16 Mar 2016

Best Foods to Include in Your Smoothies and Why

Do you ever find yourself using the same ingredients over and over in your smoothies? Yeah, sure they might be delicious and a little bit healthy but there is an abundance of ingredients you might be missing in your daily smoothie. We sometimes forget about the small super foods that can boost our health and give us the best tasting way to get the nutrients our body needs and deserves. Here are some of our suggested add-ins for some of the best tasting and healthiest smoothies.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are one of the best super foods you can include in your diet. They pack a heavy nutritional punch to boost your health. You can throw these in any smoothie to give it an extra load of nourishment. Check out Authority Nutrition’s take on the immense benefits from these loaded seeds. 

Flax Seeds

The benefits from flax seed are very similar to the profits found in chia seeds. Flax seeds assist in fat burn and are a killer way to fire up your metabolism and kick start your daily fiber intake. Since they are high in fiber they enable a healthy heart. The fatty acids they carry lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Spinach

Spinach packs a whole lot of nutrition for quite a few reasons. The most obvious reason being that it is natural and green. Green food is always a good route to take when you are thinking about making your next smoothie. Spinach carries an abundance of antioxidants that can potentially prevent cancer according to many studies referenced by Body and Soul

Kale

Kale, similar to spinach, is loaded with fiber and contains no fat. Again, this green leaf carries numerous nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. Kale also is high in calcium creating stronger joints and bones, preventing osteoporosis

Green Tea

Green tea is an excellent metabolism booster and it can increase physical performance. One major benefit of green tea is the improvement of brain function. Green tea has antioxidants that lower the risk of various types of cancer according to Authority Nutrition. It also lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and can fight bacteria, boosting your immune system.

Honey 

Honey is the perfect way to add some healthy sweetness to your smoothies. Honey has flavonoids, which are antioxidants that prevent cancer and heart disease. Honey can help fight and prevent bacteria, and can reduce throat irritation. Honey is also great at increasing athletic performance. 

Greek Yogurt

PROTEIN. Protein is the essential for good health, and it is a necessity after a hard workout. Greek yogurt has high levels of vitamin B12, which improves brain function and issues energy. It contains high calcium content which also aids in weight loss. According to WebMD plain, nonfat Greek yogurt is better than any other yogurt because of its thick texture, the liquid whey is strained out making it a perfect nutritional add in for any smoothie. 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is the perfect way to get in a small amount of healthy fat that your body needs. Coconut oil assists in digestion due to the amount of fatty acids, allowing your body to improve digestion. Coconut oil also assists in maintaining a healthy weight and aids in weight loss as well as boosting your metabolism. These are just a few benefits of this super food, for a list of 10 facts about coconut oil, head over to Body and Soul 

Acai Berries

Acai berries are the ultimate super food. Acai berries have very little sugar and contain high amounts of fiber, calcium, and vitamins. In acai you can get similar fatty acid benefits you find in olive oil, which is another strong point in the berry. For more information about these nutrient packed berries check out the facts and myths from Victoria Health

Fruits

Nutrients found in fruit are vital for the health of your body. There are immense benefits found in every fruit, follow along below and see what benefits each fruit carries. 

Strawberries – strawberries kick butt in the vitamin department, boost your vitamin levels by adding this delicious fruit to any smoothie.

Bananas – Everyone knows bananas carry a large amount of fiber. This means that bananas are extremely helpful in digestion as they remove toxins while producing digestive enzymes. Bananas, like all fruits, have high amounts of antioxidants.

Mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) – berries contain an immense amount of antioxidants, so be sure to include these!

Kiwi – Kiwis are an excellent source of vitamin C, E, and K. They also are a good source of potassium. For a more in depth health review of kiwis check out the World’s Healthiest Foods online. 

Peach – Again, this fruit is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Aside from the nutritional benefits, peaches help keep your skin and hair healthy.

Pineapple – like most fruits, pineapples contain high levels of vitamin C and manganese. Pineapples also aid in digestion, and have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Mango – mangoes have an excellent source of vitamin A and C. Aside from vitamins mangoes carry high levels of antioxidants. Along with these nutritional benefits, mangoes have health aids of cancer prevention, heart health, and reduced risk of diabetes to name a few.

Passion Fruit – This fruit is known for having high nutrient, mineral, antioxidant, vitamin, and fiber levels.

Pomegranate – Pomegranates are loaded with many important nutrients. They have immense amounts of vitamins, fiber, protein and potassium. An interesting fact about this fruit is that it may protect from breast cancer according to Authority Nutrition

Very obviously fruit is the best ingredient you can add to your smoothie. Not only does it create the flavor to your smoothie, but it also gives you so many health benefits.

Spices

Spices have an abundance of benefits, each containing something different than the next. To see the nutrients in each of the recommended spices check out Raw Edibles and maximize your health.

Cumin

Nutmeg

Cinnamon

Allspice

Cayenne

Mint

Cilantro

Vanilla

Peanut Butter

Protein, protein, protein. Peanut butter is the perfect way to get a good amount of protein, this is perfect for after a workout when your body is craving the protein. Peanut butter contains healthy fat that your body needs, meaning it has more unsaturated fat than saturated fat. Peanut butter can boost your energy, aids in weight loss, and is rich in fiber. 

Almond Butter

Similar to peanut butter, almond butter contains healthy fats and lots of fiber. Almond butter contains cardiovascular benefits due to these high levels of fats and fiber. Almond butter has good levels of calcium, copper, vitamin E, and magnesium. For more on this super food, checkout what Livestrong has to say about more benefits. 

Vegetables

Anything green. Vegetables carry some of the best nutrients for your body. As I mentioned before, kale is a great super food to include in your smoothies. Cucumbers are great for smoothies because they contain good levels of vitamin E and C. They are also a very hydrating vegetable. Zucchini is another good vegetable to include because like other foods already listed, they contain high levels of vitamins, fibers, and antioxidants. Another idea is avocados; they are great for heart health and have high levels of potassium.

Cocoa Powder

We all get those cravings for chocolate; in order to get a healthy dose of your guilty pleasure cocoa powder is the perfect option. Cocoa powder is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. It doesn't contain any added sugar, containing only 1 gram in a cup. Cocoa powder can also reduce the risk of blood clots while also lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure. Cocoa powder also contains minerals like calcium and potassium. Be mindful, however, that cocoa powder contains caffeine so it is perfect for a morning smoothie rather than a midnight snack. 

Coconut Water

Well coconut water is basically…water. We all know keeping yourself hydrated is vital in your daily life, so coconut water is another way to do it with a little flavor and little more nutritional benefit. Coconut water contains potassium, magnesium, and copper all of which are essential minerals for your body.


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