Smoothies are an awesome healthy addition to your daily diet and meal plan, especially for those on-the-go mornings. It’s a convenient and effortless way to pack a ton of nutrition into one drink. Some studies show that the best time to drink smoothies are either in the morning, at least an hour prior to your workout session or immediately after your workout session. This way all of those awesome nutrients can fuel your day, your workout or help prevent muscle cramping or stiffness afterward. Smoothie recipes come in a variety of flavors ranging from sweet to even hearty. To ensure you’re attaining the highest amount of nutrients possible from a smoothie you’ll want to include some of these amazing smoothie ingredients to help give them a serious boost!
Many are calling chia seeds a superfood, and for good reason. These tiny seeds pack a ton of nutrients that would be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle. For starters, they’re an excellent source of fiber and this is important because fiber can help regulate our bowels and speed up the movement of food through our digestive tract.
Furthermore, they’re loaded with antioxidants to help fight off free radicals. They have also been shown to boost our energy, anti-inflammatory properties, could encourage weight loss, are anti-aging and many more great benefits. To read more about the incredible health benefits chia seeds can offer us read HERE. We’ve even included a blueberry chia seed smoothie recipe to help get you started.
Much like chia seeds, spirulina is another ancient superfood. It is a blue-green spiral-shaped algae that can be found in freshwater lakes, ponds, and rivers. Its powder form makes it extremely easy to add to your everyday smoothie and not to mention, provides a stunning color.
Spirulina can offer several nutrients such as protein, vitamin B1, B2, B3, Copper, Ironmagnesiumiu, and potassium. Like chia seeds, it also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Keep in mind that spirulina is considered a dietary supplement and if you are taking prescription drugs make sure to consult your doctor to ensure it doesn’t interfere.
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If you frequently workout or have a physically demanding job adding protein to your smoothies would be a really good idea. Protein is important for repairing muscle fibers that have been torn during exercise. It is, however, important to note that if your job consists of sitting at a desk for 6-8 hours a day protein powder could actually cause weight gain. Or if you find yourself devoting less than 5 hours a week to exercise then protein powder would also not be a great ingredient for you.
Protein powder comes in many different flavors, and forms such as extracted from dairy and from plants. When seeking protein powders its important to look for ones that have minimal artificial additives or sugars. We’ve found an organic whey (from dairy milk) protein powder that would make a great addition to your smoothie to help fuel you body and muscles.
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Furthermore, if you follow a plant-based diet or have a dairy allergy then a vegan protein powder would be a much better choice for you. I personally have had Vega protein powder many times. It has a sweet enough flavor to actually make your smoothie taste extremely delicious.
Vega also comes in a chocolate flavor if that’s your guilty pleasure. However, once again keep in mind unless you have a physically demanding job or workout several times a week then protein powder may not be best for you.
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Greek yogurt is another easy way to add a healthy dose of protein to your smoothie and give it a creamier texture you’ll love. Protein powders and their flavors that come with them aren’t appealing to everyone, and that is totally okay.
Greek yogurt offers protein but also probiotics, too. Probiotics do wonders for the digestive system to help keep you regular and promotes a healthy gut. The creamy consistency that Greek yogurt offers can revolutionize your smoothie into a dreamy texture.
Dark leafy greens are always a good idea when it comes to smoothie ingredients. Some of these may include spinach, collard greens and kale. The awesome thing about dark leafy greens is that their very low in calories but offer an abundance of healthy nutrients.
Dark leafy greens are thriving in antioxidants and carotenoids both of which help to protect our cells. They’re low in sodium, carbs and cholesterol but rich in iron, fiber, magnesium, potassium and calcium. They don’t hold a lot of flavor which makes them an easy and healthy ingredient to add to your everyday smoothie. Store some loose leaf spinach in your freezer for an easy grab and toss into the blender!
Barley is one of the oldest grains and is still cultivated today for good reason. Barley grass juice powder provides a concentrated source of almost 3 dozen minerals and vitamins. By adding this nutrient-dense powder to your smoothies you’ll be consuming vitamins such as Vitamin A, B1, B2, B12, C. Along with those vitamins you’ll also find calcium, iron, folic acid and potassium.
Along with its generosity in the vitamin and mineral department, barley grass juice powder could offer many health benefits too. Some of this include, help balance acid-alkaline in the body, natural detoxifying agent, Can boost immunity, could help regulate cholesterol, promote healthy digestion and many other great benefits. It’s earthy flavor pairs nicely with berries or other fruit smoothies.
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Berries contain an extremely generous amount of flavor that would be a great addition to your smoothie. Along with their flavor, they also contribute a lot of nutrition. For starters, they’re loaded with antioxidants which our bodies need to keep free radicals under control.
Following, berries are a good source of fiber. This is especially true for soluble fiber which helps to slow the movement of food. This, in turn, can help you feel fuller for longer which could help you consume fewer calories. There is a large variety of berries available such as blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries that if you don’t like one variety you’re bound to love another. Frozen or fresh, they’re the perfect addition to your smoothie.
For some, turmeric may be a frequent ingredient that is included in cooking, however, adding it to your daily smoothie could have amazing health benefits too. Recent studies have shown that turmeric can help aid digestion, could improve liver function, can act as a natural painkiller and many other health benefits.
It’s rich in color and potent in flavor so adding it to your smoothie might seem like a tricky step to take. It’s important to pair with the right healthy ingredients to make it still acceptable to your palate. Afterall, no one likes to drink a disgusting beverage. We’ve included a delicious pineapple, banana and turmeric smoothie to help get you started.
