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How healthy are smoothies? I went out and bought myself a Nutribullet. The promise of healthy smoothies and the quick breakfasts lured me in. So this is my normal everyday smoothies: a good handful of spinach; some fruit that is in season ( apple, pear, etc), I toss in a banana, and maybe some berries. 3 tb of Greek yogurt, 2tb of peanut butter, and some ground flax seed. (The PB and yogurt help with protein -- I'm vegetarian). Is this a healthy habit or am I fooling myself? --- Chris
Smoothies can be a great way to get in nutrition on-the-go. It's all about the device! The nutribullet, ninja, and vitamix are all great options. The goal with the device here is to preserve the beneficial natural fibers found in the fruits and vegetables you are pureeing.
Now, let's talk ingredients. While peanut butter is a great option for protein (especially for vegetarians), it is also high in fat. If you are not trying to lose weight or are at a healthy weight and are physically active - carry on with that peanut butter! Having a plethora of fruits AND vegetables makes the most nutritious smoothie - especially because it allows you to get 2-4 servings in one drink. Along with spinach, feel free to also add kale, parsley, carrots, or any other vegetables of your choice along with in-season fruits. Remember, as the weather gets cooler, not much is in season. When this happens, it is best to switch to frozen. When fruits and veggies are frozen, they are done so on site after picking - this maintains their freshness. When produce is plucked in another country or even across the United States, the nutritional content starts to diminish rapidly. By the time you get that produce into your home, nearly half of the nutritional content could already be gone. Just something to keep in mind!
To optimize protein, mix in and entire 6oz cup of nonfat Greek yogurt and add enough water or ice to produce a desired consistency. You may also choose to mix in whey isolate protein powder, but that choice is yours.
Lastly, if this is your breakfast - just be sure to get in a nutritious diet for lunch and dinner as well. Man (and woman) can't live off of smoothies alone, so be sure you are eating 2 additional nutrient-dense meals and healthy snacks, as desired.
Keep up the good work! I hope this information helps.