Not Consuming Enough Fruits and Veggies? Try Drinking Them!

Photo credit: Kari Sullivan CC-BY-2.0

If you are looking for a way to add more fruits and veggies to your diet, smoothies are one of the quickest and easiest ways to do it. And the great thing about them is that you can get as creative as you want – adding this and that – coming up with unique tastes to suit you and your family. But if you don’t feel comfortable just ‘winging’ it and creating your own, look online for recipes – you’ll find lots to choose from.

Using smoothies as a way to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet is also great because some people don’t like the texture or taste of certain vegetables, such as spinach or kale, but they find that mixing it in a smoothie is delicious.

Another benefit of smoothies is that if you have picky kids who make faces at just the mention of fruits and veggies, you can ensure that they’re getting more of them by ‘sneaking’ them into a smoothie. Because the flavors all blend together, they’ll never even know they drank something they didn’t like.

Now that we’ve touched on the benefits, let’s take a look at some of the fruits and vegetables you can use in a smoothie.

  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Plums
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Kiwi
  • Blueberries
  • Swiss Chard

This is definitely not an exhaustive list of the fruits and vegetables you can use in smoothies. It’s just some of the basic ones to give you an idea of what you can use. You should also get creative and experiment with some exotic fruits and vegetables such as papaya, mango, and beets.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when creating smoothies. Let’s take a look at those now.

  1. Avoid fruit juices – instead use things like water, milk, coconut water, etc. for your liquid. Fruit juices add a lot of unwanted calories.
  2. Preparation of fruits and vegetables – if you want your smoothie to be a smoother consistency, chop/dice them as small as possible.
  3. Choose organic fruits and veggies whenever possible to reduce exposure to toxins, such as pesticides.

And in case you need a recipe to help get you started, the one below is a nice combination of a fruit and vegetable combination smoothie.

Mixed Berry & Kale Smoothie Recipe

Couple handfuls of frozen or fresh mixed berries (such as strawberries, blueberry, raspberries, pomegranate & cherries)
1-2 cups chopped kale
1/2 cup soy (or almond) milk
1 tablespoon flax seeds

*Not a fan of kale? Try spinach instead.

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until desired consistency is reached.

There you have it, an overview of how quickly and easily you can add more fruits and vegetables into your diet simply by adding them to a smoothie. Try drinking a smoothie every morning for breakfast or replace one snack a day with a smoothie to help guarantee you’ll get more of the fruits and vegetables you need in your daily diet.

 

Juicing Your Way to Weight Loss

Photo credit: Ashlyn Paulsen (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

It seems that each new day brings a new weight-loss fad, and you can usually spot the fakes. They promote a pill, a powder or a belt that promises rapid weight loss without actually changing your diet or your lifestyle. Some of these fads may result in some weight loss in the short term, but you will most likely re-gain the weight you lost and then some more. You have to change your diet, get more exercise and drink healthier beverages if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Eating fresh vegetables and fruits is one way to change your diet to promote weight loss. If raw vegetables are unappetizing to you, consider getting more veggies in your diet by juicing. Juicing vegetables and fruits is one way to get all the benefits of raw, whole foods.

Juicing is not just squeezing fruit juice into a glass. A juicer blends raw fruits and vegetables into a cool, smooth drink that tastes great. Even if you don’t like vegetables, such as kale, spinach, or broccoli, you can combine these healthy greens with bananas, strawberries and apples for a delicious, refreshing and healthy drink.

Drinking your fruits and vegetables can help you to get more fiber and nutrients into your diet. Raw fruits and vegetables are the best way to get the nutrients, trace minerals and antioxidants your body needs to stay healthy. The raw fiber in fresh fruits and vegetables can help you feel full so that you do not overeat. Fiber also helps to regulate your digestive system and stimulate your metabolism for additional weight loss.

Invest in a high quality juicer for the best juicing. You don’t want your juice to be lumpy or contain chunks of raw vegetables. Find one that produces a smooth textured juice. Try juicing only the fruits and vegetables that you already love if you are new to juicing. Start with some sweet red apples, strawberries and a banana. You can blend these fruits with a cup of ice for a refreshing smoothie. Mix and match sweet fruits to find your favorite combination. Once you settle on a favorite flavor, add one green vegetable, such as a few kale or spinach leaves or one carrot. The rich flavor of the blended fruits will cover the taste of the carrot, spinach and kale, but you will still get all the benefits of these nutrient-rich vegetables.

Juice whole, unpeeled vegetables and fruit. Much of the taste and many of the nutrients are found in the skin. Replace your bacon, eggs and white toast with butter and enjoy a breakfast juice instead. Drinking juiced vegetables and fruits on an empty stomach will help you feel full faster and will keep you from getting hungry for hours. Take a thermos of juice to work for your lunch instead of a fast food burger. Your body will get the nutrients and energy it needs without the empty calories and bad carbohydrates found in most fast food. Even people who refuse to eat vegetables will enjoy a cold, fresh glass of juiced fruits and veggies.