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 the desert one must stay well hydrated. But I like to make smoothies to quench my thirst and also you can customize a smoothie to add some great nutrition. I always add fruits and vegetables to my smoothies because they not only taste good, but because we need about 2 cups of fruits and 3 cups of vegetables daily. Below are my recommendations to maximize the nutrition power in your smoothies.

01

Protein

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

02

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits are a perfect way to incorporate more fiber and other beneficial nutrients into your smoothie. Combining different colored fruits is best to ensure a mix of different vitamins and minerals. Including vegetables in your smoothies can also add more phytonutrients like lutein and beta-carotene. I recommend using dark-green leafy vegetables and combining them with fruit so the natural sugar in fruit will overpower 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, are other great nutrients to add in smoothies. Research shows that consuming unsaturated fats may decrease risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, along with providing essential fatty acids, some fats can contain vitamin E which is an antioxidant that may prevent free radical damage. You can try using avocados, cashew butter, or chia seeds. 

One of the awesome benefits of creating your own smoothie is the ability to customize. You can focus on certain nutrients or food groups, such as consuming more fruits and vegetables. Smoothie-making should be fun, nutritious, and fit your unique lifestyle. As the days get warmer, keep hydrated and try a refreshing smoothie with a nutritious boost. 

Natural Delights Guest Blogger - Julio Mario Flores, RDN

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.