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Make the Perfect Healthy Smoothie: What to Include and Why

healthy smoothies

Smoothies are more than just a popular trend; they’re a fantastic way to pack a wealth of nutrition into a delicious, convenient meal. Perfect for on-the-go breakfasts or nutrient-packed snacks, a healthy smoothie can be tailored to suit any taste or dietary requirement.

Whether you’re a smoothie pro looking for new ideas, or you’re just beginning your journey into the world of blended meals, this guide is here to help. We’ll explore the key ingredients for a healthy smoothie, take a look at some of the benefits they offer, and share some ideas for smoothie combinations.

Blenders at the ready, it’s time to start making the perfect healthy smoothie!

The Key Ingredients for a Healthy Smoothie

Before we look at some specific ingredients, let’s quickly consider the anatomy of a smoothie because there is one very important component that is easy to overlook. That’s right; liquid. Without liquid, your smoothie is going nowhere.

What liquid is best for making a smoothie?

A smoothie doesn’t really need a lot of liquid. The liquid has two parts to play. It helps give the desired consistency, but it also helps keep things moving in the blender. If you have ever tried to blend something like frozen banana chunks in a personal blender just to have the blades spin and the motor burn, then you know exactly what we are talking about.

The best liquid for making a smoothie largely depends on your personal preference and nutritional goals. the main question is whether you do dairy or you don’t.

Water is a simple addition that can keep the flavours clean without the addition of extra calories (or nutrients).

Milk (including non-dairy versions like almond, soy, or oat milk) adds a creamy texture and can contribute additional protein and nutrients.

Coconut water is a refreshing choice that can help to hydrate and replenish electrolytes after a workout.

Fruit juice can add sweetness, acidity and an extra dimension of flavour as well as vitamins and minerals.

Remember, the key is to choose a liquid base that complements your other ingredients and aligns with your health objectives. Just be mindful of added sugars in some milk alternatives and fruit juices. Now we have the liquid part covered, let’s look at the other key ingredients in a healthy smoothie.

What are the best ingredients to put in a smoothie?

Fruits and berries

These are fundamentally the heart and soul of any good smoothie. They provide natural sweetness, vibrant colours, and a variety of textures. More importantly, they are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote a healthy body and mind. Whether fresh frozen, or powdered the possibilities are endless, allowing you to mix and match to create your perfect blend.

Vegetables

They may not be quite as appealing as fruit but they are loaded with fibre, which aids digestion, and are rich in vitamins and minerals. They also offer particular plant nutrients that you won’t find in fruit, and of course, contain less sugar. Leafy greens like spinach or kale are a popular choice, but don’t shy away from adding other veggies like cucumber, carrot, or even beets for a refreshing twist.

Proteins

Crucial for a balanced smoothie, proteins provide substantial satiety and aid muscle recovery, particularly after exercise. There are many ingredients you can add to a smoothie to boost the protein content. Here are just a few.

  • Protein Powder: If you’re really looking to ramp up your protein intake, consider adding a scoop or two of protein powder. There are many options out there, including plant-based varieties like pea or hemp protein.
  • Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt not only provides a hefty dose of protein but also contributes a creamy texture to your smoothie.
  • Nut Butter: Whether it’s peanut, almond, or cashew, nut butter can add a delicious, protein-filled punch to your smoothie.
  • Chia Seeds: These little seeds are not only a good source of protein but also packed with essential omega-3 fatty acids.

Healthy Fats

These are another vital component of a balanced smoothie. Here are some great ingredients you can add to your smoothie for a healthy fat boost. Many of them also include protein so you get two for the price of one, so to speak. Nuts and seeds are excellent examples of ingredients that provide a cross-spectrum of valuable nutrients. You may find our article on super seeds useful.

  • Avocado: This creamy fruit is high in monounsaturated fats, which can help to reduce bad cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Flaxseeds: As well as protein, flaxseeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Chia seeds: Chia seeds are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Hemp seeds: These little seeds are rich in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and they’re also a great plant-based protein source.
  • Coconut oil: It’s high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fat that your body can absorb and use quickly.
  • Almond butter: Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats, and also provide a good dose of vitamin E. Choose an almond butter with no added sugars or oils for the healthiest option.
  • Walnuts: Walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation. They’re also rich in antioxidants.

