Smoothies are a hot topic, and nearly every gym worth its disinfectant spray has a smoothie bar loaded with options that can get confusing. Elyse Wagner says smoothies shouldn’t be so complicated and don’t require proprietary ingredients: just blend what you like and what your body needs, and you’ll improve your diet.
The Basics of a Perfect Smoothie
“The perfect smoothie is meant to be a meal replacement and is full of whole real foods with loads of rich nutrients, vitamins and minerals,” Wagner explains. “To paint a picture, it would consist of a liquid such as water, coconut milk, or even kombucha (fermented tea and a great source of probiotics), greens from a variety of plants such as baby kale, Swiss chard, or spinach (fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals), berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and/or blackberries (antioxidants), avocado (healthy source of fats), and a lemon for some zest and a healthy dose of vitamin C.”
Wagner says smoothies are so easy and quick, and pack such a nutritional punch, that anyone who is too busy to eat the recommended five servings of veggies a day would do well to add a smoothie into their diet. Here’s a breakdown of what the ultimate smoothie offers in terms of nutrition:
- Coconut milk contains medium chain fatty acids that are easy to break down and promote healing.
- Kombucha is a fermented tea that is full of probiotics, enzymes, and protein to promote gut health.
- Greens serve up a healthy does dose of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and help keep you full longer.
- Berries are loaded with antioxidants and fiber, are low on the glycemic index, and aid blood sugar regulation. They also sweeten the smoothie.
- Avocado is a great source of fiber and healthy fat that keeps you full and makes the smoothie creamy and smooth.
- Lemon juice is full of antioxidants, antibacterial properties, and Vitamin C to boost immune function.
- Other ingredients Wagner suggests are bananas, whole citrus segments, and nut or seed butters such as almond or sunflower seed butter.
While Wagner says a monthly or annual cleanse can be helpful to keep the internal organs detoxified and the gut working smoothly, smoothies are a natural detoxification tool that can be used for daily maintenance. Plus, they’re full of fiber and keep the digestive tract motile, encouraging regular bathroom habits.
For the Kids
Kids enjoy eating (and drinking) what they help create, and if they have some input into what goes into the smoothie, they’ll be invested in the final product and more likely to accept healthier additions like greens. Start out making the kids’ smoothies more fruit-heavy, or choose strong-tasting and colorful fruits like berries and oranges to mask the “green” flavor of spinach or kale.
“Smoothies can be packed full with different whole foods and herbs that provide different types of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber to help grab on to toxins and move them out of the body,” Wagner explains. “In fact, I recommend using different ingredients everyday—kale one day, swiss chard the next…Enjoy, have fun and experiment with different flavors and combinations. You’ll find something you like. Plus, once you start drinking smoothies, you’ll find that its a great way to get extra servings of vegetables and healthy fats.”
Recipe: Rad Lime Colada
Enjoy this piece of paradise while sending yourself on a visual vacation of creamy indulgence from the luxurious texture of coconut milk combined with avocado—and the zesty zing from the lime. Blend together:
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup pineapple, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons coconut flakes
1 small lime, juiced
Loads of love
Elyse Wagner the author of Smoothie Secrets Revealed: A Guide To Enhance Your Health. She is an award-winning food, nutrition and health psychology expert and founder of My Kitchen Shrink, Inc. Wagner is also a Certified Nutritionist and Licensed Mental Health Therapist. She has more than 15 years of experience in holistic nutrition and positive psychology, and has transformed the health of hundreds of people in the U.S., Canada, and the UK.