Fruit and vegetables are important to health because they contain fiber and a range of nutrients essential for good health. Beta carotene is the pigment that gives fruit and vegetables like carrots and mangoes their bright colour. Eating high beta-carotene foods is good for two reasons:
- Beta carotene is converted into Vitamin A in the body, which is needed for healthy skin, night vision and a good immune system.
- It is also an antioxidant, which means that it protects against ageing and degenerative disease.
Smoothies are a quick and easy way to increase you intake of vital nutrients. If you haven’t got time to make them from fresh ingredients, your can use frozen or canned, or even ready made smoothie mixes. Although juice can only count as one of your “5 a day” portions however much you have, smoothies can count as more than one. This is because they contain the whole fruits or vegetables. The recipes below would count as 2 portions.
3 smoothie recipes using high beta carotene foods
For all 3 recipes, the fruit/veg ingredients should be peeled and chopped, then added to a blender with the rest of the ingredients and blended until smooth.
Frozen melon and carrot
- 1 cup canteloupe melon
- 1 cup carrot
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 ice cubes
Chia seeds are highly nutritious. They can be used to thicken up smoothies – for best results soak for an hour or more before making your smoothie.
- 2 clementines
- 1 grapefruit
- 1/4 cup chia seeds, soaked for 1 hour in 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
Creamy peach and mango
Any milk alternative is suitable for this if you don’t want to use dairy milk, eg almond milk or rice milk.
- 1 large peach/nectarine
- 1 cup mango
- 1 cup milk/milk alternative
- 1/2 cup coconut cream or Greek yoghurt
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