July 8, 2019

Creating a Nutritious Smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to pack nutrients into one quick healthy drink! With the right ingredients, they make for the perfect on-the-go meal replacement, midday snack, or even a wholesome dessert.

The key to building a healthy smoothie is including all the essential ingredients that keep you full and your energy high without the risk of a sugar crash. Customize your smoothie to have delicious flavors you love by including a balanced amount of leafy greens, fiber, protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates.

Focus on fruits and vegetables

Most people have a hard time meeting fruit and vegetable recommendations, so adding them to a smoothie is a simple way to get in a few extra servings.

Leafy greens are especially health-supportive, but if you’re not a huge fan of greens or have a picky eater on your hands, adding a handful or two in your smoothie is an ideal way to sneak a generous boost of nutrients into your diet. If you’re experimenting with leafy greens for the first time, spinach tends to have a mild flavor that lends itself well to smoothies without being overpowering. With other tasty ingredients like fruits and nut butters, you won’t taste them and will still get an added source of antioxidants and fiber.

Options: apple, arugula, banana, beet greens, berries, kale, mango, pineapple, spinach, squash, sweet potato

Pick your protein

While protein powder may sound like the most obvious way to add protein to a smoothie, there are a variety of other natural ingredients that can fulfill your protein needs without the additional sweeteners and additives that are often found in powders. Eating high-quality protein can help build and repair tissues, cells, and organs throughout the body and improve brain function.

Options: coconut milk, collagen powder, hemp seeds, nut butter, oats, unsweetened Greek yogurt, unsweetened protein powder (grass-fed whey, hemp, pea)

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Add a healthy fat

The macronutrient fat can provide an array of health benefits to your body, such as decreased inflammation and a reduced risk of heart disease. Healthy fats are also necessary to properly absorb certain nutrients. Adding a bit of healthy fat not only boosts nutrient absorption but can make your smoothie extra satisfying and delicious.

Options: avocado, chia seeds, coconut oil, hemp seeds, nut butter, nuts

Give it a fiber boost

Smoothies are also a perfect opportunity to include more fiber in your diet. High fiber foods contribute to a healthy digestive system to leave your gut feeling happy and your hunger at bay. It helps regulate your blood sugar and supports healthy digestive functioning.

Options: beets, cauliflower, chia seeds, flax seeds, fruit, oats, spinach

Try a green smoothie or almond butter sweet potato smoothie from our IIN grads!

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