Healthy Eating: Five Ways To Boost Your Smoothie’s Benefits
If you incorporate smoothies into your diet, you are not alone. Summit’s nutrition and wellness team has some tips to help you boost the nutritional value of your favorite smoothie.
There’s been a huge growth in the smoothie market over the last few years. This diet option is trending for a reason; smoothies are quick and convenient to prepare, and you can easily enjoy them on the go. Summit’s nutrition and wellness team has a couple of tips to help you make the most of your smoothie’s nutritional value.
Tips for your smoothies
- Include carbs, proteins, and healthy fats in your smoothie. A balanced meal includes foods from each of the three macronutrient categories: carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. Maintaining that balance is especially important if you are using a smoothie to replace a meal. Frozen fruits are featured in many smoothies, and that’s fine! Fruits provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber—as well as the sweetness of sugar. Our bodies absorb the glucose in sugar quickly. Protein and fat take longer to digest; adding these ingredients to your smoothie will slow your body’s absorption of sugar.
- Don’t lean on fruit to supply all of the carbs in your smoothie. Lots of smoothies are based on fruit and milk; those are healthful ingredients, but they aren’t going to hold us over and keep us full until our next meal. If you add ingredients like oatmeal and flaxseed, they will contribute fiber we need, and keep hunger at bay.
- Eat your vegetables. Seventy-five percent of Americans do not get their daily recommended servings of vegetables. When you throw a cupful of spinach or other veggies into the mix, you are boosting your intake of nutrients your body needs.
- Variety is a plus. You could make the same breakfast smoothie every day, but if you do, you’ll be missing out on an opportunity to consume a wide variety of nutrients. Experiment with different fruits like bananas, berries, and pineapple. Your protein component could be peanut butter, almond butter, or plain Greek yogurt. Additions like chia seeds, flaxseed, avocado, and fresh herbs are packed with valuable micronutrients. There are great recipes out there for all kinds of smoothies: berry, chocolate, and green smoothies are just a few options to keep things interesting and increase the nutritional punch.
- Use ground flaxseed in your smoothie. Flaxseed is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and an undetectable way to boost nutrition in a smoothie. However, whole flaxseeds are difficult to digest—which reduces their nutritional benefits. Ground flaxseed, or flaxseed flour, is a better choice. But moderation matters. Unripe flaxseed and raw flaxseed contain plant compounds called cyanogenic glycosides. Eating small amounts of flaxseed is fine, but excessive amounts may impair thyroid function or have blood-thinning effects. Limit consumption to no more than five tablespoons of flaxseed per day, and always consult your doctor if you have any concerns.
Healthy eating should be tasty and interesting. With these tips, you’ll be blending up delicious nutritious smoothies in no time.
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