Smoothies have become a very popular breakfast item, both in the west and abroad. And their popularity is no surprise. When made using fresh fruits, wholesome yogurts, and nutritious greens, smoothies are a tasty, healthy, and convenient way to start your day.
However, smoothies are healthy food that often can be corrupted by low-quality, unhealthy ingredients, such as sugary syrups, hard-to-digest protein formulas, and artificially derived vitamin blends. If you’re a smoothie drinker, stick with the basics, and try to include these five tasty and healthy ingredients in your morning blend.
1. Frozen Bananas
Bananas are a wonderful addition to any smoothie. High in electrolytes and complex carbohydrates, they are a great choice for those seeking to add some sweetness to their smoothie without using refined sugar.
Slice and freeze several bananas ahead of time to give your blend a cool, smooth texture.
Out of all the berries, blueberries seem to strike the best balance between nutrition and taste. They have a subtle sweetness, making them palatable to those with a discerning sweet tooth, yet they are packed with antioxidants and nutrients. Studies even show that blueberries may have the power to keep our brains fast and sharp.
3. Whey Protein
The next time you see a premade drink or smoothie advertised as being loaded with protein, investigate the label closely to find the source of the protein. Most commercially produced protein drinks use protein isolate derived from soy. This type of protein can be difficult for our bodies to digest and absorb. So even though the package might say 20 grams of protein, you are probably getting significantly less. Plus, unfermented soy contains natural phytoestrogens that can cause hormonal imbalance.
Stick with proteins derived from whey or plant sources like peas, rice, or sprouted grain.
4. Non-Soy Milk Alternative
Now that you have some tasty, nutritious ingredients to drop in your blender, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to blend them all together. Well, you’re going to need a good liquid base for your smoothie, and the best liquid for the job is some kind of non-soy milk alternative, such as almond, rice, hemp, or coconut milk. Regular milk is high in sugar, and the problems with soy are mentioned above.
Look for milk alternatives with minimal added sugar (none if possible), but feel free to go for one with a flavoring like chocolate or strawberry.
Of course, add other healthy fruits and vegetables to your taste, and experiment to find out what works best for you. Everyone’s tastes are different, but these ingredients are a great start!