It is no secret: I love smoothies. They are a great way to satisfy daily fruit, protein and nutrient needs, plus it is a fun experiment to find the tastiest, healthiest combination. I love mixing random fruits (remember the banana and avocado smoothie?) and testing other healthy ways to boost the nutritional value. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Flax Seed. I have mentioned this before, but I am a huge fan of this powerful seed. I pretty much put it on everything: eggs, greek yogurt, salads, and of course I add it to each smoothie I make. Flax seed is rich in Omega-3s — powerful fatty acids that strengthen immunity and promote healthy heart and artery health.
- Wheat Germ. Wheat germ is an excellent source of fiber, folate and the antioxidant Vitamin E. Wheat germ provides one gram of dietary fiber per tablespoon (approx 25 calories per tablespoon).
- Spinach. Ok, when you’re thinking of a yummy berry smoothie, the last thing you probably want to add is spinach. But seriously– you can barely taste it! Spinach is a great way to add iron, calcium and fiber to your favorite smoothie.
- Chia Seeds. Chia seeds are a great way to add in protein and both soluble and insoluble fiber to aid in blood sugar stabilization. The seeds soak and retain water, so I soak them in a water for abit before adding to the smoothie. Another small way to help you stay hydrated throughout the day!
Most of these boosters are super easy to find at your local grocery or health foods store. I always use almond milk for my smoothies (too many documentaries have scared me away from regular milk!) and also add in a whey protein powder.
Something to keep in mind with your protein intake– your body can only absorb a certain amount of protein based on your weight and physical activity. Sorry folks, but eating 500g of protein a day is not going to turn you into Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you’re moderately active in weight training, you should consume approx. 1.2g per kg of your body weight — weight in lbs x 0.45 (converting lbs to kgs) x 1.2 = your daily intake of protein. So, a 180lb man should consume 97g of protein per day. The protein requirement is less if you are a non-active adult and greater if you are an endurance/strength athlete. You should consult a personal trainer or nutritionist if you have any questions about how much protein you should be taking in each day!
Enjoy! Let me know what you think or if you have other suggestions!