You will have heard a million times over that you need to get your five a day, but many people still struggle to eat their five portions of fruit or vegetables in a day. A great way to get the vitamins and minerals that you need in your diet is to drink lots of homemade smoothies, you can put vegetables in them as well as fruit for all-round goodness!
The benefits of smoothies are clear, they help to keep you healthy, younger looking and can help you to keep your weight in check too.
Fruit and vegetable smoothies are a fantastic thing to have on your weekly vegan day (see our blog article about becoming a vegan for one day) because they contain so much goodness. If you choose the right ingredients, you could make yourself a really good antioxidant rich smoothie too.
There are lots of antioxidant rich ingredients that you can put in your homemade smoothies, but what are the benefits? As I have mentioned in some of the other blog posts, antioxidants help to reduce the levels of free radicals in the body, which are harmful by-products of oxidised cells. Antioxidants work by slowing down and preventing the oxidation of your body cells, and this can help to prevent cancer and other horrid illnesses.
Some great examples of ingredients that you can put in your smoothies that are have a high antioxidant rating are berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, raspberries, acai & goji berries), tropical and citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables
For added benefits, why not add in a shot of wheatgrass which, if you have two shots per day, is proven to have anti-ageing effects (see my blog article on the health benefits of wheatgrass).
Other benefits of homemade smoothies
The vitamins and minerals contained in most of your homemade smoothies can also help to ward off winter colds and flu, so it’s a good thing to try and get a smoothie a day in your diet at least to yield the benefits. You could even crush up some multivitamins that contain all of the essential vitamins and minerals in them to make your smoothies super-healthy.
Below are some examples of some of the vitamins that you can get from your smoothies, but remember there are hundreds of vitamins and minerals and they all play a part in your health.
Vitamin C, found in fruit and green vegetables, is a great vitamin for the common cold as it helps to boost your immune system. It is also a natural antioxidant and helps to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
Vitamin D, which you get from many foods and also natural sunlight, is essential for helping your digestive system absorb nutrients, helps to balance calcium levels in the body to prevent osteoporosis and arthritis and also helps to regulate your blood pressure.
B vitamins are another very important group of vitamins to get in your diet, and these help to keep your skin young and fresh and your hair shiny. They are also essential for healthy red blood cell formation, reduction of heart disease risks, the prevention of birth defects if you are pregnant and reducing the symptoms of depression.