healthy food

4 Ways to Improve Your Smoothie

Healthy Smoothie

Smoothies are an everyday part of life for most of us, but they can quickly become sugar bombs loaded with empty calories if you’re not careful. Below are our top 4 ways to make sure your smoothie stays a positive part of your diet!

Choose fruit that has a lower sugar content

Fruit is absolutely good for you, but too much of anything can have a negative impact. If you’re gonna load up on fruit, make sure you’re not also loading up on calories. Most berries, such as blackberries, raspberries, and even strawberries, are low in sugar. So are grapefruit, cantaloupe, and papaya, so stick with these smoothie fruit friends.

Avoid store-bought juice

Often the juice we buy in the store is loaded with added sweeteners. Instead, juice your own fruit, or use another liquid. You can try water or coconut water. The liquid from young coconuts is quite sweet. Unsweetened almond milk, flax milk, soy milk, and hemp milk are great nondairy substitutes. Regular milk can work, too. Just be mindful of the additional calories.

Go Green

Green smoothies are all the rage for a reason. A few handfuls of spinach, kale, or Swiss chard make your smoothie look virtuous without negatively impacting the taste. The blended flavor of these greens is very mild and usually masked well by the taste of the fruits you add. Plus, you’re getting the benefit of less sugar and lots of antioxidants, fiber, and other essential nutrients. If you decide to add more greens, tartness from fresh lemon or lime juice can help mask the bitterness without relying on sugar.

Sweeten Wisely

It doesn’t make any sense to choose low-sugar fruits and then dump in spoonfuls of honey or table sugar. Use a very light hand when adding sweeteners, or try using spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, or a dash of vanilla extract. You can also use a high-quality, flavored protein powder.

Healthy Foods You Forgot Were Healthy

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Incredibly healthy foods can often hide from us in plain sight.  The next time you're browsing a menu, single out these healthy foods to add a nutritional boost to your diet.

Oysters

Per calorie, oysters are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, and are particularly high in essential omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, which is notoriously tough to get from food.

Seaweed

Okinawa is a small island in Southern Japan that is home to some of the longest lived people on earth. Sea vegetables are a staple in the traditional Okinawan diet. Seaweed is also a good source of iodine for people who prefer to use high-end sea salts or kosher salt for cooking -- with such high-end salts typically lacking in iodine.  So the good news is that sushi is even better for you than you expected.

Coffee

Many people view their morning brew as a vice and not an integral part of a healthy diet, but in reality coffee can be a healthy beverage. It is one of the best sources of polyphenols and antioxidants in many people’s diets and has been proven to protect against liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and more.  Scientific studies show us that the biggest problem most people have with coffee is confusing the brew itself with the creamy, sugary drinks offered at coffee chains.