What to Put in Your Smoothie
We talk about healthy eating, diet, and nutrition a lot here at MenoLabs. That’s because we understand that healthy living starts in the gut. That saying, “you are what you eat” is more true than we may realize.
Our Bodies Crave Nutrients
Our bodies require nutrients in order to maintain themselves. Every system in the human body depends on the absorption and regulation of nutrients to maintain metabolic processes, regulatory processes, cellular activity, and much more. Nutritional deficiencies can have negative effects on immune health, brain health, bone health, heart health, muscle health, respiratory health, skin health, and more.
Finding ways to support proper nutrition can help you maintain your body’s health. So how can you get the nutrients you need?
How Smoothies Work for Us
Smoothies help us fill up on fruits and vegetables, especially with our busy schedules. It’s also perfect for the HOT weather here in Arizona right now. We want to make sure our smoothies are healthy and taste good. Here is how we do that:
Fruits aren’t just a way to make your smoothies taste better. They’re also an excellent source of antioxidants and other vitamins that help support immune health. With enough fruits in your diet, you can help support a healthy immune system. You can also help support neurological health, as the brain relies on immune cells to help maintain brain cell health. You can even support a healthy heart with enough fruits in your diet.
So what fruits should you be adding to your smoothies and your overall diet?
Citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes are great sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin to immune health. Vitamin C helps support immune cell functions throughout your body. Vitamin C is also a crucial precursor to collagen production. Without enough Vitamin C, your skin has difficulty producing collagen effectively. Collagen is the protein that makes up connective tissues in the skin, and it’s also where the immune cells in the skin reside. Without enough collagen, these immune cells can’t effectively regulate skin health. This means that skin cells can become damaged and won’t be repaired effectively.
Berries like blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries are also great sources of antioxidants. They are also sources of essential amino acids that help with mood regulation. To help give yourself a mood boost, throw in a half cup of berries into your smoothies every morning. They’re also just great for flavor.
Soft fruits can help your smoothies become smoother in texture. Bananas, peaches, and mangos are great sources of vitamins and minerals like potassium and Vitamin E. They provide some sweetness to help cut down the sourness of citrus fruits, and help bring balance to the taste of your smoothies.
For a great smoothie, freeze your fruit the night before for an upgrade to the experience. Take note, you only need ½ cup of fruit to add to your smoothie.
We’re mostly talking about leafy greens here. Spinach and kale are highly recommended for smoothie recipes for a variety of reasons. First, these leafy greens are excellent sources of dietary fiber. Dietary fibers are plant-based compounds that can’t be broken down by the human stomach alone. However, they can feed gut bacteria and help them more effectively obtain nutrients from food before passing them into the bloodstream. Consuming enough fiber can help support a healthy gut microbiome and the body’s overall health.
These vegetables are also excellent sources of essential vitamins and minerals. The three major nutrients that these leafy greens can give you are magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin K. Each of these nutrients can benefit your body’s health in a variety of ways.
Zinc helps support immune health by helping immune cells to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Zinc also helps the body make proteins that make and regulate DNA of other cells. Magnesium helps regulate the health of the nervous system. It also helps the body maintain protein production to keep bones strong. Vitamin K is an essential vitamin that helps maintain heart health. It helps reduce calcium buildups in the arteries that can increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. This is especially important for women in menopause as women are at the highest risk of heart disease during the menopause stage. This can be helped by eating right (like this smoothie), working out, and not smoking.
Dairy or Dairy Alternatives
A fruit and veggie smoothie is great, but without enough liquid it’s more of a puree than a beverage. There are a variety of options available to you to help you gain more nutrients and get the right texture in your smoothies. The most popular liquid addition to any smoothie recipe is dairy or a dairy alternative. We love almond milk. The creaminess of these ingredients can make your smoothie smoother!
If you’re not a fan of dairy and are looking for some lactose-free options, you have some good ones, like coconut milk, almond milk, hemp milk, and even cashew milk. You can also get lactose-free milk and Vitamin D fortified milk products to help boost your Vitamin D intake, especially if you are a woman with a high risk of osteoporosis.
If you’re really looking for an immune boost in your smoothie, throwing in a few ounces of fruit juice is a good way to do that! Include orange juice for extra Vitamin C. Use grapefruit juice to help promote a healthy metabolism. Add some cranberry juice for added antioxidants to keep your immune cells strong and support heart health.
Fruit juices are a great way to add more flavor to your smoothies. Be sure to use juices that have no added sugar, since added sugars can cause bacterial imbalances in the gut microbiome. We want to keep those gut bacteria healthy, so avoid the added sugars as much as you can!
Almond butter and other related products like cashew butter are great sources of protein, as well crucial minerals and vitamins. Almond butter is an excellent source of protein, magnesium, zinc, and Vitamin B6. Proteins help maintain the health of tissues in your body ranging from your muscles to your bones, and even the lining of your internal organs. Magnesium and zinc can help promote a healthy immune system, nervous system, and bone density. It may also lower blood sugar levels and help with your sleep quality.
Easy Add-Ins For an Extra Boost
Try adding these ingredients to assist with your specific nutritional goals:
For hydration, and to help with nutrient absorption.
Fiber helps feed gut bacteria, and helps your gut bacteria absorb all the nutrients that the foods in your smoothie provide to your body. Happy Fiber is specifically formulated with the right length fibers to promote the healthiest gut bacteria possible. If you take a probiotic, Happy Fiber can help those work even better in your gut.
Our beauty collagen powder for women contains 20 grams of grass-fed, hydrolyzed collagen, as well as hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. If you’re looking for a quick, easy way to give your body the collagen building-blocks it needs, Goddess Glow in your smoothie is a great way to go.
Now that you know why a smoothie is so beneficial to your body, try making one for your breakfast, or for a quick snack. Your body will thank you for it!