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The Big List of Healthy Smoothies for Seniors

Sarah Stevenson
By Sarah StevensonFebruary 21, 2013
Big List of Smoothies for Seniors

Smoothies pack a nutritional punch for seniors, who need to get the right amount of nutrients for healthy aging. We’ve collected 40 recipes and sorted them by essential nutrient.

The Big List of Healthy Smoothies for Seniors

A critical part of healthy aging — and avoiding senior malnutrition — is getting enough of the right nutrients. Seniors need a range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other healthful ingredients to support the immune system, ward off disease, and provide the building blocks for healthy bodies and minds. But it can be difficult for our loved ones to get enough of the fruits, veggies, and other foods that contain these nutrients.

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Enter the delicious, nutrient-dense smoothie, which packs a huge amount of protein and vitamins into one easy-to-drink glass. We’ve interviewed our nutrition experts, scoured the web, and picked 40 of the most nutritious smoothie recipes we could find. We’ve listed them according to essential nutrients: if you’re looking to increase your loved one’s vitamin C, for instance, just scroll down for hand-picked recipes. All of the listed recipes are for a single serving unless otherwise indicated.

Vitamin A

The various forms of vitamin A have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, as well as supporting vision and immune system health. These 4 smoothie recipes pack a vitamin-A punch:

  1. Apricot Smoothie: 3/4 cup calcium- and vitamin D-fortified soy milk, 4 canned apricot halves (packed in juice), 2 tablespoons orange-juice concentrate, 2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ, ½ tablespoon your choice of nuts, 1 banana (Source: Fitness Magazine)
  2. Mango Lassi Smoothie: 1 cup chopped peeled mango, 1/3 cup peach sorbet, 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/8 teaspoon orange-flower water (optional). (Makes two ¾-cup servings; Source: EatingWell.com)
  3. Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:1 small or 1/2 large banana, 1/2 cup plain or vanilla lowfat yogurt (Greek or soy yogurt works too), 1/2 cup skim or soy milk, 1/2 cup canned unsweetened 100% pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling), 1 Tbsp maple syrup, 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon, 1 Tbsp ground flax or wheat germ, 3-5 ice cubes. If extra protein desired, consider adding 2 Tbsp of dry milk powder or a vanilla flavored protein powder. Add ice cubes to blender first. (Source: Heather Schwartz, MS, RD)
  4. Carrot-Mango Smoothie: 1 mango, 2 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green), 2 whole carrots, 1/2 cup water. (Source: Incredible Smoothies)
  5. Try these too: Pineapple-Zucchini Smoothie; Pear, Spinach and Wheatgrass Smoothie; Apricot Smoothie; Orange-Kiwi-Kale Smoothie; Watermelon, Pear, and Hemp Protein Smoothie; Sweet Peach Smoothie (you can find all of these in the list below)

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 supports nervous system activity and helps the body process carbohydrates. It also helps eliminate homocysteine, which, in excess, can lead to a higher risk of heart disease. Get more B6 with these recipes:

  1. Pineapple-Zucchini Smoothie: 1 medium zucchini, 1/2 cup Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, 2 stalks celery, 1/2 can pineapple and juice (or 1 cup fresh, chopped pineapple), 4 to 6 ounces water. (Source: Incredible Smoothies)
  2. Grapefruit, Mango, and Spinach Smoothie: 1/2 cup chunks fresh mango (unpeeled), 1/2 grapefruit (peeled), 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach, 1/2 small banana, 5 sprigs fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon Chia seeds, 2-3 ice cubes OR 1/2 cup of ice cold water or coconut water. (Source: 33 Smoothies)
  3. Basil Mango Smoothie: ½ fresh papaya cubed, ½ fresh mango cubed, (frozen is ok too),  ½ cup Greek yogurt, ¼ cup unsweetened apple juice (or whatever is available), 4 basil leaves. (Source: Chef Walter Pisano)
  4. Wheat Germ Smoothie: 6 oz Greek yogurt, 1 cup almond milk, 1/4 cup almonds, 1 cup blueberries, 4 strawberries, 1/4 banana, 1 tbsp wheat germ, a few ice cubes; blend Greek yogurt, almonds, almond milk and ice first, then add remaining ingredients and blend until mixed. (Source: Dr. Oz)
  5. Try these too: Banana Spice Smoothie, Beekman Boys Supermilk Smoothie, Kiwi-Apple-Avocado Smoothie, Pomegranate Mango Green Smoothie, Tropical Energy Smoothie, Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

