Across the U.S., people of all ages have fallen in love with smoothies as a delicious way to include fruits and vegetables in their diets. With this popular trend in mind, Waltonwood Cotswold has chosen to feature a signature smoothie on its hydration carts during March in observance of National Nutrition Month, allowing residents the choice to include this yummy option in their daily diets. The senior living community’s talented chef, Michael Norman put together a smoothie recipe that takes into account the dietary needs of the residents. This is because many seniors have dietary restrictions, such as low salt or sugar, and changes must be made to their eating habits in order for them to live healthier lives.
“A smoothie may seem like a simple option, but the nutritional benefits are incredible,” said Norman. “Drinking fruit smoothies can help you reach the recommended daily intake of fiber, which is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. One serving of fruit typically contains two to four grams of fiber, with blackberries, pears and apples having the highest concentration of five to seven grams per serving. The soluble fiber found in fruit helps slow digestion and may help control blood sugar and lower cholesterol; the benefits often speak for themselves. By providing an option like this, we give residents the opportunity to think about nutrition in a completely new way.”
According to Norman, there are six categories of fruits which contain a variety of vitamins and minerals: citrus, berries, tropical, drupes, pomes and melons. Each of these different categories provide various benefits that can aid in a number of ways, such as boosting the immune system or reducing blood pressure and fighting disease. In addition, smoothies can be modified to fit each person’s individual preferences, tastes and needs. A prime example is the base chosen for one’s drink. Creating your own smoothie means you get to choose a base of your liking. You can add water, cow's milk, soy milk or yogurt to the fruit in order to add bulk. The healthier options would include water, low-fat milk or low-fat yogurt, which will add flavor and nutrients without a huge number of calories. The water provides your body with fluid necessary for metabolism of food and transportation of nutrients, and the low-fat dairy contains calcium and vitamin D, which help your bones stay strong.
“When trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight, smoothies could be used as a meal replacement, not an addition,” says Norman. “For instance, drink a dairy-based smoothie for breakfast or drink a water-based smoothie as a snack. Fruit smoothies can be a healthy addition to any meal plan as long as you maintain portion control. Consult your doctor on how to best incorporate smoothies into your diet plan.”
“We hope that by showcasing how our community promotes healthy living, it will inspire others to make small changes for a healthier life,” said Leah Nash, executive director of Waltonwood Cotswold. “By providing our seniors with new and exciting options, we can demonstrate how seniors in Charlotte are living healthy and active lives and still enjoying delicious meals and smoothies.”
The community’s sweet banana berry smoothie is one of the most popular and it promises to shake things up. Here’s the chef’s secret recipe:
Sweet Banana Berry Smoothie
2 Cups Orange Juice
2 1/8 Cups of Strawberries
1 2/3 Cups of Sliced Bananas
¾ Cup Yogurt
½ Cup Milk
Add all ingredients to a blender, then process until smooth and no chunks of fruit are visible.
Keep Refrigerated below 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nutritional Value per 8 oz. serving:
Calories - 85.5
Fiber - 1.41 g
Protein - 3.1 g
Iron - 0.4 g
Calcium - 90 g
Potassium - 339 g
Phosphorus - 78 g