As winter slowly becomes a distant memory and food filled Christmas blues dawn upon us, detoxing diets become particularly popular. And one quick and easy way to get on the healthy bandwagon is to join the smoothie craze. Smoothies are the simplest way to consume your five-a-day in one shake, and more importantly, a way to be creative with different flavours and tasty ideas. But, when it really comes to it, creating the perfect smoothie isn’t just about throwing together a few random fruits and hoping for the best; there is an art to it. For example, a breakfast smoothie would be near to useless if it didn’t fill you up until lunch. So take note of these magic ingredients to spruce up your smoothie and make it worthwhile.
It’s very easy to create a tasty shake with no real substance to it and end up feeling hungry minutes later. Oats are the solution to this problem. Once you have placed all of your ingredients in to your blender, add a handful of raw oats to the mix and simply blend. The result is a thicker, more filling smoothie with an added nutritional boost! Oats are a wonderful source of magnesium, copper and B vitamins, as well as taking care of your daily fibre, iron, zinc and thiamine needs as well as lowering your cholesterol. The starchy oatmeal absorbs some of the smoothie liquid, giving the drink more body and therefore making you feel fuller for longer.
These tiny little seeds pack a powerful punch of nutrition, working wonders for the human body. A whole grain food, full of fibre yet free of gluten, Chia seeds expand within the stomach to promote fullness and also detoxification, helping with digestion and aiding with weight loss. This superfood is also loaded with life prolonging antioxidants and omega-3 essential fatty acids, perfect for the skin and the body in general. Amongst several other incredible benefits, this superfood is extremely high in quality protein, meaning if you sprinkle a few of these seeds on to your smoothie you can expect to be fuller for longer whilst starting your day with an unbelievably healthy breakfast. Either add a handful of Chia seeds in to your smoothie and blend, or finish off your shake with a sprinkle on top.
We’ve all been hearing about coconut oil for years now, as it is praised so highly by celebrities as the ultimate superfood. But this oil really is a god-send for smoothies; adding both flavour and nutritional value, it takes only a tablespoon or two to really transform a smoothie. According to her blog, the lovely Miranda Kerr is an avid lover of the oil and is known to eat four teaspoons of coconut oil a day, saying: “I’ve been including coconut oil in my diet for years because of the health benefits.” Add one tablespoon of unsaturated, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil to your smoothie and expect some fantastic benefits including glowing skin and glossy hair due to the superfood’s fatty acids working wonders within your body. You can expect a boosted metabolism, improved thyroid function, decreased appetite and it even helps you stay fuller for longer. In short, coconut oil is a great way to add healthy fats to your smoothie for more substance and goodness.
A truly underrated smoothie ingredient, Maca powder is a plant root from the Cruciferous family and one teaspoon contains just 10 calories. With an earthy taste and a nutty flavour, Maca powder is the perfect complement to a smoothie. When consumed, many people report a subtle but noticeable energy boost from adding just one teaspoon in to their smoothie. Benefits of this superfood are endless; from immunity boosting to increased fertility and sex drive. Maca contains an incredible 55 phyto-chemicals, including vitamins B1, B2, B12, vitamin C and zinc, along with amino acids, calcium and phosphorus. You cannot go wrong with adding this subtle powder to your smoothie.