Give Your Smoothies A Boost
Smoothies are wonderful little meals in glass! They are definitely not fit to be classified as a snack, because they do pack the calories.
Just to clear this up – we’re talking about the average smoothie. Not a green smoothie which is just veggies, fruit and clean water. I’m talking a full-fledge smoothie with all the fixins’.
Simple, easy, convenient AND if you make them right – they are nutrient dense and packed with amazing health benefits.
You can make them even more amazing by adding superfoods and supplements to these.
I know all of this is popular in smoothie shops, but I just don’t want to spend over $5.00 on a smoothie with ingredients that may or may not be healthy, fresh or organic. Besides, their ‘boosts’ they add, well, not sure what quality they are, so I just make mine at home. I save a lot of money this way. I guess it’s another step I have taken to live more ‘green’.
Here are some of the healthy add-ins I use as well as a few others I have yet to try, but know they would make great additions to your smoothie!
First, we need to start with the basic part of the smoothie. These ingredients will most likely vary from person to person, but let me tell you what I use.
For the thick base, I either use organic, full-fat kefir (I make my own) or organic, full-fat Bulgarian yogurt. These are both a great source of protein as well as healthy fat.
Then I add either water for freshly juiced fruits (sometimes a fruit/veggie mix). If I don’t have time to juice, I use water. I never use bottled juice because it’s heavily processed, void of real nutrients and offers no health benefits. Even organic brands have to go through pasteurization to sit on the shelves, so any nutrient value is destroyed. Some people will use organic concentrate for juice, but I just prefer to juice. I know the source of where the juice is coming from and you can’t get any fresher than it being juiced right there on my counter.
Next I add some fresh fruit, like a banana or avocado which gives the smoothie a creamier texture.
This is when I add any add-ins, which I usually have. I don’t use the same amount every time because I just eye things as I put them in. Using these as an accent to your smoothie will do more than enliven the flavor and taste. They will add extra nutrition, extra energy, extra immune support and more! They truly are beneficial and a great way to squeeze these superfoods and supplements into your day – as well as for your family. These are amazing for children and young adults who don’t seem to get all their nutritional needs met on a daily basis!
Let’s look at some amazing superfoods and supplements that you could add to boost your smoothie up a couple notches! This is just the beginning! Be creative and find other add-ins that give your smoothie the extra oomph it has the potential to have!
* * * * * * *
Almond Butter (made from organic, raw almonds)
Almonds are amazingly healthy. They are heavy in vitamin E, low in saturated fat but contain healthy fats your body needs and are a good source of potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and zinc. and phytochemicals. They are also a great source of folic acid and fiber. Almonds contain no cholesterol.
Almond Meal (made from organic, raw and dehydrated almonds, or can buy pre-ground)
(see Almond Butter above for nutritional information)
Brewer’s Yeast or Nutritional Yeast (powder or flakes)
Brewer’s yeast may be a taste you need to adjust too, it’s a great source of nutrients. This tiny fungus grown on grain contains half it’s weight in protein, and is a rich source of chromium, B vitamins, selenium and phosphorus. Nutritional yeast is a great source of vitamin B12.
I think this is a great addition, especially for those with allergies. If you can find local bee pollen and add it to your smoothies, it may help build up your body’s immunity to those flowers that the bees feed off of. Other benefits touted are their aid in indigestion, increasing energy and improving blood pressure.
The benefits of cinnamon are many. Some sources say that cinnamon has the highest anti-oxidant strength of all the food sources in nature according to the ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). This spice is great in lowering blood pressure, has been found to prevent the clogging of the platelets in blood vessels, increase digestion and is said to be a great anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-flatuent. Cinnamon has many minerals present such as magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, zinc and calcium. There are also strong levels of vitamin A and niacin.
Coconut (raw, organic shredded)
The coconut is a superfood all the way around – no matter what form you consume it in. The scent also reminds me of oceans and palm trees which is a plus! Coconuts are a wonderful source of MCFA’s aka MCT’s (medium-chain fatty acids, medium-chain triglycerides, respectively). The body can assimilate this fat much easier than other fats which are long-chain fatty acids. Coconut helps improve digestion and absorption of nutrients such as amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Coconut is a great anti-bacterial product – inside or out. It helps kill viruses (think influenza, hepatitis, herpes, measles, etc.) It can help kill bacteria, fungus and yeasts that cause issues in and on our body. It’s a good source of quick energy, helps support the thyroid, helps support the immune system and can help reduce inflammation. The MCFA’s found in coconuts are great for diabetics because it does not need insulin to be stored in the cells, therefore does not require insulin secretion, which means less work for your pancreas.
Coconut Oil (raw, extra-virgin, expeller-pressed)
(see Coconut above for nutritional information)
Cocoa (raw, organic)
Organic Raw Cocoa Nibs are a new addition to our smoothies. I started using these about 6 months ago and I’m so glad I decided to try them. Raw cocoa is rich in many essential minerals like potassium, sulfur, copper, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc. They also contain a large number of antioxidant flavonoids. It’s also a good source of EFA’s which can help raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol.
