With any good smoothie you find, fruits and/or vegetables are always in all of them. But are you really getting all the supplements in your smoothie for the day? Most fruits and vegetables provide a good source of Vitamin A and C, but sugar does not. Most people add a form of sugar to their smoothies, because they are unsure how to enhance the flavor. Down below, I have listed some nutritious alternatives to add to your smoothie instead of sugars, along with some smoothie tips!
Chia meaning “strength” in the Mayan language, brings a great source of energy and fiber, nearly 11 grams per ounce. They are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which significantly reduces skin aging. Originally grown in Mexico, the seeds were highly valued for their medicinal properties and nutritional value. They are also high in calcium, keeping your pearly whites looking better than ever.
If you’re one of those people who has intense mood swings, especially when you’re getting up for your 8 am, cacao is definitely for you. It helps balance hormonal mood swings. Don’t get cacao and cocoa mixed. Cacao comes from the tree while cocoa is the product made from it. In terms of adding cacao to your smoothie, I would add raw cacao, rather than in powder form, it will help you get used to the stronger taste. The Aztecs gave cacao the name “yollotl eztli,” meaning “heart blood.” They may have understood even then the heart-benefiting aspects of eating what is now known to be a boost for the cardiovascular system. Cacao helps reduce heart disease and stroke; it can even help improve your memory. Raw cacao powder contains more than 300 different chemical compounds and nearly four times the antioxidant power of your average dark chocolate – more than 20 times than that of blueberries.
Almonds help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. If you’re sick, I would definitely recommend throwing a few almonds in your smoothie; they boost your immune system. Almonds are also very low in sodium, which regulates a healthy blood pressure. They have been connected to a higher intellectual level and they have long been considered an essential food item for growing children. They also contain two vital brain nutrients, riboflavin and L-carnitine, which have been shown to increase brain activity, resulting in new neural pathways and a decreased occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease.
When you think of Oats, what cereal do you think of? Cheerios. Cheerios are always advertising that they help lower blood cholesterol levels; and oats does exactly that. Oats are a good source of fiber, fulfilling your energy levels for the morning. Oats are especially helpful in reducing your asthma, if you have it.The modern oat draws its ancestry from the wild red oat, a plant originating in Asia and is now one of the most popular produced goods in the US, oats will not be hard to find!
Flax seeds are high in fiber and low in carbs! Not only are they gluten free, they are one of the highest cancer fighters. Flax has amazing health affects by providing healthy fats to your skin and hair that is needed to not dry you out.It can also improve symptoms of acne, rosacea, and eczema. With flax containing one of the highest magnesium contents in the world, it helps to cleanse the waste in your system.
Don’t be afraid to “seed-up” your smoothie with new fruits and veggies! Here are some additional tips I would like to give you all.
- Visit the Boulder County Farmers Market and get local, in-season fruits and vegetables.
- Use a healthy tea instead of water, milk, or juice as the base of your smoothie to boost the nutrition.
- Spice up your smoothies and add some cinnamon, ginger or even go hot with some cayenne pepper !
- If you like putting ice cubes in your smoothies, freeze banana chunks in squares to throw in. You could even freeze coconut water into cubes!
I understand not everyone is interested in adding these items to your smoothies. Even though most smoothies are sweet after being blended, if you would like to use a sugary substance, try pure honey, agave or stevia. I highly advise not using processed sugars. I say this because high sugar intake increases glucose levels, increasing your chances of getting diabetes and cancer. Sugar also creates unhealthy weigh gain in people, and I sure hope you don’t want to relive the Freshman 15.
Don’t be afraid to try something new!