We are obsessed with sipping on smoothies filled with fruit and veg. But more often than not, we have no idea what to put in them. Here are some of our favourite ingredients that you can add to your favourite smoothie combo!
Kale – part of the cabbage family, and related to the highly nutritious cruciferous group of vegetables, which includes broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts. This wonderful vegetable contains flavonoid antioxidants quercetin and kaempferol, as well as vitamins A, C, E and K, calcium and folate (raw kale has more vitamin C than most green vegetables). Extra fibre too.
Banana – a delicious fruit that gives the drinks a great consistency and sweetness. Bananas provide you with carbohydrate to assist in replacing muscle glycogen levels after exercise, and are low glycemic index when not over-ripe which can assist with blood glucose management. Bananas contain a host of vitamins and minerals including potassium (positive impact on blood pressure and cardiovascular health), vitamin B6 and vitamin C. The dietary fibre in bananas can also help to keep your digestive system working at its best.
Cucumber – this is a refreshing and crunchy vegetable and super low in calories. A great choice to add freshness and a mild flavour base, plus a range of vitamins and minerals while keeping the energy content of your drink low.
Spinach – bright green in colour and a great way to include green leafy vegetables into your diet. Spinach has a mild flavour so you can add a lot of extra nutrition without over-powering your smoothie. Great for kids’ smoothies! Spinach contains some iron, potassium and folate, plus Vitamins A, E and K.
Basil – a refreshing, sweet, scented herb that belongs to the mint family. Perhaps the most important nutritional component of basil are the antioxidants from the polyphenol family, such as flavonoids including anthocyanins (the antioxidants found widely in berries). Basil may have anti-inflammatory properties due to the various compounds found in the plant. It is highly fragrant and has a strong flavour.
Blending these whole means you are retaining more vitamins and fibre, keeping you fuller for longer and keeping your digestive system happy. Adding some fruit is also a great way to ensure you reach your daily intake (2 fruit, 5 vegetables) and also naturally sweetens your veggie-packed smoothie. Plus, it keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
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