Drinking smoothies on the regular can work real wonders for your health - from providing a quick and easy breakfast or snack option and boosting brain power, to improving digestion, immunity and detoxification. They're a truly fab way to crank up your intake of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fibre, and your options are limitless.
But wanna step your smoothie game up a little more?
These are some of my favourite ingredients to help you pimp yo' smoothie!
1. S E E D S
You've probably got your fruit and veg sorted, as well as some nut milk, but have you thought about getting seedy? For small little things, seeds pack a seriously big punch: they're full of fibre, healthy fats, protein, and more.
My favourites? Chia for an almighty serve of anti-inflammatory omega 3, Pumpkin and Sunflower for plentiful protein and skin-loving vitamins, and hormone- and cholesterol- balancing Linseeds (aka Flaxseeds).
2. T A H I N I
Some seeds are best for bodies when ground up...enter: Tahini. Tahini is a paste of ground sesame seeds, which are high in folate, B vitamins, and vitamin E, and have been found to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Tahini is alone packed full of calcium, zinc, folate and iron. The ultimate all-rounder!
Add a tablespoonful into your next smoothie - its smooth, butteriness is too good to miss.
3. F R E S H B E R R I E S
Fresh berries are a fantastic source of Vitamin C and antioxidants - responsible for fighting oxidative stress and free radicals in the body, and capable of reducing the risk of heart disease and certain cancers as a result.
Some berries, like Blackberries and Raspberries, are also a great source of magnesium.
Best to buy organic berries - fresh or frozen - for your smoothies where you can -- berries often contain high levels of pesticide residue. Strawberries were given the number one spot in the 'Dirty Dozen' list by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in 2017.
4. M . C . T . O I L
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that you're familiar with the miracle that is Coconut Oil. But maybe not so much with MCT?
MCT stands for 'medium-chain triglycerides' (fatty acids), and around 62-65% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are MCTs. In short: MCT = the benefits of coconut oil, on steroids.
MCT oil is easily digested, supports the flora in our guts, and contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. MCTs aren't stored as fat, but instead burnt by the body as energy/fuel - so they're also brilliant for weight maintenance and metabolism.
I use the Melrose MCT, and started out with 1 teaspoon per day before gradually upping my dosage. Now you'll find MCT not only in my smoothies, but in most of my cooking too!
5. C O C O N U T M I L K
Just like other nut milks, Coconut Milk provides a great alternative to regular, lactose milk (which is a common irritant to people's health and digestion). But it also adds a healthy dose of fibre and nutrition to your smoothie, packed full of B vitamins, Vitamins C & E, and minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron. Oh, and bonus: a hint of sweetness.
There is a common concern regarding the fat content of coconut milk, but as we know (unless you skipped the last point...shame on you!), the majority of the fat in coconuts is MCTs, one particular MCT being lauric acid. Lauric acid is converted by our bodies to monolaurin - basically a virus, bacteria and fungal killing superpower.
So I personally think you can afford to go nuts on this one (see what I did there?) ;)
Have you tried adding any of these bonus boosters to your smoothies?