There’s nothing better in the summertime than a refreshing drink to cool you down. There are so many to choose from — soda, lemonade, iced tea — but these drinks tend to pile on the sugar and may leave you feeling dehydrated. Never fear: You don’t have to compromise flavor for health benefits. When you need a refresher during the day, go for a smoothie — not just any smoothie, but one that contains a so-called "superfood." Superfood smoothies pack a flavor punch, they’re nutritious, and they’ll make you feel great.
Apples contain an antioxidant said to reduce your risk of lung cancer. They also have a high pH level, which may prevent or alleviate heartburn symptoms. Next time you get heartburn, put down the antacids and make a smoothie with apple, banana, and peanut butter.
Avocados are nutrient-dense fruits that provide you with vitamins, minerals, and a broad range of other positive health benefits. Putting avocados in a smoothie may seem weird, but don’t knock it until you try it. Make a mango, pineapple, and avocado smoothie — it’ll change the way you view this fruit.
Bananas are rich in potassium (467 milligrams per banana), can protect the stomach from ulcers, and contain an amino acid that can help boost levels of serotonin, which regulates mood. Before you run off to work, make a smoothie with banana, milk, and cinnamon.
Blackberries have polyphenols, which in large doses can ward off cognitive decline in adults. They’re also high in fiber — approximately one cup of blackberries has about eight grams of fiber (we need 25 grams daily). Our blackberry smoothie calls for eight ounces of blackberries, which will put you well on your way toward the amount of fiber you need in one day.
Thinkstock / Ingrid Heczko
Cherries have an antioxidant called anthocyanin that can help aid in muscle recovery after exercise. After a long workout, make a strawberry, cherry, and cucumber smoothie to ease the pain.
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Spinach is high in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory nutrients, and contains vitamins that promote bone and vision health. After a long day of work, enjoy a spinach smoothie with apples and bananas.
Everyone loves strawberries in the summer. Make a smoothie with basil and strawberries and enjoy it on the patio or as an afternoon pick-me-up. Strawberries may promote healthy eye function, repair body tissue, and boost immunity.