By Kerri-Ann Jennings, July 16, 2012 - 12:07pm
I’m on a big smoothie kick lately. Every morning, I’ve been blending up different variations of frozen fruit and skim milk or yogurt with a handful of walnuts. It’s a refreshing breakfast on hot mornings that also happens to be nutritious.
As a registered dietitian and associate nutrition editor of EatingWell Magazine, I’ve been thinking of ways to kick up the nutritional impact of my new favorite breakfast even more. Here are 6 health-packed ingredients to supercharge your smoothie:
Really, what can green tea not do? The world’s most popular beverage boasts cancer-fighting catechins. Those antioxidants may also help to boost your immunity. One more benefit? It may help to protect your skin from sun damage.
Related: More Drinks for Healthy Skin
Silken tofu is loaded with protein, which can help you feel full longer and curb snack attacks midmorning. If you buy calcium-set tofu, you’ll also get a good dose of calcium.
Recipes to Try: Protein-Packed Breakfast Recipes
Preliminary research suggests pomegranate juice helps relieve sore muscles after exercise (cherry juice is credited with the same effect, so that’s another juice you could try in your smoothie). But that’s not all: the antioxidants in a daily cup of pomegranate juice might help to keep free radicals from oxidizing “bad” LDL cholesterol, suggested a preliminary study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (Oxidized LDL contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries.)
Must-Read: 4 Foods to Boost Your Workout
If you haven’t tried kefir, you should. It’s a drinkable yogurt that’s full of calcium and healthy probiotics that may help give your immune system a little extra edge.
Kombucha is a fermented tea with a fizzy “zip,” offered in flavors from mango to cayenne-watermelon. Newly available in supermarkets, it has probiotics and more antioxidants than other teas.
The health community is buzzing about omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed and flaxmeal (ground from flaxseed) are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3. ALA may help to lower inflammation and increase blood flow in the body, reducing the risk of high blood pressure and blood clots.
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What are your favorite smoothie ingredients? Tell us what you think below.