By Aliah Alnahas, Dietetics student at TXST
Reviewed by Jinan Banna, PhD, RD
Being underweight due to poor nutrition has many health risks linked to it, including anemia, osteoporosis, vitamin deficiencies, weaker immune system, or even infertility. Undernutrition is the insufficient consumption of nutrients (healthy fat, carbs, protein, vitamins and minerals) and energy that the body needs to function.
A recent study showed an association between being underweight and having a higher mortality rate and poor quality of life.
If you are underweight, it’s important to consult with a registered dietitian for a nutritional assessment. One of the ways to gain weight in a healthy way is by providing your body with nutrient-rich foods and healthy calories.
A high-calorie smoothie is an easy way to fuel your body and get in some nutrients such as protein. It contains all the macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat) and foods from several of the food groups that help us meet our needs.
Total calories are 658 kcal and total protein is 16.07g, which is a substantial amount to start the day. Consuming the right amount of high-quality protein is vital for health as it improves the function of your immune system, helps with muscle gain, and promotes healthy skin, hair and nails.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein in adult men aged 19-50 is 56 grams per day and 46 grams per day for adult women aged 19-50.
The major ingredients that may contribute to weight gain are vanilla Ensure, almond butter, bananas, and honey.
Ensure is a nutritional energy drink supplement. One can of Ensure provides 9 grams of protein, 27 vitamins and minerals, 220 calories, 6 grams of total fat, and 32 grams of carbs. For those who are not able to get enough nutrients through the diet, it may help to maintain heart health, boost immunity and metabolism, and build muscle mass.
Almond butter (unsweetened) contains monounsaturated fat, which helps protect the heart by lowering LDL cholesterol and it is also rich in vitamin E and calcium. Bananas are high in fiber, and vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin A).
For this recipe, it is best to use ripened bananas, as they contribute to sweetness. Honey contains antioxidants and many vitamins. It may help in wound healing and boosting heart health. Of course, since it is a sweetener, it should be used moderately.
|Ingredients||Protein||Total Carbs||Total Fat||Calories|
|1 can of Vanilla Ensure (8 oz)||9g||32g||6g||220|
|1 T Almond Butter||3.4g||3g||8.9g||98|
|1 T Honey||0.1g||17g||0g||64|
|1 C frozen strawberries, mango, and papaya||1g||16g||0g||66|
|1 C Ice||0g||0g||0g||0|
You can choose to replace the frozen strawberries, mango, and papaya with 1 T of Cocoa powder with +½ of Ice.
High-Calorie Smoothie Recipe
- 1 blender
- 1 can Vanilla Ensure (8 oz)
- 2 ea bananas
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 cup frozen strawberries, mango, and papaya
- 1 cup ice
- ¼ cup water for the consistency
- Add the bananas and pour the 1 can of Vanilla Ensure into the blender.2 ea bananas, 1 can Vanilla Ensure (8 oz)
- Add almond butter, honey, frozen strawberries, mango, papaya, and the ice.1 tbsp almond butter, 1 tbsp honey, 1 cup frozen strawberries, mango, and papaya, 1 cup ice
- Blend on high speed for about 1 minute, or until all ingredients have blended and the consistency is smooth
- Add ¼ C of water for desired consistency, and blend again.¼ cup water