Cocoa Nibs (raw, organic)
(see Cocoa above for nutritional information)
Echinacea (use capsule, open and empty into smoothie)
This herb is great for boosting your immune system and helps fight bacterial infection. Although you shouldn’t consume Echinacea on a day to day basis, it’s a great supplement to use periodically.
Flax Seed (organic, freshly ground)
Flax seed is said to have the highest food source of the vital Omega 3 fatty acids, highest amount of lignans (which are anti-oxidants). It is a great source of of soluble fiber and insoluble fiber as well as other vitamins, minerals, enzymes and protein. It is high in ALA (alpha linolenic acid) – an essential omega 3 fatty acid. Flax seed can help reduce cholesterol, plaque build up and triglycerides as well has help prevent high blood pressure. This sees must be ground to receive it’s full benefits.
Ginger Root (fresh, dried, crystalized)
Ginger is a great digestive stimulate, so it’s a wonderful addition to a smoothie. It’s can help ease inflammatory (which can help with rheumatoid arthritis) and it’s also said to help prevent migraines. It also can help ease an upset stomach.
Honey (raw, organic)
The properties of RAW honey are large! Since raw honey is not heated or filtered it maintains the essential vitamins and minerals in their natural state. It’s also considered an anti-bacterial food and can help ease sore throats and coughs. I only recommend RAW organic honey, because all other honeys are heated, filtered and lacking any nutritional benefits.
Licorice Root (organic)
In the herbal world, licorice root is a wonderful addition to ones diet. It adds a great flavor (if you’re into that black licorice taste) and can help with many other common health issues people face on a daily basis. Some of those ailments include: heartburn, gout, liver health, ulcers, asthma, inflammation, tooth decay and more! If you have high blood pressure, it’s best to use sparingly.
Magnesium is a much needed mineral that our bodies are lacking these days.
Maple Syrup (organic, grade B)
Maple syrup is full of wonderful health benefits with vitamins and minerals such as manganese and zinc. Grade B maple syrup does not go through the same refining process that most commercial maple syrups go through which strip this wonderful treat of all it’s nutrients. Vitamins you’ll find in grade B maple syrup are vitamin A, biotin, folic acid, B6 and B5. It’s also a good source of amino acids.
Matcha is widely known in the herbal world for it’s antioxidant properties as well as it’s ability to give you the extra energy we all need. It’s also a great fat burner as well as a wonderful detox and cell cleanser!
Omega-3 EFA’s (high quality, such as Garden of Life)
These are absolutely essential to live healthy! The thing is, we are depleted of these today – but tend to have high Omega-6 levels – which isn’t good. Omega-3 oils from fish are rich in EPA and DHA and are embraced for their support of brain, cardiovascular and nervous system health as well as maintaining healthy skin. This is great at minimizing the oxidation of fat cells.
Peanut Butter (made from organic, raw peanuts)
This nut (turned into butter) is wonderfully healthy. Raw, organic peanuts are a great source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamin E and niacin. The minerals found in peanut butter are iron, magnesium, calcium, copper and potassium. It’s also said that peanuts contain resveratrol. This little nut is packed with nutrients.
We all need a little help with our fiber intake! This will be a great addition, at about 2 teaspoons a day, to help keep you more regular. It helps in digestion, intestinal health, gives you a full feeling and helps your overall metabolism. It’s wonderful at regulating blood sugar levels.
Raisins (organic, soaked)
Raisins are a great addition to smoothies because it gives your body some extra fiber that it needs. They are a good source of energy and contain many vitamins, minerals and amino acids. You’ll find phosphorus, selenium, iron, potassium and magnesium. In order for the raisins to puree, soak them overnight before using.
Soaked Nuts (organic, raw)
(You can read the Almond Butter and Peanut Butter above to see the benefits of these two types of nuts, but you can also use cashews, walnuts, pecans, sesame seeds, etc. Soak about 1/4 cup of nuts overnight with a pinch of sea salt and when ready to use, drain, rinse and add to smoothie.)
This tiny piece of goodness is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, some B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, manganese, insoluble fiber and is wonderful for heart health. Some of the minerals found in wheat germ are phosphorus, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium and sodium. The trace minerals in wheat germ are copper, manganese and selenium.
Whey (home made from organic, full fat dairy, raw is best, if available)
The nutritional benefits of whey have been known for thousands of years. It is a wonderful source of minerals and digestive bacteria. It is also a great source of protein and contains l+ lactic acid, which is easily metabolized by our bodies.
* * * * * * *
How could you not want to add some of these to your little meals in a glass? With all the benefits these can supply – it’s worth it. For you and your health!
If you like it, don’t forget to PIN it!
If you want to be notified via email when we publish new post, you can sign up for free updates using the box in the top of the right sidebar!