5 Supplements That You Can Include In Your Morning Smoothie

The first time I ever saw someone drinking a smoothie I was at a trendy market in Syracuse. It was one of those grocery store-cafe-combination places, and this 20-something guy walked up to the counter and ordered a smoothie with kale. The woman behind the counter whipped up some sort of concoction, and within a couple of minutes, he was presented with what I can only describe as a glass of green slime.

I marveled that he could drink something that looked so disgusting and figured he was just weird. Then I watched him walk back to his table and sit down with his dining companions who – you guessed it – were also drinking tall glasses of green slime. Okay, were they all weird, or was I the weird one? (I am embarrassed to admit I actually went to the counter and asked the “smoothie girl” what she had just made for these people. This is how clueless I was about the smoothie craze.)

That was 15 years ago. And since then I have had many smoothies, even the green ones. I am happy to report most of them have been delicious. They are a healthy, quick, and portable meal on the go that can provide you with nutrients you might otherwise be missing in your diet. Best of all, they can be customized with supplemental ingredients to meet your specific dietary needs.

Here are just a few ingredients you can throw into your next smoothie for supplementing your diet with even more health benefits and nourishment:

1. Hemp Seed

Hemp seeds come from the hemp plant, Cannabis Sativa. Although they are from the same species as marijuana, they only contain trace amounts of THC, so they do not have any of the psychoactive elements of the plant. Instead, they include lots of beneficial nutritious properties that make them an ideal ingredient to add to smoothies.

Hemp seeds are incredibly rich in healthy fats, protein, and minerals. They contain two essential fatty acids: alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and linoleic acid (omega-6). They also are an excellent source of protein, providing over 20 amino acids. A full 25 percent of the calories in hemp seeds are pure, high-quality plant protein. And they contain other nutrients as well, like vitamin e, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron.

What do they taste like?

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They are technically a nut and have a mild nutty flavor.

What forms do they come in?

They come in a ground powder or seed form. (hemp seeds are also called hemp hearts)

What are they good for?

•Helping to reduce heart disease

•Improving digestion

•Balancing hormones

•Providing the body with protein and essential amino acids

Are there any precautions for consuming hemp seed?

There are no known side effects or drug interactions. If you take an anticoagulant, you may want to limit your intake of hemp seeds because they are a blood platelet inhibitor that may pose a bleeding risk. Speak to your provider if you have any concerns.

2. Maca

Maca is a vegetable that has been a daily staple of people in the Andes mountains of Peru for thousands of years. Used as a food source as well as medicinally, It looks a lot like a turnip or a radish and is usually a yellowish color but may also be purple or black. It is considered a superfood because of its extensive nutritional properties and healing benefits.

Maca is also considered an “adaptogen,” which means that its ingredients can help the body regulate itself to adapt to stress and illness. Maca provides nutrients like vitamin C, iron, and copper. It is low in fat and high in fiber.

What does it taste like?

Maca has a slightly nutty taste with undertones of butterscotch.

What forms does it come in?

It comes in capsules and liquids, but the form you would use in a smoothie is ground, powdered, Maca. It is important to get Maca from Peru, as this is the only location where the plant is native to the area. There are two types of powders available: raw and gelatinized. The gelatinized form is sometimes easier to digest for some people.

What is it good for?

•Balances estrogen levels

•Has antioxidant properties

•Boosts female libido

•Enhances mood and memory

•Improves male fertility

Are there any precautions for consuming maca?

Since maca can mimic estrogen, you should not use it if you have a condition that could be made worse by estrogen exposure. There have not been enough studies to confirm it’s safety during pregnancy or breastfeeding so it is best to avoid maca during both of these. There are no known drug interactions with maca.

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3. Avocados

Avocados are just plain yummy. They might not be the first ingredient you think of when creating a smoothie but they are worth taking a look at. Although they are high in calories, they are very nutrient dense, containing monounsaturated fat (the good, cholesterol-lowering fat), potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamin k, vitamin C, and tons of fiber. It is easy to see how adding avocados as a supplemental ingredient to your smoothies can pack a whole lot of value into your morning drink.

What do they taste like?

Avocados have a nutty flavor similar to cashews, with a smooth, creamy texture.

What forms do they come in?

Plain, raw, organic avocado is the best type to purchase.

What is it good for?

•Assisting in weight loss by helping you feel fuller for longer.

•Providing nourishment for skin, hair, and nails

•Lowering cholesterol

•Enhancing liver function

Are there any precautions for consuming Avocados?

People who have a latex allergy have reported an allergic reaction to avocado. For unknown reasons, avocado has been shown to reduce the effectiveness of some blood thinners and increase the risk of blood clotting. If you are taking an anticoagulant, you should check with your doctor before consuming avocados.

4. Cacao Powder

Raw cacao is not the same as cocoa powder or baking cocoa. It is derived from the Theobroma Cacao tree and is not chemically processed. Cacao is a fantastic superfood that has 40 times the antioxidants as blueberries. It is also the highest plant-based iron source known to exist, containing more iron that lamb, beef, or spinach. It has more calcium than milk and is an excellent source of magnesium.

What does it taste like?

It has a rich, dark chocolate flavor that is very bitter. It’s ideal for blending into smoothies along with sweet fruits or berries that will offset its bitter taste.

What form does it come in?

Cacao comes in nibs, bark, paste, powder, and more. Plain, raw, organic cacao in powdered form is what you want for smoothies.

What is it good for?

•Help fight free radical damage and prevent cancer

•Assists in maintaining a healthy heart

•Enhances clarity and focus

•Is a natural mood enhancer and antidepressant

Are there any precautions for consuming Cacao?

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Raw cacao contains caffeine and theobromine which are both stimulants. In addition to making one jittery or nervous, they can disrupt sleep like most other stimulants. Caffeine can also negatively affect your kidneys. You should consult with your doctor before consuming cacao if you are sensitive to stimulants.

5. Flaxseed

During the middle ages, King Charlemagne was so enamored with flaxseed he passed laws that required his people to consume it. This ancient food is another powerhouse of nutrition that is packed with vital nutrients and lots of fiber.

A tablespoon of ground flaxseed has 1.8 grams Omega-3 essential fatty acids. And flaxseed is the best plant-based source of Lignans – a type of phytonutrient with numerous health benefits.

What does it taste like?

It is smooth and nutty with earthy undertones.

What forms do they come in?

Flaxseed comes whole or ground. Whole flaxseed will pass right through your body. To get the optimum nutritional benefits, you need it to be ground. You can grind up whole flaxseed on your own with a coffee grinder or purchase it pre-ground.

What is it good for?

•Helping to prevent cancer

•Lowering blood pressure

•Strengthening bones

•Reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes

Are there any precautions for consuming flaxseed?

Because of its high fiber content, gastrointestinal side effects, most notably, constipation, can occur. You should increase your intake of water to counteract this possibility and if you experience other intestinal problems, reduce or stop consuming flaxseed and see what happens.

Making smoothies is a whole different culinary activity than juicing. Juicing removes the pulp, thereby removing some of the beneficial fiber in your drink. What you want to do when making a smoothie is combine all of your ingredients into a thin puree. While there are many different smoothie makers on the market, a traditional blender will also work for the ingredients listed. You can also adapt a KitchenAid stand mixer or KitchenAid handheld mixer for the task simply by mixing all of the ingredients on high speed for two or three minutes or until your smoothie is the desired consistency. Check out Honest Product Reviews for a high quality guide on products that can help you mix all these ingredients with ease.

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By |2018-08-14T18:34:56+00:00August 14th, 2018|Healthy Living|0 Comments

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