Getting Your Nutrients: Health and Benefits of Juicing and Smoothies
Juicing has hit the mainstream, and while the benefits of drinking your nutrients is commonly touted by the younger crowd, it’s also a new diet trend that is great for seniors and older adults. Juices and smoothies are excellent ways for seniors to get their daily dose of vitamins and minerals, especially for those with difficulties chewing or with limited ability to taste or smell.
Juicing concentrates the amount of nutrients in each serving, making it ideal way for seniors with a suppressed or diminished appetite to get the vitamins and nutrients they need to stay healthy. Juices are also rich in enzymes that can aid in digestion as well as high in fiber.
Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to juices. Smoothies are made in blenders rather than juicers, tend to be thicker in consistency and higher in calories than a juice, so they are a perfect, liquid substitution for a meal. Ready to start juicing or adding a smoothie to your daily diet? Below are tips to get you started, and a few of our favorite recipes.
5 Tips for Healthy Juices and Smoothies
- Start slow. If you’re new to juicing, start by making and drinking just one juice per day, and chose just three fruits and/or vegetables. For example, make a juice with carrots, apples, and a handful of spinach or kale. This will help your digestive system get used to your new diet addition.
- Use Organic Produce (when possible!). To get the most benefit from juicing, chose fresh produce that is pesticide free and organic. Of course, if you’re on a budget, this can be tough. To know which fruits and veggies are best to buy organic, read this helpful list.
- Get Creative. One of the best things about drinking juices and smoothies is that you can use whatever fruits and vegetable you like. Consider adding fresh ginger, a handful of basil, or a few beets to your juice, and have fun making your own signature drink.
- Choose Your Best Juicer. There’s no need to invest in an expensive juicer if you can’t afford it. Some juicers double as blenders and tend to cost more, however, there are plenty on the market today that are under $200. And smoothies can be made easily in a simple blender.
- Drink it Fresh. Juices and smoothies should be consumed as soon as they’re made. However, if you’ve made a little extra, most can be stored in an air tight container for up to 2-3 days.
Drink Your Vitamins. 3 Favorite Drinks
- Pineapple-Zucchini Smoothie:1 medium zucchini, 1/2 cup Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, 2 stalks celery, 1/2 can pineapple and juice (or 1 cup fresh, chopped pineapple), 4 to 6 ounces water. (Source: Incredible Smoothies)
- Grapefruit, Mango, and Spinach Smoothie:1/2 cup chunks fresh mango (unpeeled), 1/2 grapefruit (peeled), 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach, 1/2 small banana, 5 sprigs fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon Chia seeds, 2-3 ice cubes OR 1/2 cup of ice cold water or coconut water. (Source: 33 Smoothies)
- Green Goddess Juice: 2 medium apples, 2 leaves kale, 1 handful parsley, 1 cup spinach. (Source: juicerecipes.com)