Powdered Superfoods for a Superfood Smoothie

Most of the ingredients we have already talked about can be considered superfoods in their own right. Yet as powdered superfoods become more and more available, they deserve a special mention. Not only can they provide a super nutritional boost to your smoothies, but they are easy to blend and have the added benefit of a longer shelf life than fresh produce. You can find out more in our guide to superfood powders.

Fruit powders

These can be used instead of or alongside fresh fruit. Use them to target specific nutrients, or to create interesting flavour combinations. Plus, they are super easy to use.

Explore our range of fruit powders

Greens powders

These are a really good way to add the nutritional benefits of vegetables, without altering the flavour profile of your smoothie too much. And not just greens, consider adding beetroot or carrot powders too.

Explore our range of vegetable powders

Protein powders

These got a mention before, but they are an excellent way to boost the protein power of your smoothie.

Explore our range of protein powders

Superfood powders

These include all of the above yet there are some other ingredients that can give you an extra boost, such as cacao or maca powder.

Here’s some other smoothie ingredients you may like

And finally, here’s a bunch of ideas (see what we did there) for healthy smoothies.

Some of our Favourite Healthy Breakfast Smoothies

When it comes to healthy breakfast smoothies you want something that will fill you up and keep you going throughout the morning, and possibly even well into the afternoon. Oats are great, as is an extra protein boost as well as some healthy fats.

Banana Coffee Kick-starter: A smoothie perfect for those who want an early morning energy boost. Blend bananas with a shot of espresso, a splash of almond milk, and a scoop of vanilla protein powder.

Blueberry Muffin Smoothie: Capturing the flavours of a blueberry muffin, this smoothie includes blueberries, oats, almond milk, and a dash of vanilla extract. Sweeten with a little honey if desired.

Carrot Cake Smoothie: Create this dessert-like smoothie with fresh carrots, banana, almond milk, a touch of cinnamon, and a spoonful of vanilla protein powder. Top with walnuts for a crunchy finish.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie: For a hearty breakfast, blend oats, peanut butter, banana, and your choice of milk. This smoothie will keep you full and energized all morning.

Banana Oatmeal Smoothie: Ideal for a filling breakfast, this smoothie includes bananas, oats, and almond milk. A drizzle of honey will add a hint of sweetness.

Green Tea Smoothie: This smoothie combines the health benefits of green tea and spinach. Blend these with bananas and honey for a deliciously sweet and healthy drink.

More Banana Smoothie Ideas

Banana is the ideal base for any smoothie, with its sweet taste and creamy texture. There’s no wonder it is the most popular smoothie ingredient out there.

Tropical Banana Smoothie: Transport yourself to the tropics with this blend of banana, pineapple, and coconut milk. Add a squeeze of lime for a tangy twist.

Cinnamon Banana Smoothie: This smoothie is like a drinkable banana bread. Blend bananas with a touch of cinnamon, a dash of vanilla extract, and almond milk.

Banana Chocolate Smoothie: A healthy yet indulgent option, blend bananas with cacao powder and almond milk. Add a scoop of chocolate protein powder for extra protein.

More Green Smoothie Ideas

There’s no need to be scared of a green smoothie. When combined with clever ingredients, you won’t encounter the dreaded green sludge.

Green Goddess Smoothie: This smoothie is packed with nutrients from avocado, spinach, green apple, and almond milk. Sprinkle with chia seeds for a boost of fibre.

Zesty Green Smoothie: Blend lime, spinach, cucumber, and coconut water for a refreshing and zesty green smoothie that’s perfect for summer.

Minty Fresh Green Smoothie: Blend spinach, mint leaves, green apple, and almond milk for a refreshingly minty green smoothie. Add a dollop of yogurt for added creaminess.

More Peanut Butter Smoothie Ideas

Everybody loves peanut butter but don’t forget you can switch out any nut butter you like.

PB&J Smoothie: For a twist on a classic, blend together strawberries (or any of your favourite berries), peanut butter, and milk.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie: For a dessert-like option, blend natural peanut butter, banana, cacao powder, and your choice of milk.

Peanut Butter Berry Smoothie: Blend your favourite mixed berries, natural peanut butter, and almond milk for a fruity and nutty delight.

There you have it, an array of smoothie ideas that are as delicious as they are nutritious. Whether you’re a fan of fruity flavours, a green machine, or a peanut butter lover, there’s sure to be a smoothie for you. A healthy breakfast smoothie will set you up for the day, but smoothies are a usual addition to your nutritional arsenal any time of day.

Don’t forget to explore our full range of smoothie ingredients, available to order online right now. There’s even a bulk buy option for some great savings.


