Smoothies have been an enduring icon of health and fitness for years now. After yoga classes, students break to grab smoothies. In most gyms, there are smoothie bars slinging the frozen, blended beverages.
However, not just any old ingredients go into making a healthy smoothie. Are you getting a truly healthy blended beverage–or just a milkshake?
Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients that go into making a healthy smoothie for your unique lifestyle!
Easily the most important pillar of any smoothie is a solid base of leafy greens. Whether that’s spinach, kale, or Swiss chard, it’s important that you include these ingredients. That’s because, due to the high amount of fruit in most smoothies, they become quickly concentrated with sugar.
It’s ideal to include a leafy green to provide a number of great nutritional benefits like calcium, vitamins A, C and K and fiber. Not to mention these leafy greens include phytochemicals, which can have tons of positive effects on the body.
Get Your Protein
Always add in some kind of protein to your smoothie. This can come from sources like chia, flax or hemp seeds, unsweetened nut butters, or even plain yogurt or nut milk. If you don’t include these proteins, the fructose content of your smoothie could be overwhelming for your blood sugar.
You should also keep your protein intake in mind when you’re trying to get fit. Building muscle requires protein, and a smoothie as a breakfast or snack is a great way to get some extra protein into your diet.
Don’t Skip the Fat
Why would you put fat in your smoothie? Aren’t these blended drinks supposed to help you get healthy? Well, that fat content will help to fill you up. Nut butters and seeds are useful here too, as are yogurts and nut milks. Other considerations could be coconut meat or coconut yogurt, which can help quickly add fat to the blend.
Most importantly, you need to strike a balance with your smoothie. Getting the right mix of each ingredient is an important aspect of a healthy smoothie. Make sure you’re also mixing it up; the variety of ingredients you use can increase your overall digestive health and nutrition quality.