I came across this excellent article by Kirsten Srinivasan (from communityhealthmagazine.com) today and warmly recommend taking the time to read it.

She discusses the pros & cons of smoothies for health, and points out how to get the best from smoothies depending on your goals. The article warns against the dangers of some commercial “healthy” smoothies and why its far better to make your own at home.

She also points out how some folks with specific medical conditions – such as diabetes – should make sure the use suitable smoothie recipes.

She concludes with a selection of 5 excellent healthy smoothie recipes easily made and enjoyed at home – you’ll find them all here on the following pages.

But first, here’s a couple of excerpts from Kirsten (quoting various experts) to give you a flavor of the article…

Smoothies with healthy ingredients can actually be good for weight loss, says Barbara Rolls, professor of nutritional sciences at Pennsylvania State University and author of The Ultimate Volumetrics Diet. But you have to use them strategically to eat fewer calories.

“A lot of studies are showing we need to get breakfast. Most people think they are saving 500 calories, but end up snacking and overeating at lunch and dinner later in the day.”

And when it comes to smoothies for weight loss, protein is key, Radtke says. “They absolutely can be (good for weight loss), especially if you have the right amount of protein in them, and they keep you going for five or six hours,” she says.

“But if you have one that spikes your blood sugar and you are hungry an hour later, that’s the wrong smoothie for weight loss.”

Smoothies aren’t just for weight loss. Depending on your goal, smoothies can be used as meal replacements, snacks, for energy, for sports nutrition and for health reasons.

They can also be used to gain weight.  Smoothies are also a good way to get picky children to eat their fruits and vegetables, Rolls says.

Save over 50% by making smoothies at home – and you know exactly what went into your blender…

“The average cost at a smoothie place is $4 to $5, and I’m making mine for about $2 or less,” Radtke says.

Smoothies can actually help people save some money, Peaslee says, because you can use up more of what’s in your fridge or garden.

“Smoothies, one thing they help prevent is a lot of food waste in the home,” Peaslee says. “You can use up extra food.”

But be careful when using high-quality protein powder, she says, because it can increase the cost. But to help offset this, you can always use your own ingredients, such as chia seeds, ground hemp seeds and almond butter.

The trick is to make smoothies at home, she says.

Next up – 5 Smoothie Recipes: Better Than The Rest…