10 ingredients to level up your smoothies
We can barely contain our love for smoothies. They are a perfect breakfast, post-workout snack or even dessert. And with a few additions such as seeds, powders and protiens–you can pack all the essential nutrients you need into just one cup!
Chia seeds are probably the easiest to find in any grocery store, making them the perfect smoothie addition. Chia seeds may be small, but have many essential nutrients such as omega-3s, protein and fiber to keep you satisfied and energized. Additionally, they contain antioxidants, which protect your heart and liver—and are high in phosphorus and calcium, which improve bone density.
Spirulina is actually a type of algae that grows in both fresh and saltwater. Don't let that scare you away: It has a ton of benefits and nutrients like protein, copper and B vitamins. Spirulina also contains phycocyanin, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that reduce things like joint pain and bloating—and can help clear up your skin. It is also known to sharpen brain function and boost immunity.
Don't have protein powder on hand or want to make your smoothie extra creamy? No worries, Greek yogurt has you covered. Greek yogurt contains calcium that supports bone health, plus protein to keep you full. Additionally, Greek yogurt contains probiotics, which restore the bacterial balance in the gut. It is rich in vitamins B12, B2 and selenium.
If you are looking to boost your protein intake, try adding hemp seeds into your next smoothie. One serving contains about 9 grams. Hemp seeds are also high in omega-3s, an essential fatty acid which is crucial for heart and skin health.
Maca is actually a type of vegetable related to broccoli and kale. The three main things that maca is known for? Regulating hormones, boosting mood and increasing endurance. Many professional athletes use it for this exact reason. Maca also contains flavonoids, which are thought to reduce anxiety and improve memory.
Rather than blending your smoothie with milk or plain water, try boosting hydration by using coconut water. Coconut water contains natural electrolytes. This added hydration will boost energy levels and support digestion.
If you are looking to add a nutty flavor to your smoothie, try adding flax seeds. Flaxseeds contain alpha linolenic acid (aka ALA), which is important for heart health. The human body cannot produce ALA naturally, so we have to get it from plants. Flaxseeds also contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which support gut health.
If you love a good acai bowl like we do, you *need* to start adding acai powder to your smoothies. It will give you that rich purple color and delicious flavor. As a superfood, acai powder is known its powerful antioxidants which neutralize free radicals (aka unstable atoms that damage cells in the body).
Love chocolate? Try adding cacao nibs inside or on top of your next smoothie. They are a good source of fiber and fat, which help keep you satisfied until your next meal. Cocao nibs are packed with antioxidants, which prevent heart disease, some cancers and memory loss.
Collagen is actually found in our bones, skin and muscles, but it doesn't hurt to get a little more of it from your diet. First of all, collagen is incredibly high in protein. Second, collagen will strengthen and hydrate your skin, hair and nails.
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