Smoothies have been universally loved for decades. They’re easy to make, convenient for when you’re on the go, and taste delicious. So, it’s no surprise that many of us swear by the benefits that smoothies offer.
Though, it can be too easy to stick to one smoothie recipe. Once you find a flavor you like, you may be less inclined to experiment with different ingredients. This also means that you miss out on the health benefits different smoothies have to offer.
While smoothies are great for their simplicity, they’re also great for experimentation. To help you get out of your comfort zone, here are five healthy additions for vegan smoothies and why you should try them out.
Oats Are Rich in Anti-Inflammatory Antioxidants
We all know that oatmeal is often named as one of the healthiest breakfast options. Yet how often do you add a scoop of oatmeal to your daily smoothies?
The truth is that oats tend to go overlooked when it comes to smoothie ingredients. Yet, they’re actually very beneficial, and their high-quality nutrition links to many health benefits.
Oats are rich in antioxidants which protect your cells from damage caused by harmful oxidation. These antioxidants can decrease the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease. Oats also contain a special group of antioxidants which may help to lower blood pressure and reduce body inflammation.
The reduction of inflammation can help reduce recovery time after strenuous exercise and can help fight fatigue.
If your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, or maintain your health, add some oatmeal to your smoothie.
Blend together half a cup of frozen blueberries, half a banana, half a cup of oats, and half a cup of almond milk. The oats will also help add more volume to the smoothie.
Seed Protein Promotes Muscle Growth and Workout Recovery
Protein powders are excellent dietary supplements, and they’re also ideal for adding into your smoothies. Since they’re versatile and easy to use, they make a good base for a healthy and nutritious smoothie.
However, few people are familiar with seed protein powder. Compared to whey or pea protein, seed protein does not get as much attention. Still, seed protein powder is a great plant-based protein option that is packed full of nutrition.
Seed protein is derived from nutrient rich seeds, such as pumpkin and chia seeds. Since these seeds already offer many health benefits, the result is a protein powder that is full of macro and micronutrients.
More specifically, chia seeds are high in protein to support muscle growth and contain antioxidants which may lower the risk of various diseases. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, which is essential for protein synthesis and inflammation reduction during exercise recovery.
If you’re trying to achieve a fitness goal or you want to support your health, a premium seed protein powder is a must-have.
Blend together half a cup of almond milk, half a cup of strawberries, half a cup of blueberries, ice, and two scoops of Naked Seed.
Nut Butters Can Help Promote Heart and Muscle Health
Nut butters are common smoothie additions for a good reason. Nut butters are nutrient-dense, but many people avoid them since they tend to be high in calories and fat.
It’s important to know that most of the fat in nut butter is made up of healthy monounsaturated fats. Most of us are led to believe that we should avoid all foods that contain fat. This isn’t true – and it’s important to learn the difference between healthy fat (monounsaturated) and unhealthy fat (saturated).
Monounsaturated fats, found in nut butters, are heart healthy. These fats support the health of the cardiovascular system and can also reduce the risk of heart disease.
Plus, nut butters are high in micronutrients, such as magnesium. Magnesium helps prevent muscle cramps and fatigue, which are common during post-workout recovery. One serving of nut butter can aid energy production, muscle function, and protect the nervous system.
Blend together half a cup of almond milk, one banana, 2 tablespoons of nut butter and ice. Experiment by adding extras such as oats or flax seeds.
Spices May Help Reduce Risk of Disease
We don’t usually associate spices and smoothies with each other but combining the two actually works well. Spices are used in many different food dishes, but certain spices are often praised for their health benefits.
Recently, using spices in smoothie recipes has become commonplace, and understandably so. Spiced smoothies are both delicious and healthful. In particular, cinnamon and cardamom have become popular smoothie additions.
Cardamom may help protect the body from chronic diseases, whereas cinnamon may decrease the risk of heart and neurodegenerative diseases. Both spices are also high in antioxidants which help to maintain the overall health of your body.
Plus, cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties which can speed up the process of repairing tissue damage. This can also result in quicker workout recoveries.
Blend together half a cup of almond milk, one chopped apple, one frozen banana, two tablespoons of oats and one teaspoon of cinnamon.
Matcha Powder Provides A Natural Energy Boost
If you’ve noticed that your smoothie isn’t giving you the energy you need for your day or for your workout, try adding in a tablespoon of matcha powder.
While matcha is full of antioxidants and can support heart health, it also offers many energy boosting properties. Matcha powder contains a high level of L-theanine, an amino acid known for reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
However, the caffeine and L-theanine in matcha powder works together to increase concentration and provide sustained energy. Studies have also shown that matcha can improve cognitive function and enhance alertness without causing a crash in energy levels.
Blend together a cup of almond milk, cup of spinach, cup of kale, one banana, and one teaspoon of matcha green tea powder.