When you first start making smoothies, you will probably use your favorite fruits, milk or yogurt, and maybe some peanut butter or other fun ingredients. However, over time, you will notice that you really want to focus on making them as healthy as possible. That is where this blog post comes in handy.
If you have been looking around at different smoothie recipes, you have probably seen chia seeds recommended. What are chia seeds?
Chia seeds are a tiny little seed that packs a walloping punch of nutrition to your smoothies and juice. Each 1-ounce serving provides up to 11 grams of fiber, plus about 4 grams of protein to smoothies and juice.
They also contain some other important nutrients, including calcium, B1, potassium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, and magnesium. They pack quite the nutrient punch!
There are also some other seeds that are amazing for your smoothies, starting with hemp seeds. These also contain those wonderful omega fatty acids, plus they have protein, fiber, vitamin E, and electrolytes like sodium and magnesium. You will also get a little zinc and iron.
Don’t forget about the flax seeds, providing many of the same nutrients like magnesium, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin B1.
to start using seeds? It is very simple to do. Just grab a handful of
the seeds and add it to the blender when you are making your
smoothie. They are very small, so you won’t notice a big difference
in texture or taste, but will have extra nutrients for your delicious
As you learn about how to add more nutrients to your juice and smoothies, you will of course begin with the fruits and vegetables.
When it comes to vegetables, it can be easy to add your favorites, like carrots and spinach, but there are so many others that have unique nutrients you might not have considered.
You may not think putting Brussels sprouts, cabbage or green beans in juice or a smoothie sounds very appetizing and if you put in too many or too much, it probably won’t be. But putting just a few green beans, a little cabbage or a single Brussels sprout into your smoothie will pack in some extra nutrition you’ll never know is there.
Fruits are high in fructose, which is a type of sugar. If you sneak in a few vegetables with the fruit in your juice or smoothie, the fruit will more than adequately cover the taste of the veggies. This is particularly important if you have kids that are picky eaters and don’t like veggies. Sneak a few in their juice or smoothie and they will never know they just ate a veggie. Remember, they get all the same nutrition whether they know they ate it or not.
Try to add more vegetables to your next juice, and choose ones you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. This creates more balance and a much healthier meal replacement.
Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is considered a “macronutrient” which means your body needs a lot of it. Most vitamins and minerals are considered “micronutrients” since our body needs only trace amounts of them each day in comparison to fat, protein and carbohydrates.
Why Protein Powder?
Unlike fat and carbohydrates, however, your body cannot store protein, so it needs a fresh supply every day. Since meat and dairy are two of the biggest sources of protein in our diet, vegans and vegetarians can have a difficult time getting enough protein in their diet, as can people who are sensitive to meat or dairy.
However, for a diet to be healthy, protein must be carefully balanced with fat and carbohydrates. Pouring a few scoops of protein powder into your juice or smoothie is a great way to get an extra boost of protein that is still balanced with necessary fat and carbohydrates.
Tips for Choosing Your Protein Powder
You will notice that there are many different types of protein powder, including different brands, macros, and flavors. Pay attention to the fat, calories, protein, sugar, and carbohydrates in the protein powder. There are vegan and dairy-free options, as well as flavors like mocha, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and many others.
Make sure all the macros work for whatever diet you are on, and that it offers an adequate amount of healthy protein for your smoothie.
Healing Herbs for the Win
Along with spices, there are a wide variety of herbs that will not only add some delicious flavor to your smoothies and juices, but also boost the health and nutritional benefits. Perhaps one of the very best herbs for both smoothies and juices is mint.
Not only is mint beneficial for a wide variety of health issues ranging from indigestion to nausea to headaches, but it is also beneficial in the treatment of asthma and other respiratory disorders.
Mint is also a natural stimulant that can provide a quick pick-me-up and can even help combat depression. Mint makes a delicious counterpoint to a wide variety of fruit juices, and can be used to make strawberry-mint lemonade or even cucumber-mint or watermelon-mint juice.
Once you’ve made your juice, you can also use it as a base for a delicious smoothie. Some other herbs that make a delicious addition to juices and smoothies are ginseng, lavender or sweet basil. Herbs like parsley, basil and oregano are delicious in tomato juice and you can even use your freshly made tomato juice to make a delicious bloody Mary.
Get creative! Mix and match with different herbs, spices, fruits, and veggies for the most delicious and nutrient-dense juice or smoothie you can come up with.