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Author Notes: You might think of smoothies as a summertime thing, when your health aspirations kick in, you start exercising and drinking smoothies of a morning. But smoothies are just as good in winter, whether for breakfast or as a snack or quick drink during the workday to boost your energy levels.
Boost your immune system
It may be even more important to drink smoothies in the winter in order to boost your immune system and prevent any nasty flu-like bugs. Maintain your body’s greatest defence against bacterial infections by adding vitamin C rich foods to your breakfast smoothies in winter. To get more vitamin C add in ingredients such as oranges, grapefruit, mandarins and other citrus fruits. You should also add in some immune-boosting Vitamin A by adding carrots and papaya, a fruit that is so nutritionally rich, it’s known as the medicine tree in Africa.
Just like we get more colds and viral infections in the colder months, winter can also wreak havoc with our joints. If you suffer from joint pain or you exercise regularly and get sore muscles etc. it’s important to get in enough anti-inflammatory foods in your diet. Add in turmeric to your next smoothie. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is an anti-oxidant and is anti-bacterial as well as being a powerful anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is also rich in manganese, zinc, B group vitamins and iron.
For a healthy gut
In the winter many of us are drawn to rich, hearty meals, full of warmth, but sometimes these meals can end up sitting heavy in our gut. Keep things moving by not missing out on your morning smoothie. Add ginger to aid digestion. Ginger improves gut motility and bowel function, it helps to relieve the bloating we often experience after heavy winter meals and eases cramping and nausea. Certain studies also claim that ginger can lessen swelling, lower blood sugar, lower cholesterol, protect against Alzheimer’s disease and even prevent blood clotting. It’s also been proven to ease period pain. In one study, more than 60% of women felt that ginger lessened pain.
If smoothies just don’t appeal to you in the winter time, you may simply be making the wrong kind of smoothies. You can of course create delicious winter warm smoothies. The one thing you need to remember? Don’t ever fill your blender up with boiling liquid. The steam creates pressure that can cause the lid to blast off, leaving you with a nasty mess to clean up. Always add the hot ingredients at the end and mix in together. If you’ve done this, you may need a new blender. Try a hot chocolate smoothie, a warm apple pie smoothie or a wintry warm banana smoothie.
Whether you’re a smoothie drinker in the summer months or you’ve never even tried a healthy smoothie or shake before, I hope these health benefits convince you that a smoothie everyday all year round is great for your health and something you should try. —Boris Dzhingarov
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