7 Unexpected Ingredients to Amp Up Your Morning Smoothie

09/07/2012

Bee pollen imageIn the daily battle to pack in enough fruits and vegetables for optimal health, smoothies can be a great option. They also put all your over ripe produce to work before it goes bad. If you're facing a nutrient deficiency, amping up your morning smoothie can also be a great place to add in what you may need. 

Here are seven unexpected ways to boost your morning smoothie:

1. Bee Pollen 

Bee pollen is new to the smoothie scene, but it’s getting rave reviews because it's 25 percent protein. Bee pollen is extremely rich in carotenes, as well as B complex and vitamins C, D, E, and lecithin. If you have allergies, it’s an excellent way to slowly phase them out of your life. 

2. Superfood Refresher

When you're traveling, enjoying a nutrient dense smoothie can be much more trying, that's why I love freeze dried greens like Green Vibrance and Greens Plus. The packets contain all sorts of healthy ingredients including wheat grass, oat grass, kelp powder, spiralina, etc. Take a look at the ingredients and make sure there are no additives and junk that you don't want to be ingesting. 

3. Chia Seeds

Hemp milk photo

Chia seeds are loaded with omega fatty acids as well as fiber, iron, zinc, and protein. Chia seeds were used as an ancient energy enhancing super drink by the Tarahumara Indians, hidden in the rugged valleys of the Sierra Madre Mountains in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Chia seeds also hydrate, staving off the fatigue that goes along with dehydration.

4. Avocado 

Avocados are a nutrient dense food that adds a thick, creamy texture to smoothies. High in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, they're really good for heart health. They're also a great source of vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin C, fiber, and folate. 

5. Maca Powder

Maca powder is really good for the endocrine system, the body's  glandular system, which produces hormones that regulate your body's growth, metabolism, and sexual health. It's also good for stress reduction, stamina, and to combat fatigue.

6. Raw Cocoa Nibs

Cocoa nibs photo

Raw cocoa nibs are not the same as cocoa powder, so ensure you buy the unrefined, raw variety. It's high in iron, magnesium, flavonoids, and antioxidants. Raw cocoa nibs also taste delicious and add complexity and flavor to your morning smoothie. 

7. Hemp Milk

Instead of dairy or even soy milk, why not try hemp milk for a change? It's loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, all 10 essential amino acids, 4 grams of protein, 46 percent RDA of calcium, no cholesterol, potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin D, magnesium, iron, and zinc. For some, hemp is supposedly a bit easier to digest than soy protein because unlike soy, it contains no oligosaccharides, complex sugars that can cause gas.

Credits: iStockphoto/Thinkstock (3) 

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Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on SereneKitchen.com. She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.


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