Since eating fruits and vegetables is not always easy to fit into a busy day, each morning I have a smoothie. Every. Single. Day! I enjoy my smoothies and try to switch up what I use for fruits and vegetables. I enjoy experimenting and coming up with new combinations. For two years now I have been concocting smoothies to fuel my body. I have my smoothies right after a run or my workout for recovery and repair. Good nutrition is just as important as daily exercise is. Here are some of my favorite smoothie ingredients that have key nutritional benefits.
Chia Seeds: These tiny little seeds are full of amazing nutrition. In just one ounce of Chia seeds there is: 11 grams of Fiber, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat (5 of those contain Omega-3's!), 137 calories, 18 % Calcium, 30 % Manganese, 30% Magnesium, and 27% Phosphorous. That's not all! Chia seeds also contain zinc, Vitamin B's, and potassium. They are an excellent source of antioxidants and packed with high quality protein. This makes them a great addition to a smoothie. I have even been adding them to our Yummy Balls.
Kale: This is such a super food that mixes well with different fruits. I love that in just one cup of kale it is packed with 6 carbs, 3 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber and only 36 calories! It is filled with vitamins, nutrients, folate and magnesium. If you do not already have this on your grocery list then add it!
Spinach: Popeye is not the only one who loves spinach, smart man for sure! Spinach is my favorite veggie. I eat it every day and there are so many things that it pairs well with along with many different ways to eat it. I use spinach in each and every smoothie. Here is why everyone needs to eat spinach: It is low in fat, high in niacin, zinc, protein and fiber. Spinach contains folate, calcium, iron, phosphorus, copper, thiamin, manganese and magnesium. Grab a handful and throw it in!
Cherries: Cherries are my new favorite fruit for my smoothies. Not only are they delicious yet the benefits from cherries make them a must in any diet, especially if you work out and run. Cherries have been found to reduce inflammation, aid in post exercise muscle pain, reduce the risk of stroke, good for your heart, support healthy sleep and contain cancer fighting agents. I keep a bag of them in my freezer and use them often.
Greek Yogurt: A spoonful of Greek yogurt goes in most of my smoothies. Greek yogurt contains calcium, protein (double the protein of regular yogurt), zinc and vitamins B6 and B12. Let's not forget about the probiotics we are adding to our bodies. Healthy bacteria helps maintain a healthy gut. It also makes your smoothie creamy as well as healthy!
These are only a handful of ingredients to add to your smoothie. Be creative! You may be surprised at the combination of smoothies you can make and just how good they can be for you. This is an easy way to pack in your fruits and veggies while giving your body some essential vitamins and nutrients it needs.
Looking for a couple smoothie ideas? Check out my post 5 Smoothie Combinations To Fuel Your Day.