Vitamin B12

This vitamin, present in many dairy products, promotes healthy cell metabolism, prevents anemia, and plays a role in the development of nerve cells. Without enough B12, we have trouble processing protein, carbs, and fat. Up your loved one’s B12 with these recipes:

  1. Frosty Pine-Orange Yogurt Smoothie: 12 ounces orange juice; 1/2 cup pineapple chunks, drained; 1¼ cups low-fat vanilla yogurt. (Source: WebMD)
  2. Shredder Blueberry-Pear Smoothie: 1 1/2 whole red pears w/skin, cored and cut into chunks; 1 cup frozen blueberries; 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt; 1 tsp sugar; 6 ice cubes. (Source: Dr. Oz)
  3. Apricot-Yogurt Smoothie: 1 cup canned apricot halves in light syrup, 6 ice cubes, 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt or low-fat Greek yogurt, 3 tablespoons sugar. (Makes two 1½-cup servings; Source: EatingWell.com)
  4. Banana Spice Smoothie: 2 ripe bananas, 2 cups vanilla kefir (drinkable yogurt), 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice, 12 ice cubes. (Makes two 2-cup servings; Source: EatingWell.com)
  5. Try these too: Clean Breeze Smoothie, Tropical Energy Smoothie, Banana Cantaloupe Smoothie

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that boosts the immune system, helps protect against cancer and other diseases, improves iron absorption and may help reduce the risk of cataracts. To boost vitamin C intake, try these smoothies:

  1. Green Monkey Smoothie: 1 frozen banana, ¼ cup frozen spinach or 1 handful fresh baby spinach, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, 1-2 cups unsweetened almond or coconut milk. (Source: Dr. Lindsay Jones-Born)
  2. Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie: 1-2 cups of filtered water or chilled green tea, ½ cup pineapple, ¼ cup mango chunks, ¼ cup raspberries, ½ teaspoon turmeric, 1 tablespoon minced ginger. (Source: Dr. Lindsay Jones-Born)
  3. Clean Breeze Smoothie: 1 small cucumber, chopped; 2 ripe kiwis, peeled; 1 cup ginger-flavored kombucha tea; ½ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt; 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves; 6 ice cubes. (Makes two 1¾-cup servings; Source: EatingWell.com)
  4. Orange-Kiwi-Kale Smoothie: 1 orange, peeled; 2 kiwifruit; 1 small pear, cored; 2 cups kale, spinach or chard, chopped; 4 to 6 ounces of filtered water. (Source: Incredible Smoothies)
  5. Try these too: “Get Your Orange” Smoothie, Carrot Mango Smoothie, Frosty Pine-Orange Yogurt Smoothie, Strawberry-Kiwi Smoothie, Passion Fruit and Lychee Green Smoothie

Vitamin D

A critical vitamin to numerous bodily systems, vitamin D has proven invaluable to senior health: it can help prevent type 2 diabetes, heart problems, stroke, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer, and it helps regulate cognitive function in older people. These smoothies all contain plenty of vitamin D:

  1. Black and Blue Smoothie: 2 cups blackberries, 2 cups blueberries, 1 cup low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt, 1 cup low-fat or fat-free milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cups ice. (Makes 4 servings; Source: CDC/Office on Women’s Health)
  2. The Beekman Boys’ Supermilk Smoothie: 1 very ripe banana, ¼ cup of your favorite fruit, 8 oz goat milk yogurt, 2 squirts of honey, goat’s milk (to taste). (Source: Dr. Oz)
  3. Uplifting Soy Milk Smoothie: 2 bananas, 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tbsp honey, 6 oz vanilla soy milk, 4 cubes ice. (Source: TLC Cooking)
  4. Strawberry-Kiwi Smoothie: 1½ cup(s) milk, fat-free; 1 cup(s) strawberries, hulled and quartered; 2 kiwi, peeled and quartered (about ½ cup); 2 tablespoon mint, fresh, chopped, plus two sprigs for garnish (optional); 1 tablespoon sugar, granulated, or sugar substitute; 1 cup(s) ice cubes, crushed. (Source: Joy Bauer)
  5. Try these too: Mango Lassi Smoothie, Wheat Germ Smoothie, Frosty Pine-Orange Yogurt Smoothie, Apricot Yogurt Smoothie, Banana Spice Smoothie

