Smoothies are a great way to start your day or even as a snack through at your day.
Additionally, smoothies can be used as a meal replacement for busy
people who are on the go. The great thing about smoothies is that they
are loaded with nutritious ingredients that boost brainpower, increase
your energy levels, build muscle, burn fat, promote weight loss and help
your heart. However, when purchasing pre-made smoothies you don't know
all of the ingredients, added sugars, or extra calorie content to boost
your nutritional value and get a great smoothie flavor. The best way to
maintain the integrity of your smoothie is to make it yourself. Choose
from this list of healthy smoothie ingredients.
Fruits are an essential ingredient for a smoothie. You can use almost
any fruit to add nutritional value, vitamins, minerals and fiber to your
smoothie. Fruits contain important simple sugars such as glucose and
fructose that are important for the body and easily digested. Fresh or
frozen fruits are viable options for smoothie ingredients. Popular
fruits used in smoothies are bananas, pineapple, strawberry, blueberries
Greens-greens are an essential part of ones
diet. That's why they should be added to any smoothie you make. Almost
any vegetable can be used in a smoothie but the best are tender leafy
greens. Adding greens to your smoothie will increase the number of
servings of vegetables you eat per day. Vegetables provide the body with
a ton of vitamins and minerals
such as sodium, and potassium. Mineral salts such as these, play a role
in almost every cellular function in the body. If fresh greens aren't
available powdered greens, barley grass, wheat grass, spirulina (algae)
will justify as another option for a serving of vegetables. However,
powdered greens don't contain all of the nutrients that its fresh
Protein powder- Protein powder will make
your smoothie more filling, especially if you are using it as a meal
replacement. Protein builds muscle and burns fat. There are several
types of protein powders and even more brands available on the market.
The best choice is whey protein because it has a low fat content with
tons of amino acids to provide the muscles with a quick release of
protein. Soy protein is another good option because it contains
phytoestrogens. These compounds mimic the effects of estrogen and
balance out hormone levels. For a low sugar option use rice protein
Tea-Tea can be used in a smoothie as a base
liquid. Replace water, juice, or milk with cooled tea. Tea is rich in
antioxidants, which protects the body from damaging free radicals. Green
tea is a great choice, however tea comes in many flavors and brands.
Some have additional benefits such as probiotics and treating different ailments.
Milk is normally used as a base for any smoothie, however milk
especially whole milk contains fat. For those looking to decrease their
calorie intake choose fat free milk or a nondairy alternative. Fat free
milk still contains calcium and protein to help build muscle but has no
fat. Non-dairy milks include almond milk, hemp milk, rice milk, or
kefir. Using a nondairy milk alternative as your smoothie base will
change up the flavor, consistency, and nutrients of your smoothie.
Almond milk contains magnesium, vitamin E and protein, where as rice
milk doesn't naturally contain protein, most manufacturers fortify it
with protein, vitamins and minerals. People who have allergies, who are
lactose intolerant or allergic to soy, usually consume Rice milk. Hemp
milk contains multiple vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron,
potassium, phosphorus, niacin, etc. In addition it is rich in omega 3
& 6's fatty acids, protein and is safe for people who are allergic
to soy or dairy. Kefir is another alternative to milk or yogurt. Kefir
is fermented milk drink made from cows, goats, or sheep milk and kefir
grains, which is easier to digest than regular whole milk. Kefir
contains probiotics and protein.
Flax- Flax is a great,
healthy addition to your smoothie. Flax is rich in healthy fats such as
omega 3's, high in protein and full in fiber. Flax seeds will add
texture to your smoothie but need to be ground up before being added.
Flax is also available in oil or in powder.
Nut or Seed butter-
To add some healthy fat to your smoothie use a spoonful of seed or nut
butter. Healthy fats are needed to absorb fat soluble vitamins A and E.
Peanut butter is the most well known nut butter however there are plenty
of others such as almond butter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter,
pistachio butter, walnut butter, pumpkin seed butter, sesame seed
butter, etc. Nut and seed butters have a high fat content so use in
moderation. The contain protein, fiber, and essential fatty acids and
will make your smoothie rich and creamy.
Chia- Chia seeds
are used in both foods and drinks. Chia seeds thicken when added to
liquids, therefore it may be necessary to grind up the seeds
before adding them to your smoothie. Chia seeds are rich in omega 3
fatty acids, calcium and are a great source of fiber, all of which help
to improve the nutritious value of a smoothie.
you are a chocolate lover but don't want the added calories, fat and
sugar add cacao to your smoothie. Cacao beans are the dried and
fermented seeds from which cocoa solid products and cocoa butter are
extracted. Cacao known to the layman as cocoa is the basis for chocolate
and will add flavor and nutrients to your smoothie. Cacao are full of
flavonoids, which have antioxidant effects on the body. Add cacao powder
or nibs (pieces of the bean) to your smoothie.