A new year comes with new resolutions, and if lockdown and the festive season has really done a number on your diet plan, weight loss and healthy eating may be some of those resolutions you’re committing to!
A weight loss plan doesn’t have to be boring. It’s a balanced diet rich in protein, fruit and vegetables that helps you to lose weight, in controlled portion sizes. Protein shakes and meal replacements are a great way to cut carbs out of your diet and give you valuable nutrients, minerals, and protein to help you eat less throughout the day.
Here are some tips and tricks for making the perfect weight loss smoothies.
Best Fruit for Weight loss Protein Smoothies
The best thing about smoothies is you can really use any fruit of your choice to make the perfect smoothie, with some combinations tasting better than others. Even certain types of vegetables have their place in smoothies and can be combined with fruit to create smoothies that really pack a punch.
We recommend that you freeze your ingredients first before preparing your smoothies to avoid needing to add ice when you blend. Some of the best fruits we can recommend for weight loss smoothies include:
Vegetables and other non-fruits that work well in smoothies include:
Often you’ll want to add some kind of liquid to your smoothies to thicken or thin them out. It really comes down to preference and can include more than one type, but you can add water, yoghurt, almond milk, lemon juice, milk, or any kind of fruit juice to your smoothies.
You can sweeten your smoothies with natural sweeteners to avoid sugar or artificial sweeteners. Some honey or maple syrup goes a long way to sweetening things up.
Adding Protein to Your Smoothies
Protein goes a long way to keeping you fuller for longer throughout the day, helping you eat less and supporting your exercise routine (dieting and exercising come hand in hand for weight loss). Protein can be added to your smoothies with protein powders, which can come in a variety of flavours and with an array of vitamins and minerals added to them.
We recommend finding minimally processed protein powders with no added sweeteners or sugars. You’re already going to get a lot of sweetness from your fruits and natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. Non-flavoured protein powders also blend better with your smoothies and don’t add any artificial flavours that will clash with your ingredients.
There are different types of protein powders you can add to your smoothies, including:
Pea Protein: Made from ground yellow split peas, pea proteins are rich in essential amino acids and iron, but low in methionine. It’s known to help build muscle mass when you resistance train and helps make you feel fuller.
Whey protein: One of the most popular protein powders, it’s great for helping you lose body fat and gain muscle while increasing your strength. This protein is isolated from whey, which is found in milk. It’s also known to digest quickly.
Egg protein: Made from the protein from egg whites, it’s similar to whey protein with its high amounts of leucine. This makes it great for increasing your muscle strength.
Casein protein: Just like whey protein, casein protein comes from milk. It’s known to increase your body composition when you resistance train. It’s digested and absorbed at a slower rate than whey protein, but it exposes your muscles to more amino acids.
There are alternative ingredients you can add to your smoothie to add protein to it without using protein powders. Use these ingredients to add protein to your drinks.
Storage Tips for Your Smoothies
It’s possible to make your smoothies the night before to prepare them ahead of time. If you do, however, take some of these tips into account.
With these tips, tricks and guides, you can make practically any kind of weight loss smoothie out of your favourite combination of fruits and proteins. And to add an extra punch, combine your fruit with a green vegetable for those all-important nutrients.
With Raw Nutrition, you can keep your supply of fruit and vegetables stocked consistently, with no trips to the shops required. Buying fruit and vegetables online and having them delivered right to your door is fast and hassle-free, making it all the easier to eat healthily. Be sure to check out our range of fresh produce and groceries to plan out your next delicious smoothies.
KEEPING YOUR FRUIT & VEG FRESH AT HOME
It’s undoubtedly become a lot harder to visit the grocery store as frequently as we used to, and that means it’s a lot harder stocking up on your regular supply of fresh fruit and veg. While many may be tempted to opt for frozen foods, there’s nothing that beats the nutritional value and deliciousness of fresh produce. Not to mention, a diet of frozen and processed foods is unhealthy for anyone, and we encourage you to keep up your lifestyle of eating leafy greens and crunchy vegetable goodness.
But how do we make our fruits and vegetables stay fresh for longer? There’s nothing worse than wilted leaves and decay. You want to keep your perishables fresh and crisp for as long as possible, and we’re here to help with a few tips and tricks.
How to Keep Your Produce Fresh at home
If you select only the freshest fruits and vegetables, you’re bound to have produce that lasts longer. Leaves that already have discolouration (think yellow/brown patches) and wilting are already on their way out, and the same goes for fruit and other vegetables. Look for produce with the richest colours, and when it comes to root vegetables, onions, cabbages, and squash go for the ones that feel the heaviest for their size, without any soft spots or blemishes.
Now that you know what to look for, you need to know how to store it.
Start off Fresh - Avoid early signs of decay
Not all fruit and veg age the same way, and that means that there’s no universal way to store all your produce. There are different tricks that work for each kind, and we’ll break it down for you by type and factors. There are a few things to consider that determine how they should be stored, mainly temperature, ethylene, and airflow.
