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Incorporating Smoothies into your Diet

Incorporating Smoothies into your Diet. Naturopath tips for smoothies.

A nutrient-dense smoothie on some mornings will help to “set your blood sugar up for the day”, feed your beneficial microbes, and give you a boost in protein and general nutrition when your body often needs it most. Here are some tips for incorporating smoothies into your diet.

  • Breakfast. Incorporate smoothies into your breakfasts for a nutrition boost that’s easy to digest.
  • Add nutrient dense powders. It’s a great opportunity to add greens powder – something like Super Greens and Reds (NutraOrganics) or Vital Greens, for another good quality mixed greens powder – as an easy way to increase the nutrient value. You can also add fresh greens into your smoothie as well if you’d prefer this to a greens powder, but a powder is MUCH less to think about. There are also mixed berry powders, or single berries like açai, that you can add in too if you are time poor, or as a post to fresh/frozen berries.
  • Protein Powders. Vital has a hemp and pea vegan protein powder that has 18.7g of protein per serve or a plain vanilla pea protein powder that is 20g protein per serve – note that their serving size is two heaped TABLEspoons, but even if you add 1 heaped tablespoon, there is at least 10g of protein. NutraOrganics also makes some lovely plant-based protein powders like “Thrive” which has a pleasant taste/texture. Amazonia Raw is another decent brand.
  • Tasty Additions. Add in some fresh/frozen fruit, seeds or grains. Choose from mixed berries (fresh or frozen), banana, mango, dragonfruit, or grains/seeds like flaxseeds (it will thicken the smoothie quite considerable if it is not drunk quickly), chia (if you can tolerate this – chia gives some people wind), or rolled oats (omit if you are coeliac).
  • Collagen. If you are not vegetarian or vegan, collagen is also a good protein source with on average 11.5g of protein per 12.5g serve in a good quality collagen powder, as well as containing many valuable building blocks for our joints. Do not bother with collagen capsules as the dose is tiny and capsules are very costly if you then took enough to get a decent dose.
  • Prebiotics. If you are taking any prebiotic powders like PHGG, and can tolerate them, you can also add these into your morning smoothies as well, if you are not taking them at night after dinner;
  • Viberi Blackcurrant Powder. This amazing powder from NZ is chock full of valuable antioxidants and valuable polyphenols which feed our beneficial gut flora like Lactobacillus spp., which can help to support mood. 2 flat teaspoons per day (either added to a smoothie or mixed in yoghurt), is all that is needed. Available online via Amazon, or you can try your local healthfood store.
  • Flaxseed oil. This oil can be incorporated into smoothies and can add flavour profile. In addition to flax being a good source of the plant-based omega-3 ALA – please note you need healthy levels of zinc, magnesium, B6, B3 and vitamin C to make the conversion from ALA to EPA and DHA which is the end product that the body can use (fish oil contains EPA and DHA which does not require conversion). You can buy flaxseed oil from most good health food stores but always purchase from the fridge and keep in the fridge.
  • Milks or Mylks. You can rotate different types of “milks” to use in your smoothies, depending on what you tolerate e.g. plant-based mylks such as almond, oat or good quality soy; cow or goat milks depending on what you can tolerate; and also other fluids like coconut water or even plain, filtered water.
  • Yoghurt. If I have suggested that you eat Vaalia or Activia yoghurt, for specific probiotic bacteria as part of your treatment plan, you can also add this to your smoothie as well, or another type of good quality yoghurt, if you are able to tolerate dairy products;

Smoothies are very easy to drink in the morning when you are in the midst of the morning routine or as you are getting yourself ready for work, school or kids ready for childcare/kinder/school etc., even in the car – just start with a 1-2 of times a week and go from there.

I hope this gives you a starting point for incorporating smoothies into your diet! Are you a smoothie drinker?

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