Juices and smoothies can be a great way to get your nutrients. And people feel pretty good about themselves when they drink them, says Rémy Leigh Peters, registered dietitian at Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank. Here, she suggests moderation and other ways to make that beverage even better for you:
- If you’re consuming a lot of juices or smoothies, know that a lot of fruit can raise your sugar levels and calorie count. Try to avoid five or six pieces of fruit in one drink and make it mostly vegetable-based. “Add a pop of fruit or some berries to it to cover the taste of a dark green leaf. You don’t really need more than two or three fruits at a time,” she says.
- Consider a smoothie or a blended drink because the fiber content stays intact.
- “We’re supposed to get five to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Are we really doing that? We can get at least half of those in a blended,” she says. “Get a handful of dark green leafies and half or quarter of a banana and some berries and whatever was left over from [dinner] last night and throw that [into the blender] to get that nutrition in.”
- “A blended doesn’t have to be cold; it could be something like soup,” Peters points out. “It’s like a smoothie, just a soupie. When you have that kind of fiber, it fills you up.”
- Add a little Greek yogurt to your blended drink (or soup). “This way you get your protein. And Greek yogurt has twice as much protein as regular yogurt,” she explains.
- Blended concoctions are great opportunities to add ingredients you might not have thought of, such as chia seeds or flax.
For more healthy eating tips from Peters, read “What Does It Mean to Eat Green?” For local sources for juices and smoothies, check out “Drink It All In at These Friendly Neighborhood Juice Bars.”