Functional Smoothies

Not only do smoothies taste great, they’re also a healthy way to nourish your body. You simply throw in a few of your favourite ingredients and you have a tasty vitamin packed drink. Here, we’ll look at the best ingredients to incorporate into your smoothies, to provide ample fuel for activity and exercise.

 

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Key Ingredients

 

  1. Bananas: I hope you like them! They make a perfect base for smoothies because they are nutritious, filling, add a bit of sweetness and texture.
  2. Yoghurt: Plain Greek is the best and will provide probiotics, calcium and protein. If you are lactose intolerant or vegan, substitute with soy yoghurt. There are an abundance of healthy alternatives available.
  3. Milk: Protein, calcium, fats and vitamin B12. If you can’t drink milk or are vegan, try the nut or soy alternatives. