TOP 10 FRUITS FOR SMOOTHIES

TOP 10 FRUITS FOR SMOOTHIES

As with our selection for our favorite vegetables for smoothies, our top 10 list of fruits were selected based on how each supports your overall health.

Plucked from a full spectrum of beneficial colors‒blue, red, purple, orange, yellow, and green‒the fruits selected below contain high levels of vitamin C that help your body process collagen. And that folks is one of the many reasons we recommend fruit and veggie-packed smoothies to our customers.

Pairing Healthful Seasons Collagen Peptides to any smoothie rich in vitamin C can lead to enhanced health benefits. Research on collagen peptides suggests that these health benefits include healing, joint health, skin hydration and elasticity, and more.

 Plus, fruit contain powerful antioxidants and other essential nutrients that may protect us against infections and life-threatening/altering illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer (1). Read more to find out the benefits of each of our Top 10 that go great with Healthful Seasons Collagen Peptides

The Scoop of Fruits

Fruit contains no cholesterol and low calories. They are low in fat and sodium and high in fiber. Many contain a good amount of the water-soluble L-ascorbic acid, better known as Vitamin C. Although an essential vitamin, we cannot synthesize vitamin C naturally in our bodies. To process collagen, we need Vitamin C. Many of us do not get enough of vitamin C, fiber, folate, and potassium. Fruits are sources of these important nutrients and more.

Frozen vs. Fresh Fruit

When you use frozen fruit, you do not need to add ice to your smoothie, and it gives it a thicker consistency. Frozen fruit also lasts longer than fresh fruit, so you will always have it handy if you prep beforehand or purchase fruit from the frozen aisle.

Once your fruit is frozen solid, transfer to zip-lock bags and toss back in the freezer. You can divide up your smoothie recipes if you do a large prep day with a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Healthful tip: The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends freezing food as soon as possible, so that you maintain its quality. And, according to the FDA, food does not lose its protein value during freezing. You can store frozen fruit approximately 8-12 months, recommends the National Center for Home Food Preservation. 

Apples

Health benefits: Apples contain vitamin C and fiber, as well as other nutrients. The benefits of apples go way back to the adage “an apple a day…” and it shouldn’t be overlooked or forgotten. There are oodles of phytonutrients ("phyto" means plant) boasting its antioxidants. This protects our overall health, including a healthy gut and digestive tract.

How to prepare for smoothie: You can either peel or leave the skin on and cut apples into cubes and add fresh or place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for later.

Healthful tip: Freezing sliced-up fruit on parchment paper before dividing into freezer-safe zip-locked baggies prevents the fruit from sticking together, which makes it easier to retrieve the proper serving amount. Once you freeze all your sliced fruit, you can then divide ingredients by recipe.

Healthful tip: Apples add vitamin C and a good amount of fiber and sweetness to your smoothie.

Avocados

Health benefits: Avocados contain pantothenic acid, potassium, magnesium, fiber, vitamin K, copper, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C and monounsaturated fat. Facilitates absorption and conversion of carotenoids when mixed with foods, such as carrots (2).

How to prepare for smoothie: Cut avocado in slices/cubes and add fresh or place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for later.

Healthful tip: Avocados add a velvety texture to smoothies, and with the added "good" fats, it makes it a more satisfying and lasting meal.

Bananas

Health benefits: You probably guessed it: Bananas are one of the best sources of potassium. They are also high in fiber and vitamin B6, and a good source of vitamin C, manganese, fiber, copper, and biotin. They are low in fat, high in fiber and water, which gives a fuller sensation. Bananas contain beneficial antioxidants and have been studied for lowering blood pressure, controlling kidney disease and other health-related benefits (3,4). We respect bananas' health benefits so much, we harnessed it in our Spirit of the Morning Smoothie Enhancer with bananas, acai, lucuma, and maca.

How to prepare for smoothie: Peel, cut into circular slices, and add fresh or place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for later. You can buy these in bunches when ripe and freeze them in bulk. Bananas add a thick and creamy texture to every smoothie. You can achieve this best when you freeze your bananas. They are also inexpensive, delicious, and nutritious.

Healthful tip: Bananas are low in fat and high in fiber, vitamins and minerals that contain important health benefits.

Blueberries

Health benefits: Blueberries contain fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. But most impressive is the high concentration of complex nutrients that offer superior health benefits to us. Not only are they packed with antioxidants, but blueberries also contain unique anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Research has been done on the high content of antioxidants in blueberries and how blueberries alter the risk of developing cancer (5, 6, 7). 

How to prepare for smoothie: Wash in cold water and drain. Inspect the berries to be sure to remove any molded berries. Add fresh or spread out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze. Once frozen, divide out into freezer safe zip-locked bags.

Healthful tip: Adds color, sweet taste, and impressive nutritional value.

Kiwi

Health benefits: Kiwifruit is a powerhouse of vitamin C. In fact, it contains more vitamin C than an equivalent orange. Research has also shown that this tiny fruit packs a powerful protective antioxidant function as well (8). It also contains vitamin K, copper, vitamin E, fiber, potassium, and folate.

How to prepare for smoothie: You can leave the skin on the fruit if you prefer. Or you can cut the fruit in half and scoop out the insides. Add fresh fruit to the blender or puree and freeze in ice cube trays and add 1 or 2 cubes to smoothie.

Healthful tip: Kiwifruit is not only packed with nutrition, it also adds a creamy consistency to smoothies.

Lemons & Limes

Health benefits: As you might have guessed, lemons and limes are both high in vitamin C. They also contain a good source of folate and smaller amounts of water-soluble B-complex vitamins and fiber. Lemons and Limes both contain antioxidants and anti-cancer properties. These little green and yellow powerhouses have been studied as anticancer agents (9,10).

How to prepare for smoothie: You can add the zest of the lemon or lime or you can squeeze the juice and use it fresh or freeze in ice cube trays to save for later use.

Healthful tip: Lemons and limes are nutrient dynamos! They add a fresh zest of taste to any smoothie! They also aid in preserving food. You can use lemon juice on the flesh of apples to prevent browning. 

Pears

Health benefits: Pears contain fiber, copper, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium. Although you can skip eating the skins of some fruit, consuming the skin of pears has shown to contain 3 to 4 times more nutritional value than the flesh of the fruit. And there have been studies on pears regarding gut health, the prevention of constipation and the antioxidant benefits (11).

How to prepare for smoothie: Make sure your pears are ripe. Cut stem and calyx (bottom) off from the pears. Slice in half and cut away the core and seeds. Pears are mostly flesh and when ripe these fruits are juicy. Cut in slices and add fresh or place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for later or puree larger amounts, freeze in ice cube trays and add 2 or 3 cubes to smoothie.

Healthful tip: Pears offer nutritional value, they are juicy and sweet, which helps mask the bitter taste of some vegetables, such as kale.

Pineapples

Health benefits: Pineapples are high in vitamin C, manganese and a good source of copper, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, fiber, folate, and pantothenic acid. With its high vitamin C content, pineapple is a water-soluble disease-fighting antioxidant that protects against free radicals in the body. It also contains bromelain, a group of enzymes, which help break down proteins. Bromelain has also been studied for its potential to fight colon cancer and suppress breast cancer cells (12,13,14).

How to prepare for smoothie: One of our favorite pineapple smoothie recipes is our Poolside Pineapple Smoothie.

To get started with a fresh, whole pineapple, cut the top and bottom off using a sharp knife. Stand the pineapple upright and cut the peel away. Remove any rough parts of the peel using a smaller paring knife.

Once smooth, hold pineapple upright and cut lengthwise. Slice pineapple in chunks. Or you can purchase fresh slices of pineapple from the produce section. You can also use canned pineapple. Once you have your pineapple wedges, spread out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze. Once frozen, divide out into freezer-safe zip-locked bags.

Healthful tip: Pineapple adds sweetness to your smoothie and is great at masking the bitter taste of some vegetables, such as kale.

Raspberries

Health benefits: Raspberries are high in vitamin C, manganese, and fiber. These tiny fruits also contain copper, vitamin K, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, and omega-3 fats. But that’s not all! These incredible berries have a diverse panel of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients with anti-cancer benefits. There are also new studies that show improvement in the management of obesity due to its rheosmin or raspberry ketone (15,16).

How to prepare for smoothie: Wash in cold water and drain. Inspect the berries to be sure to remove any molded berries. Add fresh or spread out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze. Once frozen, divide out into freezer safe zip-locked bags. Then you're ready for use! Can we suggest our Coconut Raspberry Smoothie?

Healthful Tip: Adds color, sweet taste, and impressive nutritional value.

Strawberries

Health benefits: From Classic Strawberry and Banana to berry medleys, strawberries are a frequent sighting in the smoothie world. And their health benefits certainly support their frequent use! Strawberries are loaded with antioxidants high in vitamin C, manganese, folate, potassium, and are a source of iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin B6, vitamin K and vitamin E. They also contain a good amount of fiber. These berries have been studied for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits (17,18,19).

How to prepare for smoothie: Wash in cold water. Slice and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze. Once frozen, divide into freezer-safe baggies. 

Healthful tip: Adds fun pink-red color to your smoothie, sweet taste, and impressive nutritional value.

Seasonal tip: Look for a local farm/farmer's market to pick your own fruits. This can be a fun outing for the family and an excellent way to support your local farmers/businesses.  

