Be Healthy – Try a Fruit Smoothie or Green Smoothie

Most of us know we should eat more fruits and vegetables, but do we know how much? According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans released in 2010, half our plates at each meal and eating occasions should be filled with fruits and vegetables.

For most Americans, that means more than doubling the amount of fruits and vegetables we eat daily. Why is it important for our health to eat more fruits and vegetables?

Fruits and vegetables contain lots of nutrients, including important vitamins and minerals not found in animal products. Fruits and vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of many chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables are relatively low in calories, which can replace high calorie foods that lead to weight gain.

So, what’s an easy way to eat our fruits and vegetables on a daily basis? I would suggest a fruit smoothie or green smoothie as one way to meet the USDA’s recommendation of roughly 2 cups of fruits and 2.5 cups of vegetables a day.

What is a smoothie? A smoothie is simply one or more fruits and/or vegetables blended together, with some liquid and sometimes yogurt and ice. Smoothies have the consistency of a milkshake, so it is hard not to like them. All you need to make a good smoothie is a blender and your favorite fruits and vegetables.

Enjoying a smoothie for breakfast is a great way to start the day off healthily. There are endless possibilities, such as strawberry and banana, or blueberry and banana. For a tropical smoothie, try mango and pineapple. If you’re more adventurous and want to get a head start in the morning on your vegetables for the day, add some green vegetables to your smoothie, such as romaine lettuce, spinach or kale.

Here are two smoothie recipes to get you started:

Easy Fruit Smoothie

If you use frozen fruit, leave out the ice.

1 banana, sliced

½ cup fruit (use your favorites like strawberries, blueberries, mango, peaches)

2 tablespoons non-fat yogurt

¼ cup orange juice, low-fat milk, or non-dairy milk (soy, almond)

ice, to reach desired consistency.

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Makes one serving.

Beginner Green Smoothie

If you use frozen fruit, leave out the ice.

1 banana, sliced

½ cup pineapple

1 cup spinach leaves

½ teaspoon grated ginger

ice, to reach desired consistency.

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Makes one serving.


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