Vitamin E

Besides preventing cell damage from free radicals, vitamin E supports healthy skin and is associated with lower risk of prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Get more vitamin E into your loved one’s diet with these smoothie recipes:

  1. Strawberry-Almond Smoothie: 10 frozen whole strawberries, 1 cup almond milk, ½ cup silken tofu (4 ounces), 2 tablespoons sugar. (Makes two 2-cup servings; Source: EatingWell.com)
  2. Red Berry, Cabbage and Almond Smoothie: ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, 1 cup mixed frozen berries, ½ cup chopped red cabbage, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 or 3 drops almond extract (about 1/8 teaspoon), 6 almonds or 2 teaspoons raw almond butter, 3 ice cubes. (Source: New York Times)
  3. Kiwi-Apple-Avocado Smoothie: 1 large apple, cored; 1 large kiwi, peeled; ½ large avocado, peeled and pitted; 6 to 8 ounces of filtered water. (Source: Incredible Smoothies)
  4. Mango, Kiwi and Carrot Smoothie: ½ cup chunks fresh mango, 2 kiwifruit, 1 medium carrot (peeled and cut in chunks), 2 teaspoons Chia seeds, 2 teaspoons hemp seeds, 2-3 ice cubes OR ½ cup of ice cold water or coconut water. (Source: 33 Smoothies)
  5. Try this too: Wheat Germ Smoothie

Protein

Proteins form the essential building blocks of our body’s tissues, enzymes, and immune system. Not getting enough protein has been associated with the development of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Seniors can pack in the protein with these smoothies:

  1. Tofu Strawberry-Banana Smoothie: ¾ cup silken tofu; 1 cup frozen strawberries; 1 frozen banana, cut into pieces; ½ cup soymilk; 1 tablespoon peanut butter, optional, for more flavor and protein; 2-3 ice cubes. (Source: WebMD)
  2. Banana-Cocoa Soy Smoothie: 1 banana, frozen; ½ cup silken tofu; ½ cup soymilk; 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder; 1 tablespoon honey. (Source: EatingWell.com)
  3. Fruit & Veggie Smoothie: 1-2 cups filtered water, chilled green tea or unsweetened almond/coconut milk; ¼ cup frozen spinach or 1 handful fresh baby spinach; 1 cup frozen or fresh berries; 1-2 servings of hemp protein, pumpkin seed protein or pea protein powder; 1-2 Tablespoons chia seeds. (Source: Dr. Lindsay Jones-Born)
  4. Watermelon, Pear and Hemp Protein Smoothie: 2 cups diced watermelon, 1 small pear, ½ cup fresh spinach, 1/2 scoop of hemp protein powder, 2-3 ice cubes OR ½ cup of ice cold water or coconut water. (Source: 33 Smoothies)
  5. Try these too: Grapefruit, Mango and Spinach Smoothie; Pear, Spinach and Wheatgrass Smoothie; Apricot Smoothie; Clean Breeze Smoothie

Folate

For seniors, one of the most significant functions of folic acid in the body is its role in preventing buildup of homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine are linked to heart disease as well as the development of certain types of dementia. These smoothies all have plenty of folate:

