What Are the Benefits of Ensure Plus?

Often products promoting weight loss are plentiful and heavily marketed, but you may be at a loss to find a product that helps you gain weight. Ensure Plus is a ready-to-drink nutritional shake manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. With varieties like butter pecan, dark or milk chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, there's bound to be a flavor you'll enjoy. This 8-ounce beverage is high in calories and protein to promote weight gain or maintenance of a healthy weight.

Ensure Plus can be an easy way to add needed calories to your diet. (Image: bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images)

When to Drink It

Though Ensure Plus may be associated with the nutritional needs of the elderly, this product can aid anyone who would benefit from extra calories. If a chronic medical or health condition has decreased your appetite or ability to eat, products like Ensure Plus can help fill the gaps in your diet either on a short-term or long-term basis. Nutrition shakes like Ensure Plus can bridge the nutrition gap when eating enough food is not feasible.

Nutritional Benefits

Ensure Plus provides 350 calories and 13 grams of protein in 8 fluid ounces compared to standard Ensure, which provides 250 calories and 9 grams of protein per serving. One serving contains 24 essential vitamins and minerals, each meeting at least one-fourth of your daily value, the amount of vitamins and minerals your body needs based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet. Ensure Plus can promote heart health with the inclusion of 650 milligrams of a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid and is also appropriate for lactose-intolerant individuals or those on gluten-free diets.

Recommended Uses

Ensure Plus and other liquid nutrition supplements should be well shaken and served cold or over ice for best taste. Because Ensure Plus is a concentrated source of calories and can serve as a meal replacement, it is best to drink this shake either in between meals as a snack or after a meal to prevent decreasing your appetite for a meal or other foods. In addition to drinking the shakes, you can substitute vanilla Ensure Plus for milk to make smoothies, milk shakes, cream-based soups, casseroles and in other recipes where milk is recommended to boost calories, protein and nutrients.

Health Considerations

Although Ensure Plus is readily available without prescription at most food retailers, this is a product that should complement your diet and not be consumed as the sole source of nutrition unless under medical supervision and upon a physician's recommendation. Every health condition requires specific nutrition recommendations, so be sure this product is safe for your health needs by consulting with your health care provider or registered dietitian.

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