When done right, smoothies can be very nutritious and so easy to make! And adding healthy fats supports this. Fats will slow down the movement of your food allowing your body time to thoroughly digest the food and absorb the food more slowly which will prevent an excessive blood sugar spike from all the fruit. Ultimately, it will satisfy hunger and keep you full longer.
Here are a few Add-In Fats that can take your smoothie to the next level!
Avocado – A great source of healthy fats. Some people are worried about saturated fat content but remember, the body needs both unsaturated and saturated fats. Better get it from avocados than processed foods and conventional animal products that are high in inflammatory omega-6 AND promote other inflammatory responses. Avocados are also high in fiber. One cup contains about 10g of fiber, not enough for the day but more than what many Americans consume in a day.
Flax – Flax seeds are pretty brilliant. 2 Tbs will provide over 3g of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats, a fat that many people could find themselves deficient in if they aren’t eating the occasional cold water fish or ARE eating conventional animal products. Best to soak OR grind the seeds in a coffee grinder before throwing in the smoothie. The hard cell wall, the bran, isn’t easily broken down in the gut but when we soak or grind the seeds the insides are much more easily accessible.
Chia – These seeds have an excellent macronutrient ratio for people on a building, therapeutic diet. With all the essential amino acids, great amounts of fiber, and a majority of unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats, this seed could be called a booster food. Just like flax, I like these seeds after they’ve soaked. They absorb water and develop a gel-like consistency. If that’s not your thing, you can try grinding them in a coffee grinder instead. Chia is one of the great calcium sources outside of the dairy industry’s marketing plan.
And yes, these are the same chia seeds that were used in Chia Pets. Turns out they are an excellent source of nutrition in addition to their quality yard decoration uses.
Coconut Manna/Butter – If you like coconut, you’ll probably love coconut manna. It’s very flavorful and adds some healthy fat to your diet. I choose this over coconut oil because the oil will solidify in the cold smoothie and form small (or large) chunks of solid coconut oil which don’t have an ideal texture. You could also add coconut shreds to your smoothie for texture or a bit of coconut milk from a can. You can even make your own coconut butter out of coconut shreds (it might save you money to make your own, but it takes time to make and never tastes as good as store bought coconut manna).
Nut/Seed Butter – Throw in a tablespoon or so of nut butter. This adds excellent flavor, a healthy assortment of fats, and some protein to your smoothies. There are so many kinds with unique flavors. I usually use almond but sunflower butter can taste great and pecan butter can taste like pecan pie! You might even add your own homemade nut butter from sprouted nuts.
- SELFNutritionData. (2014). Seeds, chia seeds, Dried. Retrieved from http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2.
- The World’s Healthiest Foods. (2015). Avocado. Retrieved from http://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5.
- The World’s Healthiest Foods. (2015). Flaxseeds. Retrieved from http://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81