Food & Recipes

Fighting the Winter Blues? Add This to Your Smoothies for an Instant Boost of Happiness

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Finding your usual moments of joy can be hard during the winter months. It’s too cold to do most activities outside, and the sun never seems to shine into your home quite the same. Now that January is finally behind us, it’s time to fight the winter blues. Luckily, there’s one ingredient you can add to your smoothies to beat seasonal sadness. These sweet smoothies are loaded with yogurt, which bolsters immunity, improves mood, eases digestive woes, and more!

How Yogurt Smoothies Boost Well-Being

Bolsters immunity

Probiotics in yogurt increase the amount of gut bacteria that slash the risk of illness in half and help you recover 74 percent faster if you do get sick, say University of Kansas researchers. Plus, probiotics can rebuild immunity in one month to ward off COVID-19 long-haul symptoms.

Improves mood

Enjoying one creamy yogurt smoothie a day can chase away the winter blues, according to British researchers. The credit goes to probiotics’ ability to prompt the release of the feel-good hormone oxytocin, which can reduce the risk of feeling down by as much as 33 percent.

Aids in digestion

Yogurt’s probiotics are effective at calming muscle spasms and soothing pain nerves in the digestive tract, say Finnish investigators. In fact, their study found that the effect is so powerful, your risk of tummy trouble plummets by 55 percent after enjoying one cup.

Experience the healing perks whether you opt for traditional or nondairy yogurts, which boast the same healthful probiotics. (Just be sure the label says it contains “live active cultures.”) Try these recipes to get all the benefits yogurt has to offer!

Citrus Carrot Contentment

  • 2 oranges, peeled
  • 1⁄ 3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 2 cups frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup carrot juice

In blender, puree all ingredients until smooth. Makes 4 servings. Bonus! Compounds in oranges ease stress in as little as two minutes.

Blueberry Banana Blast

  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 ⁄ 2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 2 cups almond milk

In blender, puree all ingredients with one cup of ice until smooth. Makes 4 servings. Bonus! Blueberries’ antioxidants enhance focus by 45 percent.

Kiwi Coconut Power-Up

  • 1 (10 oz.) pkg. spinach
  • 4 kiwi, peeled
  • 1 Gala apple, cored
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1⁄ 2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

In blender, puree all ingredients with 1 ⁄ 2 cup ice until smooth. Makes 4 servings. Bonus! Nutrients in spinach help you slim 40% faster.

Sip your way to a better life with all the health benefits these yogurt smoothies have to offer!

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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