Oct 092014
 
twelve veggies, healthy fruit and vegetable smoothie, fruits and vegetables,fruit smoothie recipe

If you are healthy conscious at all there is no doubt that you have run across WebMD in the course of your online searches. This is a mega-site by any definition and offers health advice on every conceivable facet of human existence. Here, they offer twelve veggies that, in their opinion, should be in everyone’s diets. The original piece can be found here. Since we showcase veggies a lot in our smoothie recipes this seems like a great time to again remind you how healthy smoothies are and why they should be a part of your meal plans.

 

Twelve veggies WebMD considers to be “Powerhouses” and our recipes that use them.

 

Beets/Beet Greens

Lots of vitamin K which helps prevent type 2 diabetes. We have five recipes featuring beets. The most popular of the five is this one

 

“Microgreens”

By this they mean radishes, cabbage, broccoli, and kale. We feature over sixty recipes with one or more of these veggies. Kale is the most often used, with more than thirty recipes. The most popular Kale recipe we have can be found here.

 

Watercress

WebMD says watercress is a great source of vitamins A, C, and K plus other antioxidants.  We have just one recipe that mentions Watercress and then only as an ingredient in V-8 Juice. That recipe is here.

 

Swiss Chard

Good source of Lutein and Zeaxanthin which are good for eye health and just 7 calories a cup. Currently, we have nothing on the site that includes Chard but we will work on it.

 

Collard Greens

This is another veggie we don’t have in a recipe but we do mention Collard Greens as an import part of a vegetarian diet  and as a source of vitamin K

 

Asparagus

Yet another veggie that we seem to have overlooked in our recipes. It is a great source of vitamin K, folate, and copper.

 

Spinach

Now here’s a veggie we have a lot of recipes for. In fact, we have more than 100 recipes that use spinach one way or another. The most popular of these recipes is this one.

 

Baby Kale

WebMD recommends this if you find the sharp taste of Kale a bit much.  We don’t make the distinction between baby and mature Kale and frequently recommend substituting spinach in a smoothie for a less intense taste.

 

Frozen Peas

WebMD likes peas because of the fiber (6 grams per cup).  We offer a single recipe that uses peas, right here,

 

Red Bell Pepper

Not really a vegetable, but a fruit. Red Bell Peppers offer vitamin B, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.  To make a smoothie that uses Red (or yellow) Bell Peppers, try this recipe.

 

Broccoli

Let me quote WebMD here: “Broccoli is one of nature’s rock stars. It’s a top source of natural plant chemicals shown to help lower the risk of some cancers (though many other things also affect your cancer risk). Each cup of the florets also gives you plenty of vitamins C and K.”   We have a very tasty smoothie recipe featuring both Broccoli and Carrots. Enjoy it here.

 

If you manage to include these twelve veggies in your diet in a meaningful way you can’t help but be a healthier and happier person. Smoothie recipes make adding these twelve veggies easier and you are invited to try the ones we have linked to here as well as the more than 800 others on the site.

 

 

 

Jul 292014
 
banana nutrition facts, benefits of bananas, banana nutrition,

Why are bananas getting a bad rap? What are the real banana nutrition facts? Certainly part of the problem is a number of media stories have left doubt in some folks minds.

Just one example is a January 2014 article by Jacque Wilson posted by CNN Health with the provocative title “Are bananas bad for me too?” The story the story of Paignton Zoo in Devon, England replacing bananas in their monkey’s diets with more leafy green vegetables because “bananas grown for human consumption are full of sugar and calories”. As a hook, the title and first graph are perfect for collecting clicks and I am sure there were many. But! The body of the story is a more nuanced look at many banana nutrition facts and numbers and comes down solidly on the side of the banana. You can read the piece for yourself by clicking here.

The Real Banana Nutrition Facts

So, stripped of all points of view, what are the true banana nutrition facts? Here are the numbers you need, all based on a “medium” banana which is about 118 grams, or between 7 and 8 inches long.

  1. Calories 105
  2. % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 0.4 g 0%
    Saturated fat 0.1 g 0%
    Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g
    Monounsaturated fat 0 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
    Sodium 1 mg 0%
    Potassium 422 mg 12%
    Total Carbohydrate 27 g 9%
    Dietary fiber 3.1 g 12%
    Sugar 14 g
    Protein 1.3 g 2%
    Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 17%
    Calcium 0% Iron 1%
    Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 20%
    Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 8%

I think you will agree that these numbers aren’t very scary so what’s the problem?

This is my personal opinion only, although it is also popular on some sites, is that the 14 grams of sugar scares some people to death. While it is true that on the molecular level sugar is sugar no matter where it comes from, all sugar isn’t necessarily evil.  Sugar that is added to foods by us humans  offers no additional nutritional value while natural sugars, like those in our bananas, are there because mother nature decided they should be. If you are consuming a boatload of sugar other places in your diet, then sugar from fruits are adding to the problem. But, if you have constructed a healthy diet that is balanced and contains lots of veggies and fruits then these sugars aren’t a problem.

 

Those who focus on the sugar seem to miss the amount of other good stuff our bananas offer. Potassium is just one example. Most folks who aren’t paying attention to their fruits and veggies don’t get nearly enough potassium. A banana snack offers a painless way to get that necessary mineral.

 

Like everything else in your diet whether or not you eat bananas is a personal choice. Even if you are a smoothie person, there ar any number of recipes available that don’t call for bananas.  My recommendation is to do what fits your personal situation. Just do pay yourself the respect to do some research and decide for yourself !

