Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Start Your Day with Nutritious Smoothies

Written by Maja Tyhurst
Part of National Nutrition Month 2013

Picture by Maja Tyhurst
What is your idea of a “breakfast for champions”? How can we start every day eating right our way? Breakfast smoothies can be your secret to health, vitality, and a day filled with energy. They can be made with just about anything you want and like, but grouping ingredients in several categories with their nutritional benefit in mind is a good way to get you started.

The first ingredient required for a smoothie is a liquid, and some of the best choices are nut and seed milks such as almond, coconut or hemp milk. Almonds are a good source of protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus. Coconut helps prevent digestive disorders and boosts your immunity and your metabolism. Hemp is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. The next group of ingredients you want to add are fruits and vegetables. Here are some suggestions:

  • Pair bananas and pears with spinach, kale or arugula for a bright green smoothie. Dark green veggies are loaded with vitamin A, C, K, calcium, iron, and numerous phytochemicals that have anti-cancer properties
  •  Combine a variety of berries with avocado. Blueberries, for example, contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Avocados contain monounsaturated fat which can help reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer.

Finish off your smoothies by adding a “Superfood” as the final ingredient. “Superfoods” commonly added to smoothies are different types of green powders such as spirulina or wheat grass, protein powders, bee pollen, and chia seeds. Bee pollen has been called “nature’s perfect food” because it contains many different vitamins, and almost all known minerals and trace elements. Chia seeds are another great source of Omega-3’s, and green powders provide minerals, chlorophyll, protein, and healthy fats. Protein powders are a good addition for athletes who need a little extra nutrition before their morning workout. 

Boweden, J. (2007). The 150 healthiest foods on earth. Gloucester, MA: Fair Winds Press.

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