Smoothies earned their own day on my blog because of all the different flavor combinations, and the nutrition you can sneak into them without your children, or yourself, ever knowing! We started making green smoothies on a regular basis four years ago, and it dramatically increased the amount of nutrition we get each day. While I add greens, typically kale or spinach, to my smoothies, there are many other ways to boost the power of a smoothie.
Here are 5 ways to boost the power of your smoothies!
Happy Smoothie Saturday!
One small shot of wheatgrass adds many vital nutrients. The taste of a wheatgrass shot is not the most desirable, so to help make sure you get some regularly try adding it to a smoothie. You can find wheatgrass in many forms — the frozen section of a health food store, in powder form, or you could grow your own! A small amount of wheatgrass will change the taste of a smoothie, so I suggest adding wheatgrass to a smoothie with pineapple to help cover it up – Pineapple Mint Green Smoothie, Kick the Cough Smoothie, or Pineapple Ginger Lime Green Smoothie.
- Wheatgrass contains all the essential amino acids (our body’s building blocks).
- Contains many trace vitamins A, B, and E, and also calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
- Wheatgrass has high amounts of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is essential to purify the blood, and remove toxic metals stored in the tissue.
- Wheatgrass can help eczema, improve digestion, helps you sleep better, and help reduce high blood pressure. I’ve read drinking wheatgrass daily will help turn gray hair back to it’s original color.
Chia seeds are my solution for lack of nutrition in any area, especially for kids. They add so much nutrition with changing the flavor, so it’s perfect for any picky eaters you know. We call chia seeds “ladybug spots” in my house, and the girls will sprinkle them on their fruit, oatmeal, toast, or in a smoothie! I would suggest adding 1 – 2 tbsp of chia seeds to every smoothie.
- Adding 1 tbsp of chia seeds to your smoothie will add 3 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and lots of omega-3′s.
- Chia seeds, by weight, have 4-times the fiber of oatmeal, 3-times the protein of tofu, twice the antioxidants of blueberries, 10-times the omega’s of salmon, 4 times the calcium of diary milk, and 15-times the magnesium of broccoli.
- Chia seeds were known as “running food” to the Aztecs. Today, they are still used by endurance athletes!
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made from the fermentation process. It starts as apple juice, then turns to apple cider, and finally into apple cider vinegar. Fermented foods are great for our digestive system, are rich in enzymes, and help us absorb more nutrients in food. Adding just 1 tsp a day to your diet will make a significant difference. You can easily sneak in 1/4 – 1/2 tsp to your smoothies (I did this in the Kick the Cough Smoothie), salad dressings (try it in the Mango Avocado Black Bean Salad), or to a glass of water.
Some of the added benefits you will receive from adding apple cider vinegar include:
- Shown to relieve seasonal allergies and sinus infections
- Aids in weight loss and detoxing the body
- Good for your skin
Herbs and Spices
They add more than flavor! Spices and herbs contain powerful antioxidants and have been used as healers for centuries. Try adding some to your next smoothie! Some of my favorites using herbs and spices are the Pineapple Ginger Lime Smoothie and the Mango Parsley Green Smoothie.
- Ginger – shown to kill ovarian cancer cells, helps nausea and motion-sickness, can help prevent a migraine from developing, good for immune system, and it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory food that helps with arthritis pain.
- Cinnamon - a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium. Studies have shown that just 1/2 tsp of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol. Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.
- Turmeric – long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.
- Parsley – 2 tbsp of parsley contains more than 100% of your daily vitamin K, and 16% vitamin C! This herb is rich in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation.
Barlean’s is stacked full of nutritional products that will add plenty of nutrition and flavor to smoothies.
- Omega Swirl Fish Oils – high in essential omega-3′s which is great for heart healthy, joint mobility, energy and endurance, mental health, and skin, hair, and nails. These super tasty oils add so much flavor and nutrition! They do have vegan Omega Swirl Oils available, as well.
- Flax Oil – this is a great source of omega-3′s and nutrient rich lignans, and great to add to smoothies or salad dressings. Flax Oils is good for heart health, energy and endurance, skin, nail and hair health. It’s best to add flax oil after the smoothie is blended. Simply mix a tbsp into a smoothie using a spoon.
- Chia Seeds – their high quality organic chia seeds are great for all the reasons listed above!
- Olive Leaf Complex – high in antioxidants to support a healthy immune system and seasonal health.