For any of you who follow Thrive by Food on Instagram, you know I’m obsessed with smoothies. I have one for breakfast almost every day of the week — both green smoothies and fruit smoothies. There are a few essential ingredients I add into my smoothies each day for different benefits.
Plant-Based Protein Powder
Most protein powders are either dairy-based or loaded with sugar so I found this gem: Nutiva Organic Plant Protein. A great benefit of this is it really doesn’t add or detract flavor from my smoothies, something I’ve found a lot of other protein powders to do which I didn’t like. It also packs 27g of protein per serving meaning it fills me for 4-5 hours! Highly recommend this one.
Acai is a huge antioxidant and is also packed with omega fats, a bit of protein and fiber. It’s a perfect addition to a smoothie (about 1 tbsp) or even to make an Acai Bowl. I order the Nativas Naturals brand from Amazon.
I love that not only are these a great addition (nutrition AND flavor-wise) to a smoothie, but they’re also great on a salad for lunch. Goji berries have been eaten for generations in Asia in the hope of living longer. Over time, people have used goji berries to try to treat many common health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and eye problems. They’re packed with nutrients like Vitamin A and are absolutely delicious. I usually buy this 1 lb bag from Healthworks on Amazon.
Especially for those of you like me with an inflammatory disease like Ulcerative Colitis, an anti-inflammatory spice like turmeric is so important to incorporate in your daily diet. In India, turmeric has traditionally been used for thousands of years as a remedy for stomach and liver issues due to its supposed antimicrobial property. Turmeric’s active compound curcumin is believed to have a wide range of biological effects including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-tumour, antibacterial, and antiviral activities. I’ve been using 1/8 tsp of turmeric in every smoothie every day from this brand.
Chia seeds are a nutrient-dense superfood rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron. They help to sustain energy levels while keeping you full longer. They also have a very neutral flavor which I like. Having UC, though, I can’t eat seeds whole, so I grind these up into powder in my blender before consuming, and put a heaping spoonful of the powder in each smoothie. I’ve been enjoying this brand, a 1 lb bag that lasts quite awhile.
Flax seeds are high in fiber which is good to keep in your regular diet, in moderation, if you have a gastrointestinal disease like me. They’re also high in omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant benefits. I also need to blend these seeds into powder form before consuming since I cannot eat raw seeds. I usually buy this brand.
Putting it All Together
These are a lot of ingredients so I want to explain some combinations I do. Because each of these are so dense in their nutritional value, you don’t need to add them all in at once! I usually mix and match depending on what type of smoothie I’m making. Here are a few combinations I do that leave me energized for hours:
- Protein Powder, Goji Berries (great in a mango, strawberry or banana-based smoothie)
- Protein Powder, Chia Seeds, Tumeric Powder (great in a green smoothie)
- Protein Powder, Flax Seeds, Tumeric Powder (great in a green smoothie)
- Protein Powder, Acai Powder (gret in a mango, strawberry, or banana-based smoothie)
There are many more combinations you can do, but in essence I recommend using 2-3 of them per smoothie and also base those combinations on how I’m feeling and what I need that day.