Indulging in a chilled, morning smoothie can be one of the freshest and healthiest ways to kickstart your day, if done correctly. It’ll allow you to get in your daily recommended intake of fruits and vegetables in a simple and blended form and while it’s great to do this on a regular basis, you may unintentionally leave out key, super ingredients that can take your smoothie to a 10, health wise. One of the best things about making smoothies is the opportunity to experiment with various flavours to see what works and tastes best. To avoid getting your smoothie tastefully wrong, we’ve compiled a list of super ingredients you need to try to get more of a lift out of your daily smoothie.
Oats are a great way to sneak in an added fibre boost to improve your digestion and bowel movements. Oats have also been said to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, lower your risk of developing cancer as well stabilise blood sugar levels. One of the more practical benefits of oats are their ability to keep you fuller for longer due to their high level of fibre, this will keep you from snacking unhealthily up until your lunch break. In terms of smoothie making, you’ll need rolled oats as these can be thrown into a blender as is, no preparation required.
If you’re on the hunt for an ingredient that’ll give your smoothie a more thicker and creamier consistency, look no further for your answer lies within Greek yoghurt! By adding a tablespoon of Greek yoghurt to your smoothie, you’ll be giving yourself a huge helping of protein, which is essential to the restoration of muscles and tissue fibres. Greek yoghurt is also stuffed with probiotics you need to keep feeling regular. It’s also packed with Vitamin B12, to assist with energy and productive brain function. Be aware though, when it comes to getting the most out of your smoothie, it’s best to steer clear of flavoured, sweet yoghurts as these are more than often loaded with unnecessary sugars and additives.
As a good smoothie more than likely requires a ton of ingredients, there’s no surprise that sometimes they end up carrying a high calorie count. That’s why it’s important to make sure certain ingredients contain a low amount of calories, but still hold a decent nutritional value. This is where non-dairy milk comes into play. A glass of unsweetened almond milk can contain only 30-40 calories, while a glass of normal, dairy milk contains around 100 calories. Almond milk, just like regular milk, is a great source of calcium, which is required to maintain strong teeth, bones as well as a healthy heart. It also contains the key electrolytes magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
One of the best things about adding seeds to your smoothie is that while there is virtually no taste due to the overpowering of other flavours, you’ll still be reaping the nutritional benefits. Flaxseeds are a great way to get in omega-3 fats and fibre while containing anti-inflammatory properties to promote bone health and can protect you against cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Bare in mind though, that when it comes to flaxseeds, a little goes a long way, as flaxseeds have a high calorie content. One-two teaspoons is more than enough to get you going. Chia seeds are also a fantastic and tiny way to sneak in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Some of the benefits of adding chia seeds include pain relief, aiding cholesterol and blood pressure levels as well as giving you an energy boost to get you through the day.
This final ingredient is reserved for those who are willing to add a little kick to their daily smoothie and should not be taken lightly. Despite its potent and unique flavour, ginger contains many properties that outweigh its sometimes difficult-to-swallow taste and texture. Some of the benefits associated with ginger include its ability to ease nausea and stomach pain, relieving and preventing flu-like symptoms along with menstrual cramps and heartburn relief. Make sure to not go overboard with this ingredient and start out with one teaspoon at a time.