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Healthy Additions to Smoothies

  • Guest Blogger
  • 17 March, 2014
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By Julie Prescesky of Love it. Learn it. Make it. 

Smoothies Add-ins poster

Yup, these are just your average fruits and probiotics kicking around your kitchen. But wait a minute! They are anything but average. In fact, they are powerful additions to add to your favorite smoothies.

I like to start with a base of liquid, one or two ripe bananas or a cup of mangoes, add some dates, and then add one or more of these average foods to my morning smoothie.

Coconut:

A personal favorite. What is with the coconut craze lately? We’ve ignored it for far too long. Its list of benefits is about as long as my arm.  It’s an antioxidant, kidney stone dissolver, thyroid function supporter, weight loss promoter, and the list goes on and on. When you first start adding this special oil to your diet, do it in small amounts and work your way up. Some people experience digestive upset until their body has gotten used to it.

Ginger:

It tastes great with sushi, but it’s also fabulous in your smoothie. Try it with a base of banana, parsley, honey, and lemon juice (and throw in some cinnamon if you are feeling under the weather). It’s sure to put some pep in your step and aid in your digestion.  See 10 terrific benefits of ginger on foodmatters.tv.

Avocado:

These are one of my family’s favorites, and we were delighted to find out all of the amazing benefits of this fruit.

From fiber to essential vitamins to the “good” fat, these guys have it all. They are actually classified as a “super fruit,” aiding in digestion, cancer prevention, anti-aging and a whole lot more.  But don’t take my word for it; see what Dr. Mercola has to say.

Cayenne:

Cayenne is a popular super food said to aid in circulation and digestion, prevent migraines, detox, and relieve pain within moments of ingesting it.  My recent personal experience using cayenne pepper to ease an ulcer (self-diagnosed—thank you, Internet) still astounds me. Slamming back a warm glass of water with a teaspoon of cayenne isn’t as frightening as it sounds, and the almost instant relief was well worth it. The list of benefits goes on and on, convincing this girl that a little bit of spice goes a long way. Why not throw some in a smoothie? I find it pairs quite nicely with chocolate.

Yogurt and Kefir:

Both of these are lactic acid fermentations and are packed with live bacteria that are very important for your digestive health. Packed with protein and B vitamins, they are great choices in your breakfast smoothie.  I make my own kefir—it’s easy and fast and a heck of a lot more affordable than buying it pre-made from the market.  Learn how you can make your own yogurt or kefir here.

Cocoa:

This has got to be my all-time favorite. Aside from just tasting heavenly, cocoa is becoming well known for its nutritional benefits. The cocoa bean contains antioxidant flavonoids, which reduce risk of stroke and heart attack, and has antidepressant properties. Cocoa beans are rich in a number of essential minerals and vitamins, thus erasing any doubt in my mind as to whether I should have a chocolate smoothie for breakfast.  Of course I should.

Lemon:

The tart, tasty goodness of lemon doesn’t fall short of the call for better health. Lemons deliver a powerful cleanse to your body by balancing your pH levels, detoxing your liver, and fighting cold and flu.  Many more benefits can be seen at Care2.com.

Cinnamon:

Ranging from protection from heart disease to colon health, from blood sugar control to brain function boosting, cinnamon has been a favorite among healers for centuries. Traditional Chinese medicine has employed cinnamon for its amazing warming qualities, which treats cold and flu symptoms effectively, especially when combined with fresh ginger. Yum! Good thing you don’t have to be sick to enjoy it. Read more at The Worlds Healthiest Foods.

Mint:

Depression! Yes, I was surprised to discover that, too. Among other benefits, including digestion and nausea, mint also helps with depression, fatigue, and even headaches.  There are a whole host of other surprising benefits, like weight loss, memory support, and allergy suppression to discover.

These are just a few of the amazingly beneficial foods you probably already have at home. Check around and see what else you may have that is a good addition to your smoothie routine—maybe that eggplant sitting in your crisper?  Come on, it’s just sitting there. What else are you going to use it for? I haven’t dared try it,but if you have, I want to know about it!

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