 

 Posted by at 10:47 am
Jul 272014
 
weight loss tips, weight loss, lose weight, control your weight

Of all the common challenges most people tackle, losing weight seems to be one of the largest. This is evident by how many different diet products are advertised on television alone. Add that advertising to the thousands and thousands of internet sites focusing on weight loss tips and you will come up with an impressively large number. And that isn’t even considering each new “miracle” weight loss product that comes along that “they don’t want you to know about”. Clearly being able to lose weight is of intense interest.

In the interest of helping you achieve your own personal goals, here are some pretty effective weight loss tips that are going to help. And, of course, smoothies play an important role!

Weight Loss Tips That Will Work

  • Don’t create a diet that denies you a healthy diet: Yes, you must eat healthy but you must also have a fully balanced diet if you are to lose weight and stay healthy. When planning your meals include good fools such as grapes and cherries. Both fruits are nutritionally helpful and both make wonderful smoothies. Try this Black Cherry smoothie recipe or this Red grape smoothie.
  • Even moderate exercise will help you to lose weight. The pudgy among us are sometimes intimated by the thought of joining a gym among all those disgustingly fit people. Well, as a pudgy person who goes to a gym I can tell you that stereotype isn’t true. I can also tell you that you don’t need to join a gym if you don’t want to. Exercise is exercise no matter where you get it! Whether you walk, climb the stairs at work, jog in the evenings, park as far away from the door as possible doesn’t matter at all. What does matter is you do something to increase your heart rate five to seven days a week.
  • Don’t Quit! Think about how long it has taken to gain the excess weight you now want to lose; I’ll bet its been a while hasn’t it? So losing that weight is, realistically, going to take some time too. I haven’t seen any numbers but I will bet that more diets have been discarded because of unrealistic expectations than any other single reason. Don’t be one of those people. When you find a diet you can live with (with smoothies!) stick with it.

And that’s really all there is to it. Eat healthy, get some exercise, and don’t quit. Do those three things and you will lose weight. It will be slow but it will stay off once you lose it.

Of course you have been told, and read, all these weight loss tips for years. So long that they now have little impact. But ask yourself this: If you have heard them for so long doesn’t that mean that they just might be true?

 Posted by at 8:00 am
Jul 022014
 
vegetarian diet, healthy vegetarian diet, vegetarian diet plan

Many people are under the impression that a vegetarian diet is an incomplete diet in terms of nutrition. While it is true that meats are not featured the important nutrients found in meats can also be found in many non-meat food items. Below are some pointers on how to craft a vegetarian diet that is well balanced and healthy.

Iron

Iron is the nutrient commonly associated with red meat. So, since a vegetarian diet does inot include meat, iron must be obtained from other sources. Fortunately, many leafy green vegetables like spinach and collard greens are rich in iron. Tofu and certain beans also have a high iron content.

Adding Dairy to a Vegetarian Diet

When deciding on a vegetarian diet it is your choice whether or not to include both milk and eggs; some do and some don’t. When making your decision, keep in mind that eggs, and milk too, are great sources of very high-quality protein. Vitamin B-12 is a critical nutrient mostly found in meat, fish and dairy products. If you decide against including dairy products and fish in your diet, you may need to take a B-12 supplement to be certain that your body receives a sufficient amount of B-12.

Having said all that, don’t use dairy products with a high-fat content as your main source of protein. The excess fat can lead to undesired weight gain. Instead, use low-fat or skim milk. And don’t forget that there are non-dairy sources of protein, such as nuts, legumes, tofu and beans.

Whole Grains are Crucial

Whole grains will be an important part of any vegetarian diet. They are rich with healthy fiber and many other nutrients as well. Different grains are rich in different vitamins and minerals so including a variety of whole grains in your meals will add a number of different nutrients as well. Don’t make the mistake of confusing whole grains with refined grain products. Highly processed refined grains have had most of their nutrients removed when the outer and inner parts of the grain seed were removed during processing.

Complete Proteins

To be healthy any diet needs to include what are know as “complete” proteins. A complete protein contains proportions of nine essential amino acids. Proteins derived from animals are complete where plant derived proteins may not be. Including as many varieties of beans, nuts, grains, and legumes as you can greatly improves the quality and quantity of important amino acids in your vegetarian diet.

Avoid Processed Food Products

It should go without saying that you really need to avoid highly processed foods loaded with salts and artificial ingredients. Even some of the pre-packaged “vegetarian” meals in the store contain some artificial, man-made ingredients. Stick with fresh foods as much as you can. Simply because a pre-packaged food says that it is vegetarian, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s healthy. It can be loaded with empty calories from fats, with excess sodium and ingredients that you cannot even pronounce. These are food choices that you should avoid.

Building a vegetarian diet that is well-balanced and healthy can certainly be done but it does require both knowledge and planning. Most importantly, learning all about the non-meat options and what nutrients are provided by each type of food is your challenge. But once you have done your homework, you will find that you can exclude meat from your diet pretty easily without depriving yourself of proper nutrition.

Smoothies are Key

Adding these nutrients to your now vegetarian diet is going to be much easier with smoothies. A well made smoothie can easily contain the larger part of your daily nutritional requirements by combining many different ingredients in a single glass. Browse through our collection of more than 800 smoothie recipes and you are certain to find some that you are going to enjoy.

 Posted by at 10:10 am