Temperature: Some produce lasts longer in the fridge thanks to the low temperature, but things like onions, garlic, and potatoes last longer when stored at a cool room temperature.
Ethylene: Fruits like apples and bananas release ethylene gas, which in turn speeds up the ripening process for other produce like broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, and other leafy greens. So it’s best to store these fruits and vegetables separately to avoid them ripening and decaying rapidly.
Airflow: Fruit and veg that last for longer at room temperature need to have good airflow and circulation to last for longer. Avoid storing them in plastic bags. Even if you bought your bananas or potatoes in a plastic perforated bag, it’s best to take them out to allow them to breathe.
Produce that lasts longer when kept cool however last even longer when sealed in some kind of storage, be it zip lock bags, Tupperware, or pouches. That helps them retain moisture for longer, and also keeps them safe from ethylene gas.
To make it even easier to discern where they should be stored, we’ll break it down for you by type. Here’s how fresh vegetables and fruit should be stored.
Storage for Fruit and Vegetables
Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
Onions and Garlic
Apples and pears
Buy Fresh Groceries Online
Keeping your fruit and veg fresh for longer is one thing, but perhaps you need to restock more frequently, or you need something in particular. By buying groceries online, you can order your fresh fruit and veg and have it delivered to your door.
It’s easy and convenient and helps take some of the worry and guesswork out of trying to make your produce last. Check out our range of produce and opt to buy groceries online through Raw Nutrition.
Fresh Fruit & Veg For Mental Wellbeing
Incorporating fresh fruit and veg into your diet is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle, and comes with all manner of benefits and positive effects. Anyone who eats healthy can attest to this. Dieticians, health practitioners, and other experts have promoted fruit and vegetables in healthy diets for years to aid in overall physical health, but the benefits don’t stop there. Recent studies have shown that eating consistent, healthy doses of fruit and vegetables does wonders for your mental health as well, helping to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress.
And with our modern lives as stressful as they are, it’s important to destress and care for your mental health. Depression and anxiety are at an all-time high, and it’s advisable to do what we can to care for our mental wellbeing. A healthy mind leads to a healthy body and vice versa, and with the help of fresh produce and healthy eating, it’s just that much easier to care for yourself.
What Have Studies Shown Us
The study found that there was a correlation to the mental health of the participants and how much fruit and veg they ate a day, while also taking into account things like social, economic, health, and nutrition-related factors.
Interestingly, the participants who ate less than three servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day were 29% more at risk of suffering from anxiety or depression. A prior study found that those who ate 7 or more portions of fruit and veg a day were happier overall.
The effect isn’t small either. A report done at the University of Warwick found that eating 7 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day creates a powerful boost in mental wellbeing. This significantly reduces the risk of chronic depression and anxiety, even in those dealing with unemployment. Unemployment has been proven to cause some serious psychological effects, but by increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables you can reduce your risk of mental illness by half.
And the positive benefits of eating more fresh produce is fast-acting too. While the long-lasting physical and immunological benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables present themselves more obviously by the time you reach 60, studies show that within 24 months you can experience the benefits of eating more greenery.
What Else Do We Know About Healthy Eating & Mental
We can correlate the boost in mental wellbeing to the many nutrients and minerals found in fresh fruit and veg, but it almost certainly goes beyond that as well.
A healthy lifestyle consists of many factors, such as increasing your intake of water, smaller portion sizes, eating more portions of fruit and vegetables throughout the day, and introducing an exercise routine into your schedule. Being healthy goes a long way to improving your emotional and mental wellbeing, and there is a clear link between a healthy lifestyle and improved mental stability and invigoration.
Eating more fruit and veg also means we consume less sugar, processed foods, and fast food. Studies have shown that a diet of unhealthy foods tends to contribute to depression, anxiety, lethargy, and even bipolar disorder, and this is regardless of personal characteristics such as gender, education, age, marital status, and income level.
Keep Up With Healthy Eating By Buying Fresh Fruit & Veg Online
Maintaining a diet of at least 3 to 7 portions of fresh produce a day means you have to keep a sizable stock of fresh vegetables and fruit at home. But while that supply tends to run out rather quickly, bulk stocking on fruit and vegetables is a poor decision, as natural fruit and vegetables don’t last nearly as long as processed foods. It’s best to eat your produce fresh and keep a supply on hand by buying fresh fruit and vegetables online from Raw Nutrition. It’s quick, easy, and gets delivered right to your doorstep.
Health Benefits Of Fruit & Vegetables
From a very young age, we’re taught that it’s good for us and that it keeps our bodies healthy and strong. Lucky for us, there is all manner of fruit and vegetables out there, a wide variety that offers unique vitamins and minerals that benefits us in different ways. Some vegetables are believed to reduce your risk of developing cancer in later life, others reduce your risk of cardiac-related illnesses.
But not all fruit and vegetables are created equally, and shouldn’t be prepared the same way either to best preserve their nutrients. A good rule of thumb is to never overcook your veg till it becomes soggy and mushy, and try to eat as many of them raw or crunchy as possible. This is to prevent the loss of those precious nutrients during cooking.
