With spring fully in bloom it’s a great time to start adding smoothies and juices back into your diet.
The wonderful thing about smoothies and juices is that you can pretty much add anything you like to them. This makes it really easy to get a health boost from them. Here are ten of the best ingredients to put in smoothies and juices for a supercharged nutrition boost.
Dark, leafy greens
Dark, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard have a ton of health benefits. They’re a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. They also contain a lot of calcium and fibre, plus are invaluable for keeping your iron and potassium levels up. They don’t have strong flavours so you can add a fair amount of them without it affecting the taste. These are a must for every smoothie or juice that I make!
Turmeric is an amazing spice and it’s no wonder that it’s used often in cooking with the positives it boasts. From aching joints to inflammation, turmeric helps with many conditions (I also use it in face masks for clear skin!). It’s perfect for smoothies and juices for its subtle flavour and is especially recommended if suffering from inflammation-related illnesses like arthritis.
LSA is one of my all-time favourite kitchen ingredients. It stands for Linseed (Flaxseed), Sunflower seeds, Almonds, and is basically a homemade protein powder using all three. As well as an extra protein boost, the mixture contains loads of healthy fats which are great for your heart.
To make it, simply add 3 parts linseeds/flaxseeds, two parts sunflower seeds, and 1 part almonds into the food processor. Pulse until a blended powder. It’s a great ingredient to put in smoothies but you can really add it to anything – cakes, bread, porridge, and even pasta bakes!
The humble oat is actually a pretty incredible ingredient. It’s easy to see it as just a base for other recipes but oats are pretty healthy – they contain protein, carbs, and fibre, but are also loaded with various different minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. I always chuck in a handful of oats to any smoothie that I make as they help make it more filling. It’s been said that they can help with weight loss for this reason, as you’ll be less inclined to snack during the day if you’ve filled up on oats for breakfast!
If you’ve been awake this century then there’s no doubt that the previously unheard of chia seeds are now on your radar. Like oats they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, plus they contain an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids (a “good” cholesterol). They’re very low when it comes to calories, meaning that they’re actually one of the best sources of nutrients when you look at how much they contain per calorie. They also help thicken up a smoothie if you prefer them that way.
Peanut butter is my all-time favourite food… I couldn’t live without it. So, it’s no surprise that it’s also one of my favourite ingredients to put in smoothies. Besides having an amazing taste, peanut butter is brilliant for extra protein and healthy fat content, plus it contains a lot of magnesium. To make it even healthier, make it yourself using just peanuts and you won’t have to worry about unnecessary sugar or palm oil. Here’s my super easy one-ingredient recipe for peanut butter!
Matcha is a type of green tea which has numerous benefits – you may have had a matcha latte before, which gives the same energy boost as a regular latte but with less of the jitters and buzz due to a substance it contains that helps induce relaxation. It’s made from high quality tea leaves and can boost your metabolism, plus contains antioxidants and loads of vitamins. It comes in powdered form so really easy to add to both smoothies and juices!
Spirulina is another great ingredient to put in smoothies and juices. Like matcha it’s nutrient-dense, however it is an algae rather than a tea… Don’t let that put you off though!). When you add it to drinks you’ll get a vibrant blue-green colour that is totally Instagrammable (in case you need more motivation to be healthy). Spirulina is particularly good for vegans to aid with iron and selenium levels, however it can benefit anyone as it contains so many good things.
Ginger is not to everyone’s tastes, however it’s really quite a superfood considering its amazing health benefits. It contains high quantities of gingerol, a substance that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory side effects. It’s also the best thing for nausea and morning sickness so a great addition for anyone feeling those. I love adding ginger to juices of the greener variety as it gives a great zing to the flavour.
This might seem slightly alarming but stick with me! Beetroot is actually an amazing ingredient for smoothies and juices due to its subtle flavour and incredible health benefits. It’s rich in nitrates, iron, folate, and betaine, which can help prevent heart issues. There are also studies to suggest that beetroot can lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance. My favourite juice for spring is to combine beetroot with orange which is absolutely gorgeous – don’t forget to add the leaves as they count as a dark, leafy green!
What are your favourite ingredients to put in smoothies and juices for a health boost? Share in the comments below and don’t forget to like and pin! If you’re ready to experiment with your smoothies then check out these amazing recipes for smoothies to cleanse and detox your system.
Hannah is the blogger behind Pages, Places, & Plates, a blog dedicated to reading, eating, and travelling. Her passion is sharing her experiences with others and helping them to make the right decision for their next book, food, or travel venture. She lives in Essex, England, on the Sunshine Coast with her partner and her Kuomba, her African giant mantis.