Ground cinnamon is an easy and delicious ingredient to add flavor and nutrients to your smoothie but without all the added calories. It’s an excellent source of fiber, manganese, calcium, iron, and vitamin K. Some studies believe that a small dose of cinnamon daily can do a lot of good for our bodies such as, maintain blood sugar levels and promote digestion.
Cinnamon is also an excellent source of antioxidants that can help fight off free radical damage which in result could help dwindle the ageing process.
Ginger may have a bold flavor but it can also mask any bitterness that is in your smoothie such as dark greens. It is quite known that ginger contains medicinal properties but it can do other wonders for our bodies and the brain too.
Some of the amazing qualities ginger can offer you is its ability to help subside nausea. It could even help to reduce muscle pain and soreness. Furthermore ginger can seriously benefit the digestive system especially for those who suffer from chronic indigestion. You can easily add ginger to your smoothie in powder form or freshly grated.
Some believe that bananas can cause constipation which would make them a not so great contender to boost your smoothie. However, studies have shown this is only proven true if bananas are consumed before they have ripened. Eating yellow and spotty bananas (the perfect ripeness) can actually help move your digestion along quite well.
Bananas are also full of potassium which is an electrolyte that serves many purposes. Some of these include; regulating the flow of nutrients and fluids in and out of the body cells, can help conduct nerve impulses as well as muscle contractions and can even help to keep our blood pressure in check. Further, if you choose to add frozen bananas to your smoothie it can give it a desirable creamy and icecream-like flavor and texture. Who doesn’t love guilt-free dessert for breakfast?
You might already include flaxseed into your baking, secretly in sauces or in your morning oatmeal but flaxseed makes an excellent ingredient for smoothies too. Firstly, flaxseeds contain a generous dose of omega-3 fatty acids which is an important nutrient that helps to ward off diseases.
Following, they’re also rich in antioxidants, and fiber and some sources even believe flaxseed could help promote weight loss if consumed daily. It’s important to note to ensure you’re obtaining optimal health benefits to purchase ground flaxseed. Ground contains both soluble and insoluble fiber whereas whole flaxseed only provides insoluble.
There are so many different kinds of nut butter out there such as peanut butter, cashew butter and almond butter. However, they are all rich in nutrients and for this reason would be an awesome ingredient to boost your smoothie.
Cashews are high in magnesium which can help strengthen the digestion. Almonds are rich in protein, vitamin E, potassium, calcium and fiber. Peanuts are naturally free of trans-fat but rich in folate, fiber, magnesium, vitamin E and many other nutrients. It’s important when choosing a nut butter to pick varieties that are as natural as possible and free from added sugars.
Matcha is powdered green tea leaves. Its bold color may give your smoothie a bright green appearance but it also adds health benefits to your smoothie too. Matcha powder contains more caffeine than ordinary green tea because you’re actually consuming the entire ground up leaf.
Matcha is also rich in antioxidants and some studies have shown that it could protect the liver, increase brain function, protect the heart, and boost your metabolism. With all of these benefits and generous source of caffeine, there’s no question why matcha would be a great addition to your morning smoothie and even to your pre-workout smoothie to keep fueled through your entire workout.
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Instead of eating a morning staple like oatmeal, you can add oats to your smoothie too. Oats are rich in fiber and would do your digestive system some good consuming them daily.
You won’t need to prepare the oats either, simply add them in the blender with all your other ingredients for a rich smoothie. Their fiber content will provide a boost of energy and keep you satiated enough until your next meal. If you’re not sure how to get started we’ve included a delicious blueberry and banana oatmeal smoothie to get you inspired.
If adding juice to your smoothies is your everyday go-to then let us stop you there. Many fruit juices, especially the prepackaged (not fresh) kind comes loaded with added sugars and sometimes artificial flavors. A great substitute base for your smoothie would be a nut milk. Be mindful to choose an unsweetened variety to once again avoid added sugars.
If you miss the sweet flavor of juice you could consider adding berries to your smoothie because fruits are naturally sweet and provide natural sugar on their own. If you can’t bear the taste of a nut milk than simply substitute for water and let your fresh and frozen ingredients shine.
There is nothing better than a delicious and creamy smoothie, after all, no one enjoys a chunky drink. To achieve a desirable creaminess you’ll want to add avocados to help boost your smoothie.
Along with their creamy texture, avocados come armed with many health benefits too. They’re well known for their healthy fat content but are also rich in Vitamin K, B6, E, and potassium. This healthy food has next to no flavor so it can be easily added to many different smoothies.
You might be asking yourself, pumpkin in a smoothie? Hear us out it can be an awesome ingredient to add to your smoothie. Think of it as a pumpkin spice latte meats healthy smoothie. Pumpkin is a hearty vegetable that is loaded with vitamin A, fiber, Vitamin C, beta-carotene and potassium. These nutrients could all contribute to healthy eyes, heart and muscles.
Considering pumpkin may be a unique ingredient to add to a smoothie we have included a delicious recipe to try. It’s full of healthy ingredients such as pumpkin puree, almond milk, protein powder and the perfect seasonings that won’t have you missing your favorite PSL from Starbucks.
Acai berries are known to have a red-wine and chocolatey-like flavor that can immensely boost the nutrient content of your smoothie. Acai could help maintain cognitive function and promote heart health. They’re also rich in fatty acids and antioxidants.
You can find acai in the frozen section at your grocery store, often in single-serving packets. Although, you can also add acai in its powdered form which we have included here. Either way, you’ll attain it’s amazing health benefits from both frozen and powdered.
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