Nutritionist Recommended Smoothie Ingredients
[playlist ids="751"]If you're like me, you love a bloody good smoothie.They are quick, easy, delicious and a great way to pack a sh*t load of nutrients into one meal.Smoothies are easy to digest all thanks to the powerful blades on those amazing inventions called blenders, which have done all of the hard work that normally our teeth and digestive enzymes would do.There are endless ways to mix and match ingredients and create amazing flavours.In this post, I wanted to share with you some of my favourite smoothie ingredients and just a few do's and don'ts to make sure that you are getting the very best nutritional benefit from them.Some points to first consider...
Ensure that the ingredients you are using do not exceed the physical size of what you would normally sit down to eat with a knife and fork. What I mean by this is... if you wouldn't sit down to eat four bananas, one whole avocado, two punnets of strawberries and half a jar of peanut butter - don't think that this amount of food is appropriate to put into your smoothie that you plan to consume in one sitting. There is a saying - the poison is in the dose and there is such thing as... too much of a good thing. Be mindful here folks.
Ensure your liquid base doesn't undo all of your hard work. To be quite specific here, there are a number of milk alternatives available to us now which is great. However, they aren't always the 'healthier' choice and this is simply the result of what has been added to them. The biggest culprit you ask? SUGAR! Make sure you read the label next time on that bottle of almond milk you plan to add to your shopping trolley, chances are, you will see a handful of unnecessary ingredients such as sugar. As a general rule of thumb, if you are not familiar with some of the names on the ingredients list... don't buy it - it's not real food (expect a food label debunking blog post soon). If you're down for it, make your own nut milk alternative if DIY is your jam. There are heaps of tutorials on the internet showcasing just how simple it is to do.
Balance out your smoothie using the three macronutrients. Ummmm, excuse me Lacey? Quite simply, you ideally want to be balancing out your smoothie as a meal by ensuring that there are sources of quality fats, protein and carbohydrates in there. Doing this will mean that the macronutrients will work together to ensure that your blood sugar levels won't spike, your level of energy will remain steady and consistent, you won't be left feeling hungry and unsatisfied and that you will be nourishing your body on a cellular level. When you are planning your next smoothie and what to add in, think protein, quality fats and carbs - can't go wrong!
Let's get to the good bit, some of my favourite smoothie ingredients:First thing is first though, I will just mention that I don't use milk, milk alternatives or coconut water as a base for my smoothies. I don't think that it is necessary. So what do I use then I hear you whisper under your breath (not really, I can't really hear through the computer silly)? Wait for it... I just use filtered water. That's it! Trust me when I say though, the creaminess of my smoothie is far from compromised by doing so (i'll let you in on a few of my little secrets).
Banana *carbohydrateBananas are rich in potassium, fibre, manganese, vitamin B6, carbohydrates and add natural sweetness to smoothies. Insiders tip (you can thank me later): peel and cut your bananas up into thirds and put them into the freezer. When you are ready to blitz your smoothie, grab out two or three pieces and you'll soon discover how deliciously creamy they will make your smoothie.
Avocado *fatAvocados are loaded with folate, vitamin C, fibre and vitamin E. Avos don't really have an intense, in-your-face flavour which is why they are another great way to make your smoothie creamy and delectable. They are also a great source of good quality, healthy fats, which means they are a great addition when aiming to get those macronutrients in without compromising on the overall taste of your smoothie.
Blueberries *antioxidantBlueberries are a fruit naturally low in sugar, loaded with fibre and are packed full with antioxidant properties which are great for fighting free radicals and oxidative stress in the body. They are also tasty little suckers.
Coconut Oil *fatIn case you've been living under a rock, Coconut oil, or copra oil, is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. This amazing oil contains lauric acid (monolaurin), which is known to reduce candida, fight bacteria and create a hostile environment for viruses. Coconut oil is a the perfect addition to any smoothie as it is a great source of quality fat and can help develop a creamy, smoothie consistency.
Organic Oats *carbohydrateThis may sound a little weird to add oats as a smoothie ingredient but if you have a good quality blender, they will be blended up so fine you won't notice any big clumps of oaty goodness. Oats are a source of carbohydrateand are a great addition to any smoothie as they are high in vitamins, antioxidants, fibre and are a fantastic source of energy.
Spinach *fibreSpinach is a very nutrient dense vegetable and is an ingredient in every single one of my smoothies. Spinach is high in insoluble fibre which helps to bulk food as it passes through the digestive system and help prevent constipation/diarrhoea. Try adding a handful of spinach to your next smoothie, I guarantee you won't even know it's in there.
Hemp Protein *proteinSo i've become a little obsessed with hemp protein lately and for good reason. Hemp protein is a plant based protein that is vegan, gluten free and lactose free ticking a lot of boxes for those with food intolerance/food preferences. It is loaded with protein (duhhh), contains all 20 amino acids, fibre and is rich in omega 3,6,9. Please ensure, when you are shopping for hemp protein that it is raw and organic with no added nasties.
Maca Powder *nutrient denseI've been adding maca powder to my smoothies for years now. I absolutely love it, especially the smell of it! Maca powder is ground from the maca plant and is incredibly nutrient dense packed full of amino acids, proteins, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Try adding 1-2 heaped teaspoons to your next smoothie.
Cacao Powder *nutrient denseAre you a chocolate lover? Then you are going to want to pay attention! Aside from the obvious (cacao will turn your smoothie into a chocolate lover's dream), cacao is loaded with antioxidants, iron, magnesium and calcium. But wait, this isn't even the best part... cacao is a great source of four scientifically proven bliss chemicals – serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylethylamine!
So, there you have it, a handful of Nutritionist approved smoothie ingredients to now experiment with. Let me know in the comments below, are you currently using some of these ingredients already? Or are there some that aren't on my list that you want to know my opinion on?