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Research

  1. World’s Healthiest Foods, The: http://www.whfoods.org/index.php
  2. Kopec, Rachel E et al. “Avocado consumption enhances human postprandial provitamin A absorption and conversion from a novel high-β-carotene tomato sauce and from carrots.” The Journal of nutrition vol. 144,8 (2014): 1158-66. doi:10.3945/jn.113.187674
  3. D'Elia L, Barba G, Cappuccio FP, Strazzullo P. Potassium intake, stroke, and cardiovascular disease a meta-analysis of prospective studies. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011 Mar 8;57(10):1210-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2010.09.070. PMID: 21371638.
  4. Filippini T, Naska A, Kasdagli MI, Torres D, Lopes C, Carvalho C, Moreira P, Malavolti M, Orsini N, Whelton PK, Vinceti M. Potassium Intake and Blood Pressure: A Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Am Heart Assoc. 2020 Jun 16;9(12):e015719. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.119.015719. Epub 2020 Jun 5. PMID: 32500831; PMCID: PMC7429027.
  5. Prior RL, Cao G, Prior RL, Cao G. Analysis of botanicals and dietary supplements for antioxidant capacity: a review. J AOAC Int. 2000 Jul-Aug;83(4):950-6. PMID: 10995120.
  6. American Institute for Cancer Research: https://www.aicr.org/cancer-prevention/food-facts/blueberries/ (April 4, 2021)
  7. Miller K, Feucht W, Schmid M. Bioactive Compounds of Strawberry and Blueberry and Their Potential Health Effects Based on Human Intervention Studies: A Brief Overview. Nutrients. 2019 Jul 2;11(7):1510. doi: 10.3390/nu11071510. PMID: 31269727; PMCID: PMC6683271.
  8. Collins BH, Horská A, Hotten PM, Riddoch C, Collins AR. Kiwifruit protects against oxidative DNA damage in human cells and in vitro. Nutr Cancer. 2001;39(1):148-53. doi: 10.1207/S15327914nc391_20. PMID: 11588897.
  9. Cirmi, Santa et al. “Anticancer Potential of Citrus Juices and Their Extracts: A Systematic Review of Both Preclinical and Clinical Studies.” Frontiers in pharmacology vol. 8 420. 30 Jun. 2017, doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00420
  10. Yang, Meng et al. “An efficient method to isolate lemon derived extracellular vesicles for gastric cancer therapy.” Journal of nanobiotechnology vol. 18,1 100. 20 Jul. 2020, doi:10.1186/s12951-020-00656-9
  11. Reiland, Holly, and Joanne Slavin. “Systematic Review of Pears and Health.” Nutrition today vol. 50,6 (2015): 301-305. doi:10.1097/NT.0000000000000112
  12. Báez R, Lopes MT, Salas CE, Hernández M. In vivo antitumoral activity of stem pineapple (Ananas comosus) bromelain. Planta Med. 2007 Oct;73(13):1377-83. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-990221. Epub 2007 Sep 24. PMID: 17893836.
  13. Romano B, Fasolino I, Pagano E, Capasso R, Pace S, De Rosa G, Milic N, Orlando P, Izzo AA, Borrelli F. The chemopreventive action of bromelain, from pineapple stem (Ananas comosus L.), on colon carcinogenesis is related to antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2014 Mar;58(3):457-65. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201300345. Epub 2013 Oct 1. PMID: 24123777.
  14. Bhui K, Tyagi S, Prakash B, Shukla Y. Pineapple bromelain induces autophagy, facilitating apoptotic response in mammary carcinoma cells. Biofactors. 2010 Nov-Dec;36(6):474-82. doi: 10.1002/biof.121. Epub 2010 Sep 16. PMID: 20848558.
  15. McDougall GJ, Kulkarni NN, Stewart D. Current developments on the inhibitory effects of berry polyphenols on digestive enzymes. Biofactors. 2008;34(1):73-80. doi: 10.1002/biof.5520340108. PMID: 19706974.
  16. McDougall GJ, Stewart D. The inhibitory effects of berry polyphenols on digestive enzymes. Biofactors. 2005;23(4):189-95. doi: 10.1002/biof.5520230403. PMID: 16498205.
  17. Casto BC, Knobloch TJ, Galioto RL, Yu Z, Accurso BT, Warner BM. Chemoprevention of oral cancer by lyophilized strawberries. Anticancer Res. 2013 Nov;33(11):4757-66. PMID: 24222110; PMCID: PMC4102317.
  18. Miller K, Feucht W, Schmid M. Bioactive Compounds of Strawberry and Blueberry and Their Potential Health Effects Based on Human Intervention Studies: A Brief Overview. Nutrients. 2019 Jul 2;11(7):1510. doi: 10.3390/nu11071510. PMID: 31269727; PMCID: PMC6683271.
  19. Fotirić Akšić M, Dabić Zagorac D, Sredojević M, Milivojević J, Gašić U, Meland M, Natić M. Chemometric Characterization of Strawberries and Blueberries according to Their Phenolic Profile: Combined Effect of Cultivar and Cultivation System. Molecules. 2019 Nov 26;24(23):4310. doi: 10.3390/molecules24234310. PMID: 31779117; PMCID: PMC6930459.

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