If you do it right, a smoothie can be a great way to start the day on good tracks. Here are some suggestions of additives to toss in your blender that will amp up the nutritional value and flavor of your smoothies. Toss a tablespoon or two of these into a smoothie and reap the many benefits!
Hemp seeds: High in Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as protein.
Flaxseed: Great source of fiber and omega-3s, with 2 grams of protein per tablespoon.
Turmeric: This popular Indian spice is a wonderful anti-inflammatory herb. Turmeric also plays an important role in liver detoxification.
Wheat germ: It may look like bread crumbs, but it packs a gram of dietary fiber in every tablespoon.
Sunflower seeds: Buy them pre-shelled, and get tons of copper, magnesium, selenium and other vitamins and minerals.
Chia seeds: Lots of soluble fiber means these seeds stabilize blood sugar, increase fullness, and improve digestive health. They’re also a powerhouse source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. These seeds tend to gel up anything you put them in, so drink fast or don’t leave them in your smoothie for too long unless you want to eat a pudding!
Cocoa: This all-time favorite has more antioxidants than red wine or green tea. Cocoa increases serotonin, which can help with depression. Cocoa is a great source of magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, and zinc. Including cocoa, as bitter powder, or as chocolate in your diet can help to improve circulation, regulate heart beat, or lower bad cholesterol as well.
Whey protein: Add high-protein powder to turn a smoothie into a complete meal.
Cinnamon: Famous in baking, this fancy spice can seriously boost a smoothie too! It’s a great source of Manganese, Fiber, Iron, & Calcium. Cinnamon is helpful for tense muscles, eases the digestion, act as a diuretic.
(Photo credit: Gogatsby / CC BY)