Smoothies – they’re just like people… there are good ones and bad ones. A bad smoothie is a (usually shop bought) sugar bomb, loaded with anything from ice cream to sweetened fruit juice. Delicious, yes. Healthy? No, siree. If you’re looking to drink down an antioxidant-rich, skin boosting, gut loving concoction instead (or you could really use a fibre and/or protein boost) here are the best ways supercharge your smoothie.
1. Make it green
If salad ingredients tend to kick the bucket in your crisper drawer, then throwing in a handful of spinach, kale or cucumber into your smoothie is a good way to consume your greens instead. To balance out the bitter taste, (nobody enjoys a celery smoothie) go for a 50/50 ratio of fruit to green vegies.
The boost: vitamins A, C, K and folate and minerals.
2. Add a superfood powder
Superfood powders are an easy way to get a whole bunch of extra nutrients into your day. Two teaspoons of Vital All in One in your smoothie delivers 78 vital ingredients to your drink. Try this Tropical Green Smoothie recipe for some serious AM zing: 2 tsp Vital All in One, 1 cup pineapple, 1 small banana, 1 inch piece ginger, 1 cup coconut water. Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy.
The boost: probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, fibre.
3. Throw in a little healthy fat
‘Little’ being the key word here. Adding a tablespoon of nut butter, coconut oil, avocado, cashews or almonds in your smoothie helps you feel fuller, so you’re less tempted to hover around the vending machine mid-morning. Plus, good fats have a multitude of health benefits: they’re great for your skin, hair, nails, bones and heart, and provide you with immediate energy, which we could all use in the mornings, right?
The boost: essential fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins, energising fuel.
4. Chuck in some cacao
This Amazonian superfood is a super healthy and chocolatey addition to your smoothie. Not only does it taste delicious, but cacao – which is the raw, unprocessed form of cocoa beans – is one of the best food sources of magnesium, a mineral that many women lack in their diet. If you find the taste too strong, try adding a teaspoon of maple syrup to your smoothie as well.
The boost: magnesium, iron, flavonoids, zinc, copper, potassium.
5. Boost it with bee pollen
There’s a buzz in the health world around the many benefits of bee pollen, which is pollen made by baby bees when they land on a flower (cute!). It comes as small, crunchy, sweet tasting pellets and while the science on it is still young, research published in the Journal of Biosciences found that bee pollen has very high antioxidant properties, similar to those found in fermented foods.
The boost: B vitamins, iron, fibre, antioxidants.