The Soothe of Smooth

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Who doesn’t love a smoothie? They’re a quick, satisfying, and easy way to get nutrients. The healing power of the smoothie begins with the quality of ingredients you use. Though most start with a base of fruit, you can elevate your smoothie to a creamier, more satisfying snack with the addition of dairy. You’ll also get important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D.

Smoothie Nutrients

Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth as well as maintenance of the gums. It can also help lower blood pressure and prevent bone loss associated with osteoporosis. In addition to cow’s milk, calcium can be found in almonds, blackstrap molasses, dark green leafy vegetables, goat’s milk, sesame seeds, tofu, and yogurt—any of which can be added to a smoothie.

Dairy also provides a dose of vitamin D, which helps the body absorb and utilize calcium. Vitamin D enhances immunity and is essential for thyroid functioning. It can protect against muscle weakness and helps regulate the heartbeat. In addition to milk, other sources for this vitamin include fish liver oils and sweet potatoes—both healthful smoothie ingredients.

A Good Foundation

Before making a smoothie, consider what the base of the drink will be. Do you want to combine fruits for maximum flavor and nutrients? Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are excellent choices as they’re low in sugar and rich in antioxidants. If you prefer something less sweet, greens such as spinach are healthy picks.

A liquid ingredient is added next. Options include milk, juice, or yogurt. Ice is often added to provide a thicker texture and colder temperature. If you don’t want ice, blend a combination of fresh and frozen fruits instead.

Smoothie Supplements

Before blending, supplements can be added for even more nutritional benefits.

Supplements for Your Next Smoothie
Supplement Health Benefit
Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Green Tea Extract

Green Tea helps promote weight loss and boosts the immune system.

Protein Powder

Protein powder is good for building muscles and supplying protein. Possible sources include whey, soy, and hemp.

Try this protein-packed berry smoothie.

Royal Jelly

Royal jelly, from honey bees, is high in B-complex vitamins.

Spirulina Spirulina algae is rich in protein and essential fatty acids.
Vitamin/Mineral Powders

Different powders add vital nutrients, and can also boost flavor.

Wheat Bran

Wheat bran is rich in fiber.

Wheat Grass

Wheat grass helps detox the body, and is high in vitamins.

Try it in this creamy cherry-vanilla smoothie.

Sources: 

“Does Your Smoothie Need a Boost?” UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, www. wellnessletter.com, 9/05 

“How to Add Supplements to Your Smoothies,” www.ehow.com 

Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, CnC ($29.95, Penguin Group/avery, 2006)

 

Contributor: 

Lisa Fabian

Lisa Fabian is a staff writer for Taste for Life magazine.

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