  1. Good Green Tea Smoothie: 3 cups frozen white grapes; 2 packed cups baby spinach; 1½ cups strong brewed green tea, cooled; 1 medium ripe avocado; 2 teaspoons honey. (Makes two 1¾-cup servings; Source: EatingWell.com)
  2. Peach Blueberry Smoothie: 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen); 2 peaches, pitted; ½ small beet, peeled and chopped; 1 head baby bok choy; 1 banana, peeled; 1 medium carrot, chopped; 4 to 6 ounces of filtered water. (Source: Incredible Smoothies)
  3. Avo-Berry Smoothie: 3/4 cup frozen berries (any kind or combo), 1/4 ripe avocado, 1 cup plain, nonfat yogurt (Greek or soy yogurt works well too), 1/2 banana, 1 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp of ground flax or wheat germ, 3-5 ice cubes. If extra protein desired, consider adding 2 Tbsp of dry milk powder or a vanilla flavored protein powder. Add ice cubes to blender first. (Source: Heather Schwartz, MS, RD)
  4. Tropical Energy Smoothie: 3/4 cup orange juice, 1 cup sugar free yogurt (30 calorie), 1 scoop protein powder (contains minimum 30 gr protein), 1 peeled kiwi fruit, 1/2 cup frozen tropical fruit with strawberries, 2 or 3 chunks frozen or fresh pineapple. (Makes 1 serving; Source: Spark Recipes)
  5. Try these too: Pineapple Zucchini Smoothie; Pear, Spinach and Wheatgrass Smoothie; Mango, Kiwi and Carrot Smoothie; Blackberry Cherry Green Smoothie

Niacin

Niacin, or vitamin B3, helps the body process fats, regulates insulin activity, and lowers cholesterol. It may also help ward off cancer because of its role in preventing DNA damage. Some niacin-containing smoothies:

  1. Banana Cantaloupe Smoothie: 1 large banana, sliced and frozen; 1 cup cantaloupe, seeded and coarsely chopped; 1 cup buttermilk containing probiotic bacteria; seeds from one vanilla bean; 1 Tbsp honey. (Makes 2 servings; Source: HealWithFood.org)
  2. Sweet Peach Smoothie: 1 1/2 cups apple juice; 1 ripe peach, peeled, pitted, and chopped (about 3/4 cup); 3/4 ripe banana, peeled and chopped; 1 tablespoon vanilla yogurt; 6 ice cubes; 2 teaspoons honey; 2 teaspoons flaxseed oil. (Makes 2 servings; Source: Epicurious.com)
  3. Passion Fruit and Lychee Green Smoothie: 10 lychee, peeled and seed removed; 3 passion fruit, inner fruit only; 1 medium banana, peeled; 1 head baby bok choy; 4 ounces of coconut water. (Source: Incredible Smoothies)
  4. Orange Pear Green Smoothie: 1 orange, peeled; 1 pear, cored; 1 head green leaf lettuce (not Romaine or Iceberg; add greens last); 5 sprigs of fresh dill; 6 ounces of water. (Source: Incredible Smoothies)
  5. Try these too: Blackberry Cherry Green Smoothie, Pomegranate Mango Green Smoothie

Antioxidants

Antioxidants such as coenzyme Q10 and flavonoids help protect the body’s cells against free radicals, which can damage cells as well as increasing the risk of cancer and heart disease. Many of the above vitamins are also antioxidants. Get even more of the benefits of antioxidants from these smoothies:

  1. Green Tea Fruit Smoothie: 2 cups frozen unsweetened mixed fruit (peaches, melon and grapes); ¾ cup hot brewed green tea; 3 tablespoons honey; 1 tablespoon lemon juice. (Makes two 1-cup servings; Source: EatingWell.com)
  2. Pomegranate Berry Smoothie: 2 cups frozen mixed berries, 1 cup pomegranate juice, 1 medium banana, ½ cup nonfat cottage cheese, ½ cup water. (Makes two 1¾-cup servings; Source: EatingWell.com)
  3. Blackberry Cherry Green Smoothie: 1 cup cherries, pitted; 1 cup blackberries; 2 small bananas, peeled; ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla; 3 cups fresh baby spinach; 8 ounces of filtered water. (Source: Incredible Smoothies)
  4. Pomegranate Mango Green Smoothie: 1/2 cup pomegranate arils (seeds); 1 mango, peeled and pitted; 1 scoop chocolate maca protein powder or raw cacao powder; 2 cups fresh baby spinach; 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk. (Source: Incredible Smoothies)
  5. Try these too: Fruit & Veggie Smoothie; Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie; Shredder Blueberry Pear Smoothie; Black and Blue Smoothie; Red Berry, Cabbage and Almond Smoothie

If you’ve got any favorite recipes for healthy smoothies for seniors, feel free to leave them in the comments for our readers to enjoy!

Sarah Stevenson
Author
Sarah Stevenson

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