Potassium is often overlooked as being important to health in favour of calcium or iron, but its roles are many and include assisting calcium to maintain healthy bones and teeth, protecting against muscle loss and reducing blood pressure and risk of stroke. In fact, high intakes of potassium help to reduce the risk of death by all natural causes by as much as 20%!
As well as these benefits of consuming potassium, its primary role lies in building muscle, ensuring proper cell functions, controlling electrical activity in the heart and keeping electrolytes and bodily fluids in balance. This beneficial, potassium-rich smoothie has a delightfully exotic taste and makes an excellent addition to regular mealtimes, especially for children.
To make it, add all the ingredients to a blender and process until smooth.
By including guava in this smoothie you can hope to significantly increase your levels of vitamins and minerals, including potassium; one cup of raw guava contains around 20% of the daily requirement. The benefits to health are numerous and include significantly lowering the risk of developing cancer, reducing age-related damage to skin and improving the circulation of blood around the brain.
Bananas are very high in antioxidants that help to scavenge and destroy free radicals that can lead to a number of health conditions like heart disease and cancer. You have probably also heard by now that they are an excellent source of potassium; one average sized banana contains around 12% of the recommended daily intake.
Unlike most fruits, avocado is predominantly made up of fats, but these are healthy fats that help to maintain a healthy heart and proper brain functions. Avocado is also linked to weight loss and maintenance.
Whilst adding spinach to this smoothie is unlikely to make you beef up like Popeye, it will enable you to experience significant benefits to your health that include increased energy levels, better quality blood cells in your blood and stronger bones and teeth. One cup of raw spinach also contributes around 5% of your daily potassium needs to your diet.
Kale is low in calories, but high in vitamins and minerals including a good amount of potassium; one cup of raw kale contains roughly 9% of the recommended daily intake. The benefits to health that are associated with consuming kale include increased levels of most of the important vitamins and minerals, making it nature’s multivitamin. You will also benefit from a reduced risk of developing cancer and heart disease, as well as faster healing of injuries and wounds.
The deep purple colour of beetroot comes from its high levels of antioxidants that allow it to have some impressive effects on human health. These include slowing down the progression of dementia in older adults, improving endurance during exercise and greatly reducing the effects of type 2 diabetes.
Flax seeds are high in omega fatty acids, which is excellent news for the heart and brain since they rely on these nutrients to maintain optimal health. They are also a good source of dietary fibre which helps to promote healthy digestion and even assists in removing cholesterol from the gut before it reaches the bloodstream. A 28g serving of flax seeds contains approximately 7% of the recommended daily intake of potassium.
Some of the health benefits associated with consuming sunflower seeds include reducing inflammation experienced by people suffering with asthma and arthritis, reducing the frequency of muscles spasms and helping to calm nerves. One cup of sunflower seeds also contains around a third of the daily requirement of potassium.
Coconut water makes a brilliantly refreshing liquid base to any smoothie and also comes with a huge number of benefits to health that include effective rehydration after illnesses like sickness and diarrhoea, improved metabolism and increased levels of electrolyte potassium which is essential for maintaining good overall health. One cup of coconut water made just from the liquid in the coconut contains around 17% of the daily allowance of potassium and one cup of coconut water made from both the liquid and grated flesh contains around 14%.
Pistachio nuts have a number of health benefits including a reduced risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes, improving the condition of dry skin, better absorption of iron and even increasing libido.
Swiss chard, green apple, water, banana, honeydew melon and lime smoothie
Papaya, kiwifruit, guava, water, orange juice, kale, strawberries and parsley smoothie
Banana, mango, sunflower seeds, ginger, avocado, green tea and pumpkin seeds smoothie