Starting your day with a smoothie is one of the easiest ways to have a healthy breakfast without wasting any time preparing a complicated meal. Rory Brown, Food and Lifestyle Writer, shares ingredients to improve the overall nutritional value and health benefits of your smoothie.
1. Frozen fruit and vegetables.
Fruit and vegetables are usually basic ingredients in any smoothie. Using frozen ones will instantly turn your smoothie into a refreshing frozen snack, perfect for warm summer days. Frozen fruit and vegetables may be healthier than fresh produce, especially when you are consuming “off-season” products. Fresh fruit and vegetables are often stocked for long periods or transported long distances before reaching the consumer’s table, which makes them a less healthy option than the ones that are quickly frozen after harvest.
Adding spices to your smoothie will not only make it taste better without adding extra calories but also allow you to receive considerable health benefits. Turmeric prevents cancer and heart disease. Cinnamon lowers blood pressure. Chili powder revs your metabolism and burns fat. Ginger powder helps with pain and nausea. Depending on the other ingredients of your smoothie, pick the right spice to elevate the taste and nutritional value of your beverage.
3. Cocoa powder.
An equally healthy and delicious ingredient to add to your smoothie is cocoa powder. It pairs well with most fruit and is also very nutritious. If you are vegan or vegetarian, cocoa powder can give you much-needed minerals, like iron, that are hard to get naturally in plant-based diets. Alternatively, you can use dark chocolate, but in this case, make sure you select chocolate with 70% or higher total cocoa content.
4. Nuts and nut butters.
Nuts are an excellent source of good fats, which means that they can keep you full and give you a ton of energy throughout the day. Instead of adding nuts directly into your smoothies, add a teaspoon of your favorite nut butter, such as peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter. However, pay attention to your favorite product’s ingredients and avoid spreads with added sugar and salt.
Like nuts, seeds are a good source of healthy fats. They also contain significant amounts of different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Finally, a lot of seeds, such as pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds, are very rich in protein and can be a valuable addition to any vegetarian diet.
6. Non-dairy milk.
Switching your regular milk for a non-dairy alternative means cutting down on calories and charging up on vitamins, as most non-dairy milk is fortified with vitamins and minerals. You can use any milk alternative you prefer, from coconut milk to almond milk to oat milk. However, it is best to choose unsweetened beverages, or else you are increasing your calorie intake.
7. Organic ingredients.
Organic food is not exposed to any chemical pesticides, so using organic ingredients increases the nutritional value of your smoothie and allows you to absorb all the nutrients you consume. If your smoothie is the healthiest meal of your day, it makes sense to make it as healthy as possible.
The above ingredients can improve both the taste and nutritional value of your smoothie. Depending on your preferences, try adding more of the above ingredients to your meal to reap the benefits.
About Rory Brown (Charleston, SC): After spending the first 40 years of his life in the United States, Rory Brown decided to focus on the quality of life and began living internationally. He now spends his time in Lake Como, Italy, Sydney, Australia, Charleston, South Carolina, and Kauai, Hawaii. His appreciation for simple health food that embraces local traditions of excellence has earned him credit among farm-to-table communities everywhere he goes.
Brown began his career as a technologist and has always focused on healthy lifestyle choices. His well-researched lifestyle writing has increasingly focused on living life to the fullest each day throughout the world.
This article cannot be re-published without permission.