I am sure many of us LOVE smoothies and use them as a go-to snack or meal when we need something quick and easy. Unfortunately, not all smoothies come with the same health and nutritional benefits. In order for a smoothie to be healthy AND good for you, it needs to have the right ingredients! Sometimes packing our smoothies with things such as flavoured yoghurts and ice cream can make them just as unhealthy as ‘junk food’.
Sooooo not only have I put together a list of some amazing ingredients that will make your smoothie taste great, but they are SUPER good for you!
Ready to take your smoothie to the next level?
The acai berry is known as a healing, immune-stimulating and energy boosting fruit. It contains powerful antioxidant capabilities, whilst also being an amazing source of dietary fibre, which is great for digestion. I am sure you have all heard me rave about acai bowls by now!
Acai can be bought as a ‘frozen smoothie pack’, which is easy to throw straight into the blender, or as a powder. It is perfect for a pre-workout boost of energy and gives your smoothie or bowl a delicious berry flavour. My favourite smoothie combo is acai, blueberries, strawberries, almond milk, flaxseed and cinnamon!
Chia seeds are high in protein, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. They are great to add to your post workout smoothie as they can help to keep you full and satisfied, especially after a challenging workout! Chia seeds expand when added to liquid, so they are perfect for ‘bulking’ up smoothies that aren’t made with many ingredients.
This is one for all you chocolate lovers out there! Not be confused with cocoa, cacao powder or nibs is high in the amino acid tryptophan, which your body uses to make serotonin. Serotonin is known as your ‘happy hormone’ which helps to regulate sleep, appetite and your mood. Therefore, adding a little cacao powder or some nibs to your smoothie can help give you a little pick me up!
If you don't like the taste of green smoothies, add some cacao powder, banana, almond milk, honey and spinach to your blender and watch as the ‘green’ taste blends away.
Lucuma is an exotic Peruvian fruit. It has a creamy, citrus flavour and is packed with a number of nutrients such as calcium, zinc, iron and vitamin C. You can buy this powder in most health food shops, and it tastes absolutely delicious in a banana smoothie! If you are looking for a nutrient boost, add 1-2 teaspoons of this powder to your smoothie.
If you are one of those people that will add a handful of spinach for a little nutrient boost, try swapping it with kale! In comparison to spinach, kale contains more calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin C - an important nutrient that helps strengthen your immune system. Kale goes great with banana, avocado and mango smoothies!
Pumpkin seeds (or pepitas) are a great source of magnesium, a mineral that helps our muscles to relax as well as alleviate stress. They are also a rich source of zinc which is important for your immune system and for healthy hair and skin. They are perfect to add a little crunch to your smoothie!
If you like drinking smoothies for breakfast, oats are a must have!! Oats contain six of the eight B vitamins, which help us use our food to produce energy. They are also high in fibre, which can help to keep you satisfied throughout the morning up until your next meal. Try this recipe for a great breakfast smoothie: 1/4 cup of oats, 1 cup of almond milk, half a banana, 1 tsp honey and a sprinkle of cacao nibs! If you’re after a gluten-free alternative, try swapping them for quinoa flakes or rice flakes!
What are some of your favourite healthy smoothie additions?Love, Kayla xx