The holiday season starts NOW for most of us. Parties, family gatherings and lots of indulgences means our healthy habits may be put on the back-burner. When I know I am going to have a hard time managing my healthy eating routine, I start to think about how I can better balance meals throughout the day. While I normally eat overnight oatmeal for breakfast, I switch to smoothies when I know I am going to have an indulgent day. Starting the day with a hearty smoothie helps me get a lot of nutrients in a single meal.
Here are some of my favorite smoothie ingredients that provide a lot of filling nutrients. I also added a couple of recipes to inspire you.
Sweet potatoes are so good in smoothies! They are naturally sweet and full of fiber. Plus they are full of vitamin A and C which keeps our immune system healthy and strong. A definite plus during the holiday season.
Cinnamon Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie includes almond butter, greek yogurt and loads of cinnamon. Cinnamon is a powerful spice with anti-inflammatory benefits, helps to regulate blood sugar and may cut the risk of heart disease. (Source: HealthLine)
Sweet Potato Power Smoothie contains frozen cauliflower which provides antioxidants and phytonutrients that may protect against cancer.
That's right, oats! Oats help regulate blood sugar, are very filling and helps with weight management. One tip from LifeHacker.com is to soak the oats first for an hour in either water or nut milk or soy milk. This helps the smoothie be smoother and not make it too thick.
Banana Oat Breakfast Smoothie doesn't say to soak the oats before using but you can try it both ways to see what you like better.
Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie contains spinach making this smoothie high in Vitamin K, which helps maintain bone health.
VEGAN PROTEIN POWDER
I like adding protein powder to smoothies to ensure the smoothie is filling. Protein keeps us fuller longer compared to carbohydrates. But I only make sure to use vegan protein powder. Whey is seen by the body as an allergen and comes from dairy. If you are lactose intolerant, and it is estimated about 65% of people are, whey will cause gas and loose stools.
It can also trigger acne and other skin issues. Vegan protein powders are made from soy, hemp, pea and rice. Soy protein is the only complete vegan protein containing all 9 essential amino acids. So if you aren't going to use soy protein, look for other ways to get amino acids in your smoothies, such as adding quinoa!
Green Protein Power Breakfast Smoothie adds more protein by adding hemp seeds into the smoothie along with the protein powder. Hemp seeds are a great source of protein, fiber and omega-9 fatty acids.
Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Protein Shake uses chocolate flavored vegan protein powder. You can also substitute the peanut butter with almond butter or any other nut butter as needed.
Quinoa is full of protein, fiber and amino acids. You can add it to a smoothie either uncooked, cooked, toasted or soaked. Quinoa is gluten-free and has many health benefits, including anti-inflammation, anti-viral and helps control blood sugar.
Quinoa Banana Berry Smoothie has a nice twist using brewed green tea as the liquid instead of plain water or a nut milk.
Peanut, almond, hazelnut, cashew or sunflower butter will add a smooth texture, protein and fiber. Nut butters also add magnesium, antioxidants and unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats may help stabilize your blood sugar and insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. (Source: WEBMD)
Very Berry Almond Butter Smoothie also has spinach and banana to make this smoothie hearty and nutritious.
AVOCADO Avocado makes a smoothie silky and adds healthy fats. Also, avocado provides omega-3 fatty acids which promote a healthy heart. Since it is green, avocados provide chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a green molecule found in plants that absorbs sunlight during photosynthesis and converts it to energy. It's been said to help with blood detoxification, odor control, wound healing, gut health, energy, immune system support and cancer prevention. (Source: US NEWS)
The Best Three Ingredients Avocado Smoothie is so simple that it can be made on very busy weekday mornings. Plus, with only three ingredients, you can experiment by adding in hemp seeds or flax seeds.
This can be any type of yogurt that fits your lifestyle. Greek yogurt, plant-based yogurt or dairy based yogurt. Not only does yogurt help with the smooth texture of a smoothie but it adds healthy probiotics. Many people may not realize that plant-based yogurt contains probiotics.
Probiotics are great to promote a healthy digestive system. When your digestive system is healthy, your immune system is also healthy. About 70% of your immune system lives in your gut. Supporting the digestive system with healthy probiotics helps keep illness away since good bacteria fights pathogens.
Smoothies are a great recipe to experiment with based on the types of fruits and add-in's you like. Do you think you will drink more smoothies to help manage your health during the holiday season? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
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