Top 4 Power Foods Which Should Be In Your Smoothie (Right Now!)Last Updated: January 19, 2019
Smoothies are all the rage these days, and for very good reason. They are a quick, convenient way to infuse your diet with essential vitamins and nutrients that you aren't getting from your regular foods. Lots of people also use smoothies as a meal replacement when they don't have time to cook a regular, healthy dish. Just put a few fruits, veggies, and various other ingredients into a blender, press a button, and you're good to go. What could be better?
Well, that answer to that question is simple: just add a smoothie-friendly "power food" (or several) to your recipe. Most people aren't getting enough of the vitamins and minerals they need in order to stay healthy and avoid age-related disease. But by throwing a few of these power foods into your blender the next time you decide to smoothie it up, you can significantly improve your nutritional profile. So take a look, and remember to add some of these to your grocery list!
Power Food #1: Blueberries
Naturally, the most popular type of smoothie is either mostly or completely fruit-based. Strawberries, bananas, apples, and citrus fruits are all common ingredients in most smoothie recipes. Blueberries, unfortunately, either get overlooked or are tossed in as an afterthought when they should be taking center stage.
Blueberry Power: Blueberries contain many different flavonoids. Flavonoids are powerful, plant-based antioxidants. While it's true that many fruits and even some vegetables contain flavonoids, it's the darker and sweeter berries, such as blueberries, that pack the strongest nutritional punch.
Nutritional Benefits: The antioxidant properties of blueberry flavonoids protect every single cell in your body from oxidative damage. This can help stave off age-related diseases and leave you looking and feeling years younger.
Power Food #2: Avocado
While it might hurt some of you to sacrifice a perfectly good avocado to the smoothie gods when you'd rather slice it up for a delicious turkey sandwich or mash up some guacamole, hear us out. In addition to its nutritional benefits, its rich, buttery taste adds character to otherwise boring vegetable-based smoothies.
Avocado Power: Avocados are rich in potassium, which is a mineral that many people have trouble squeezing into their diet. Avocados are also full of vitamin E, as well as the "good" types of fats that the low-fat diet crazes of recent years have almost eliminated from most people's diets.
Nutritional Benefits: Both Vitamin E and Potassium help regulate your blood pressure and ward off heart disease. Recent studies have also shown that people who get lots of vitamin E, in addition to ingesting healthy fats, enjoy better overall brain health and are less likely to develop diseases such as Alzheimer's.
Power Food #3 Rainbow Chard
Behind kale and spinach, if you're the type who likes to feed your body with "green" smoothies, then you're selling yourself short if you aren't throwing some rainbow chard leaves in your blender. And make sure to add the stems, too - all those colorful bits equal more vitamins.
Chard Power: While we don't mean to sell Swiss chard short, rainbow chard has a higher Vitamin K content. Vitamin K is an important nutrient which, believe it or not, more than 65% of people aren't getting enough of - and that can cause some serious health problems down the road.
Nutritional Benefits: Vitamin K, in the short term, helps your blood clot properly.Healthy clotting helps prevent strokes. Additionally, Vitamin K helps your body manage its calcium properly by removing it from the blood stream (where it can clog your arteries) and putting it back in your bones where it belongs.
Power Food #4: Tomato
Tomatoes are much more versatile that most people think, especially when it comes to smoothies. Sure, it's a great addition to most veggie-based recipes, but did you know that tomatoes are technically a type of fruit? This means they can go well in fruit smoothies too (without ruining the taste).
Tomato Power: Lycopene. It's not a nutrient you hear very much about, but it's very important for the body. Plus, tomatoes are high in fiber and water content.
Nutritional Benefit: The water and fiber in tomatoes helps you feel fuller for longer, which is great for anyone who is currently dieting. Even if you're not, staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy digestive system (which fiber is good for) are great for overall health. Additionally, lycopene can help reduce the biological processes by which cancer cells grow and spread through your body.
By adding these little-known "power" foods to your smoothie, you can give yourself a big boost to your overall health without having to sacrifice the taste of your usual recipe or your food budget. Try adding any of these, along with a scoop of protein powder or a shot of flax seeds to your next smoothie day, and enjoy the results!