Brain Healthy Smoothies

Healthy Smoothies – Discover the Best Ingredients

Since it’s Self Improvement month, last week we talked about the small thing you can do to improve your life – choosing nonalcoholic drinks. This week, we want to talk about smoothies. Smoothies have the potential to be healthy and delicious. However, with the wrong ingredients, they can turn into sugar-laden calorie-bombs.

A healthy smoothie needs to combine healthy ingredients that include fiber and protein, keeping you full, as well as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. We’ve put together a list of some of the best ingredients to toss into your smoothies for the healthiest results.

Best Vegetables
Add both frozen and raw vegetables to your smoothies to pack in more fiber and great nutrients. Combining vegetables with fruits can mask those veggie flavors. You may want to experiment with the amount you use and combinations to find flavors that taste good to you. Good veggies to try include:

  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Avocados
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Spinach

Best Fruits
Nearly any type of fruit works well in a smoothie. Fruits add sweetness to your smoothie without putting in added sugar. Canned fruit in its own juice or water, fresh fruits, and frozen fruits are all great options. Good choices include:

  • Bananas
  • Apricots
  • Berries (blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
  • Melon
  • Pineapple
  • Cherries (pits removed)
  • Peaches
  • Mangoes
  • Apples

Best Proteins
Plenty of protein in your smoothie will fill you up. While protein powder is an option, you can add other great ingredients that provide additional protein. Great proteins include:

  • Plain kefir
  • Plain yogurt
  • Plain milk
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Tofu
  • Lentils
  • High-protein almond milk
  • Natural almond butter
  • Plain soy milk

Beyond choosing healthy ingredients, it’s a good idea to know which ingredients to skip to keep your smoothies a healthy choice. Ingredients to avoid include:

  • Chocolate milk
  • Flavored kefirs and yogurts
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Canned fruit in syrup
  • Sugar-sweetened fruit concentrate or juices
  • Whipped cream
  • Sorbet or sherbet

Make sure you’re not drinking the wrong ingredients when you make a smoothie. Start using these healthy ingredients to ensure you’re getting the greatest benefits from your smoothies. Give them a try yourself and let us know about your favorite smoothie recipes. Check back next week. We’ll be offering some great travel tips to keep you healthy on the go.

 

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