This article was reproduced on this site with permission from operafoods.com.au the “Smoothie Nutrients & Ingredients Suppliers”.
See original article:- Make the Perfect Healthy Smoothie: What to Include and Why

Nutrition Pills! Why eat all those capsule cases?

There seems to be a new fad in eating nutrients in the form of nutrition pill capsules. I am not just talking about supplements that are made up multiple concoctions and mixes with interesting health claims. I am talking about simple ingredient products like fruit or vegetable powders. The internet has multiple actors pushing them. Probably as commission agents.

Their pitch asks us to blindly assume that the convenience of a pill is the only thing. Whereas these days you can buy powdered fruit and vegetable products in separate re-sealable packs and have them conveniently stored in your pantry. They are cheaper than the pills (less processing and packaging). You can see what you are eating. You still enjoy the convenience of not carrying and chopping raw vegetables. Yet you also have the added convenience of being able to sprinkle them on to any meal or to make your own, better tasting, smoothie variations, in just seconds.

Why ingest organic wholefoods for nutritional purposes in an artificial pill capsule?

Pill capsules were originally designed for ingesting nasty tasting chemical medicants that are hard to swallow, because they are objectionable to your taste buds. The ingredients for a pill capsule case itself is not something you would choose for nutritional purposes.

You may get to eat many pill capsule cases as you age and need to take medicants. So, don’t choose to eat those, when you can simply eat the natural fruit and vegetable powders on their own with no inconvenience or downside.

According to wikipedia.org, pill capsule cases are “made from aqueous solutions of gelling agents, such as animal protein (mainly gelatin) or plant polysaccharides or their derivatives (such as carrageenans and modified forms of starch and cellulose). Other ingredients can be added to the gelling agent solution including plasticizers such as glycerin or sorbitol to decrease the capsule’s hardness, coloring agents, preservatives, disintegrants, lubricants and surface treatment.”

Are Nutrition Pills Really Healthy?

The contents of the pill capsule cases might be healthy? Depending upon what is actually in them. However, the ingredients for the capsule casing itself is not something you would choose for nutritional purposes.

Many people looking to boost their nutrient intake are also focused on plant nutrition. Even if they are not Vegans vegetarians would not deliberately choose a product that is encased in an animal protein product. The other ingredients of these capsule cases are not typical high nutritional value foods. Another good question might be, what kind of ingredients are added to the contents of the pill to give it the viscosity required to make the product flow, so it can be easily packed by machines into the tiny capsules.

Know What You are Eating

Seeing what you are eating is another important issue with nutrition. The science of Powdered Fruit and vegetables has moved on to a process of slow drying of a puree. This naturally preserves the colours and nutrients of fruits and vegetables better. Some of the manufacturers are now using this method which produces much higher nutrient value in powdered products. Visual inspection will show users the consistency in granule size and colour that helps to show the quality of the product.

Why are you eating Nutritional Supplements in the first place?

People eat nutritional supplements for several reasons including to combat health problems, to guard against potential health problems, for body building and weight control, and some just to improve energy levels. Whatever your reason, continual consumption of pill capsule casings is probably not your intended goal.

Environmental hazards, artificial ingredients and pesticide levels are being blamed for the development of free radicals in your system that can cause serious health conditions as well as a slowdown of your general feeling of well-being. The modern approach to this problem is to change your diet to exclude the products most likely to be detrimental to your health and suppress your immune system. Also, at the same time to increase your intake of those products that are a benefit to your health.

More importantly to specifically boost your intake of those foods that are higher in the antioxidants that can boost your own immune system. This basic plan will assist with either recovery from health issues, avoiding health issues and just improving stamina and natural weight control. Fruit and vegetables are a large part of a healthy diet and it is a big chore to purchase, tote and prepare them in a busy world.

So powdered fruit and vegetables are becoming an important way to assist with nutrition. However, we suggest you instead buy the zip close packs and get the added convenience of being able to sprinkle them on to meals.

Boost Nutrients offers a range of Fruit Powders, Vegetable Powders and also seeds and other natural wholefood ingredients that are healthy high nutrient products. Our range is perfect to improve your nutrition and boost your immune health. They are idea for adding to; Smoothie drinks, Smoothie Bowls, Acai Bowls, Acai Porridge, Granola Bowls, Salads and many other meals.


Reprinted with permission from an article published on Opera Foods “Nutrition Pills! Really! Why eat all those capsule cases?“.