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If you’re struggling to meet the daily recommended amounts of fruits or vegetables, you may consider blending them into a quick, easy smoothie that’s sure to nourish your body.

What exactly is a smoothie?

The term smoothie was first used in 1940 by Mabel Stegner. Her article in the New York Herald Tribune recommended the blending of raw fruits and vegetables into a liquid concoction, and so, the smoothie was born.

Stegner was later hired to provide recipes for the first smoothie recipe book, provided with electric blenders sold by the Waring Corporation, which resulted in a boosted level of popularity and making smoothies a staple product in health stores and ice cream parlors by the late 1960s.

Today, they are available all over the world in any mainstream supermarket or grocery store.

Why make a smoothie instead of simply eating fruit?

The US Department of Agriculture recommends a serving of fruit with each meal, however this is not always convenient. Smoothies can help you meet these recommendations more easily, giving you a low-fat treat that also boasts significant positive health benefits.

Smoothies are an efficient, delicious way to provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs to function optimally. Plus, when making your own you’ll know the exact ingredients you’re drinking, allowing you to avoid extra added sugars or chemicals.

What are the benefits of smoothies?

Berries, specifically, when added to smoothies have a wealth of beneficial elements. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the effects experienced by 72 people while eating a cup of mixed berries daily for 8 weeks. The results showed increased levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and lower blood pressure, which both represent an improved state of heart health.

The mix consisted of strawberries, raspberries and bilberries, along with a range of berries native to Finland, where the study took place, such as blackcurrants, lingonberries and chokeberries.

Iris Erlund, Ph.D. at the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki, stated that the researchers “do not know which berry, or berries could have been the most active,” however the overall health benefits are likely due to the variety of polyphenols (health promoting plant compounds) found in the mix.