If you are planning your weight loss strategy for the beginning of the year or are just looking for a quick meal replacement or an easy breakfast, smoothies can help you fill that order. There are a ton of powders on the market, but choosing the right one can be daunting. Others may opt for convenience and buy pre-made smoothies in a bottle, but those can be pricey. What if you could make your own healthy smoothie with simple ingredients you have at home? Wouldn't that make your life easier?
Use these five ingredients in your smoothie, and reap some awesome health benefits:
- Ground Flaxseed is an excellent ingredient for adding fiber to a smoothie. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Flaxseeds contain lignans, which have antioxidant qualities. To keep both whole and ground flaxseed fresh, purchase them in an opaque container, so they are not exposed to bright lighting and store in the refrigerator once the package is open.
- Adding Nut Butter will add thickness to your smoothie and will also give some added protein. You can use peanut, almond, and even cashew butter. Those who have a nut allergy could use sunflower seed or soynut butters. But almond butter would be my first choice. It contains more iron, calcium, and vitamin E than peanut butter, and it’s also rich in monounsaturated fat. Almond butter can also make you feel more satisfied due to its high protein content.
- Adding some healthy fat to a smoothie can often lead to more satiation. Coconut Oil is one way to meet that requirement. Even avocado oil is an option, if the flavor of coconut oil isn’t appealing to you.
In order to meet the daily requirements of fruits and vegetables, adding one of each of these can help you achieve nutritional balance:
- Wild Blueberries are smaller that regular sized blueberries, but they have a more intense flavor and will make your smoothie even that more flavorful. The benefits of adding wild blueberries include increased fiber and antioxidants. You can find these tiny gems in the freezer section of many grocery stores.
- Spinach contains a compound called lutein that promotes healthy eyesight. It's also a rich source of Vitamin K, which is essential for maintaining strong bones. And one added bonus is that it contains a good amount of iron.