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Five fruits a day make one smoothie!

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Smoothie

By Victor Ogunyinka

There
are many sayings and sermons on the efficiency and importance of fruit
consumption; some advised we take 10 others say more than one fruit
would do. Well, whatever it is, taking fruit just got more interesting
with the discovery of smoothie.

How early researchers arrived at the name ‘smoothie’ is everyone’s
guess. For starters, simply put taking fruits make you smooth.

Olubunmi Balogun, a food microbiologist, defined smoothie as a thick
beverage made from blended raw fruit and/or vegetables, with other
ingredients, which includes water or crushed ice, sweeteners (sugar,
honey, syrup), dairy products ( milk, yogurt ,cheese), chocolate and
herbal supplements.

“Smoothies have been popular worldwide since 90s, some people take it
for breakfast some for refreshment in the afternoon (trust me it is
really refreshing when cold) and it could also serve as a great dinner,”
she added.

One general fact about fruits is that when it comes to nutrients, one
would be spoilt for choice. Experts revealed that taking a glass of
smoothie means taking loads of nutrients into your body at a time
without being scared of refined sugars, colourings, additives or some
other dangerous chemicals added to drinks we take.

The road to smoothness and healthy lifestyle isn’t without its
distractions. The task of gathering fruits and preparing them for
blending (If you’re lucky with power supply though) could expose one to
not-too-healthy options like processed juice.

Unlike smoothie, which in most cases isn’t premade, juice is always
up for pick on the shelf but may not have all the nutritional presence
of smoothie.

Balogun explained that processed fruit juice would have lost majority
of its nutrients in the processing, thereby replacing it with
sweeteners and other additives.

“Unlike processed juices, smoothies consist of the entire fruits or
vegetables, skin and other parts and contain all of the fibre from the
vegetables. However, the blending process breaks the fibre apart (which
makes the fruit and vegetables easier to digest), but also help create a
slow, even release of nutrients into the blood stream and avoid blood
sugar spikes.

“Smoothies tend to be more filling, because of the fibre, and
generally faster to make than juice, so, they can be great to drink
first thing in the morning as your breakfast, or for snacks throughout
the day. By including the fibre in your smoothie, the volume will
increase. Also, you can pack more servings of fruits and veggies into a
single serving of juice than you can into a smoothie,” she explained.

Some of the nutritional benefits of smoothie, according to Balogun
include “vitamins, minerals and enzymes that raw food contains, if we
don’t get enough of these in our body our reserves becomes low, leaving
us more susceptible to illness and disease. Smoothies have several
benefits over their solid forms; our body can absorb the nutrients in
smoothies more easily because blending helps break down hard to digest
plant cell walls.

“Vitamin A is essential for immunity and bone development, high level
of it could reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, it’s also good
for vision (Apple smoothies).”

Protein and Magnesium works in muscle contraction as the relaxer it
is also good for the heart (carrot smoothies) other nutrients include
vitamin C, B iron.”

Other benefits include weight loss, build muscle and helps maintain a
healthy athletic performance, serves as a detoxifier, encourages deeper
sleep, it comes handy and can be consumed anytime of the day, reduces
carvings for junks and sweeteners, maintains cognitive balance, affords
one the pleasure of eating more than one fruit and vegetable at a go and
it is very delicious!

In case you are not sure what fruits to mix together, Balogun
recommended the blend of orange, carrot, mango; tangerine, pineapple,
apple; grape, banana, strawberry; lemon, papaya (paw paw) and water
melon (mixing some of these combinations with ginger would be just great
too).

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