Amp Your Smoothie’s Nutrition Power

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
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It’s starting to warm up here in the desert southwest so I’m beginning to crave something delicious and refreshing. My go-to drink is always water - living in a desert area, one must stay well hydrated. I like to make smoothies to quench my thirst and found that one can customize a smoothie to add in some great nutrition. It is always a good idea to add both fruits and vegetables to smoothies. Not only do they taste good together in a smoothie, but also we need about 2 cups of fruits and 3 cups of vegetables each day for ideal nutrition. Below are some recommendations for maximizing the nutrition power in our smoothies.

01

Protein

Adding protein to your smoothies can help increase the satiety index. Also, after a good work-out, consuming some protein will help prevent muscle breakdown. I prefer plant-based proteins such as ground almonds, pecans or silken (soft) tofu.

02

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits are a perfect way to incorporate more fibre and other beneficial nutrients into a smoothie. Combining different coloured fruits is best to ensure a mix of different vitamins and minerals. Including vegetables in smoothies can also add more phytonutrients like lutein and beta-carotene. I recommend using dark green leafy vegetables and combining them with fruit, so that the natural sugar in the fruit will override the bitter taste of the vegetables.

*These amounts are appropriate for individuals who get less than 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, beyond normal daily activities. Those who are more physically active may be able to consume more while staying within calorie needs.

03

Fats

Unsaturated fats, such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, are other great nutrients to add to smoothies. Research shows that consuming unsaturated fats may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Besides providing essential fatty acids, some fats can contain vitamin E, an antioxidant that may prevent free radical damage. Try using avocados, cashew butter or chia seeds.

One of the awesome benefits of creating a customized smoothie is that you can focus on certain nutrients or food groups, thereby consuming more fruits and vegetables. Smoothie-making should be fun, nutritious and adapted to your unique lifestyle. As the days get warmer, keep hydrated and treat yourself to a refreshing smoothie with a nutritious boost.

Natural Delights Guest Blogger - Julio Mario Flores, RDN

Nut butter lover and hiking enthusiast, Julio is the Associate Brand Manager and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for the Natural Delights team. He works on a variety of projects to help bring delicious and nutritious food to many people.