Your smoothie might not be as healthy as you think

smoothieI absolutely looove fruit smoothies. Not only do I get my vitamin C fill for the day, but they're just so much more satisfying and tasty than plain juice. I always assumed that a cup of smoothie was a healthier option than a glass of commercial orange juice, but turns out there are ways that smoothies can be just as unhealthy and chock full of sugar! Below, a few ways to make sure that yours is as good-for-you as it should be.

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1. Stick to fresh fruits rather than frozen, pre-chopped fruits to retain as much of the nutrients as possible. I'm guilty of buying frozen packs of bananas and strawberries to store away in the freezer (they keep longer that way), but now I'll just buy fewer batches to make sure they stay fresh and healthy or just freeze my own batch.

2. Skip the sugar. Fruits are already naturally sweet! You can't say your smoothie is healthier than a glass of juice when it could contain just as much if not more sugar per serving.

3. Instead of using fruit juice or drink for your base, play around with recipes that use almond milk or other non-dairy milk, filtered or coconut water, organic juice, or juice that has been freshly juiced.

4. Other unhealthy ingredients to avoid include agave nectar, ice cream, non-organic peanut butter, chocolate syrup or powder, cream soda, and whipped cream.

5. Add in those greens to give your body the nutrients and minerals it isn't getting through your diet. If you're worried about taste, toss in an apple to naturally sweeten up your drink.

6. Beware those health food store smoothies that offer nutritional additives, boosts, and other suspicious ingredients. Make sure you know exactly what's in those mystery powders and from where the store is sourcing their ingredients. They'll charge you an arm and a leg for it so it's best to make sure they're being honest about what they're putting in your drink.

7. Add supplements. Sometimes we can't bank on our foods to give us all the nutrients we need because of deficiencies in the soil or growing process or because by the time the food finally reaches our bodies, they've lost some of those values along the way. To make up for this, add supplements like fiber, cacao, mesquite, proteins like nuts and seeds, and healthy fats like coconut oil, hemp, and avocado to your smoothies.

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