron is better absorbed.
Blend a cup of mango (can be frozen), one peeled kiwi fruit, 3 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt and the juice of one lemon.
Variations: Add a teaspoon of chia seeds, a spoonful of almond butter, an orange and some baby spinach or mint leaves.
What it’ll do for you: The mango is high in vitamin A and C, the kiwi fruit is high in vitamin C and the yoghurt and almond butter have protein and calcium.
Blend one apple (core removed), two sticks of celery (chopped), a large handful of leaves (baby spinach, kale or cos lettuce), one banana and the juice of one lemon or lime.
Variations: Add a spoonful of peanut butter or pea protein powder and some fresh parsley, mint and coriander to taste.
What it’ll do for you: This should boost your vegetable intake by two or more servings. Leafy greens are high phytonutrients such as lutein, folate, iron and vitamin K. Bananas are full of potassium and vitamin B6.
To make the smoothie look tantalising, use mainly colours that are close to each other on the rainbow. Experiment with other fruits such as pineapple and papaya, pear and melon. Ice or frozen fruit are worth adding in summer. Frozen banana makes the smoothie creamy.
Dr Helen Hudson, Retire & Flourish