Once you get on a smoothie kick, you might wonder how you ever lived without them. Not only are smoothies tasty, easy to make, and filling, but they're also a great way to pack a ton of fruit and veggies into your diet with minimal effort. If you'd like to take your smoothie habit to the next level, try adding one or more of the following ingredients. These smoothie extras pack a nutritional wallop and come with a host of benefits. Best of all, they can all be found easily at your local natural grocery store:
With a mildly nutty flavor, chia seeds complement the flavors of most smoothies without dramatically changing the taste. Chia seeds for sale are very high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which means adding them to your diet can help naturally lower your cholesterol and even improve the way your brain functions. They're also a great source of fiber and protein, helping you better digest your food and also providing you with a bit of extra energy.
Ground flax seed is a great add-on to any smoothie. The taste is very neutral, and most people find they can't taste it at all once it's blended with fruits and veggies. While your taste buds might not know that flax seed's in there, the rest of your body will. Flax seeds are high in fiber, which means it helps keep you regular and can even help promote better metabolism.
Flax seeds are also another great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seed is thought to help keep your cholesterol levels healthy, possibly providing an alternative to cholesterol medication. Be sure to consult your doctor if you plan to use flax seed in this manner.
While the flavor of this fermented black tea beverage is not for everyone, if you do enjoy the taste (or can at least get past it), you're in for a great nutritional deal. Kombucha is considered a great detoxifier, helping your liver and pancreas do a more efficient job of filtering out any "bad guys" in your diet, allowing those critically important organs to work a little less hard while functioning more effectively. Kombucha is also great at preventing or helping soothe joint pain, since it naturally contains glucosamine.
Whether you opt to add fresh pomegranate fruit to your smoothies, or buy the juice pre-bottled and add that, pomegranate has a pleasantly tart taste and is highly nutritious. Like most of the other smoothie ingredients on this list, pomegranates are packed with extra antioxidants, containing even more antioxidants than other health foods like green tea and cranberry juice. In addition, regularly including pomegranate in your diet can help keep your cholesterol in check and improve blood flow.
These tart little berries are not only delicious, they also offer a great overall health boost. Goji berries are full of nutrients and antioxidants, helping to prevent disease and strengthen your immune system. Some preliminary studies even show that goji berries can improve your overall feeling of well-being and help you sleep better.
Wheatgrass juice is a bright green juice that should be made fresh before being added to your smoothies. Wheatgrass is considered a great source of energy, and is also thought to help detoxify the blood. One thing to bear in mind is that many holistic practitioners consider wheatgrass to be something to take here and there on a temporary basis, in order to quickly boost your health especially after an extended illness. It's not advised to incorporate wheatgrass into your diet on an ongoing or permanent basis.
By adding one of these ingredients, your next fruit or green smoothie will be turbo charged with extra health benefits.