There are some, however, like tomatoes, that actually offer more nutrients when cooked. So treat each vegetable differently, and try to diversify your diet and cooking methods.
Nutrients in Fruit and Vegetables
Every type of fruit and veg varies, but in general, they’re rich with vitamin A, C, E, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and folic acid. All of which is good for you as we don’t produce it naturally, and amongst those folic acids is believed to reduce the levels of homocysteine in our blood, a substance that increases our risk of developing coronary heart disease.
A diet of fresh fruit and vegetables is believed to reduce your risk of obesity and help you maintain a healthy weight, which improves your health overall. Fruit and veg are also known to lower your cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Beyond that, fruit and veg are naturally packed with phytochemicals. These are biologically active substances known to help fight off diseases, and scientific studies have shown that a consistent diet of fruit and vegetables reduces your risk of:
Recommended Daily amounts
Typically, half of your plate should be taken up by vegetables or fruit, and it’s recommended that adults eat at least five kinds of vegetables and two kinds of fruit every day.
Children are recommended to eat 1-2 cups for fresh fruit and 1-3 cups for fresh vegetables a day.
The Colour Wheel for Fruit and Vegetables
It’s recommended to diversify the fruit and veg you eat, and a good way to do so is to create a rainbow of colours on your plate with the food you eat. The colours of fruit and veg are useful for indicating what nutrients you’ll get from them.
The colours can be broken down like this:
Keeping up with a Healthy, Diverse Diet
It’s recommended to eat your fruit and veg fresh and to try new foods and recipes with them regularly. And because fruit and vegetables are best eaten raw, you should always have a supply on hand to snack on during the day to avoid opting for unhealthy snacks.
It can be hard to keep up with that kind of demand, especially when we don’t have the time to visit the shops every day or week. But you can always shop for fruit and veg online to have it conveniently delivered to your doorstep, making keeping up with your healthy diet easier than ever.
Fruit & Veg to Boost Your Family's Immune System
There’s no end to the health benefits you and your family can enjoy when you stick to a healthy diet of fresh vegetables and juicy fruit. This includes boosting the immune system, and even without the current pandemic, there’s no downside to having a stronger immune system, helping your body fight off colds and flu all year round. By buying your fruit and veg online you can keep your diet bulked up with fresh produce without running the risk of it spoiling or repeatedly making trips to the shops.
And while fruit and veg is almost always good for you, some are better than others, especially for boosting your immune system. We’ve compiled a list of the best fruit and veg available from Raw Nutrition to increase your white blood cell count.
It’s common knowledge that Vitamin C is an immune system booster, which is why we often rush to grab vitamin supplements and fruit juice when we feel ourselves becoming ill. One of the most well-known sources of Vitamin C is the orange, but can, in fact, come from a wide variety of citrus fruits like lemons, grapefruit, oranges, naartjies, limes and tangerines.
Because our bodies don’t naturally produce or store Vitamin C it’s important to take in a certain amount of it a day. Fortunately, citrus fruits are easy to incorporate into most dishes.
This vegetable is another one that’s packed full of Vitamin C, and contrary to popular belief, it’s not the orange that packs the most vitamins. Per ounce, red peppers hold far more Vitamin C than citrus fruits, about 3 times as much. Not only that, but it’s packed full of beta carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A to keep your eyes and skin healthy.
Also known as the Paw Paw, Papaya’s are another fruit rich in Vitamin C, offering double the necessary daily dose of vitamins in a single medium-sized papaya. It also boasts an enzyme called papain that’s got anti-inflammatory properties, which anyone can stand to benefit from.
You can also find other healthy nutrients in papayas to sweeten the deal even more, such as potassium, folate and magnesium, all good for your overall health and well being.
One of the healthiest vegetables you’ll find in your pantry, full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep you healthy and strong. It gives you a shot of Vitamin C, A and E, as well as plenty of fiber, which is great for the digestive system.
However, there is a right and a wrong way to cook and eat broccoli. It’s crucial to cook it as little as possible to maintain these nutrients, so don’t steam or boil them till they’re squishy and falling apart. The crisper and crunchier they are still the better.
This root may help treat a lot of the symptoms of illness, so it’s no wonder we often turn to it when we feel unwell. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce the pain of a sore throat, and may also help to ease nausea and vomiting. It’s also believed to ease chronic pain, and may even play a role in lowering cholesterol.
Buy Your Fruit and Veg Online
Be sure to incorporate these fruit and veg and more into your nutrient-rich diets to boost the immune systems of you and your family. Don’t be overwhelmed with the constant need for fresh ingredients when you can do some online grocery shopping, avoiding the crowded stores and keeping your fridge and pantry stocked up on just the right amount of veg you need to use without it spoiling. Raw Nutrition is one of the leading fruit and vegetable stores in Cape Town , offering vegetable delivery straight to your door for your convenience.
Check out our range of fruit and veg locally sourced here in Cape Town to find all the fruit and veg listed above and more.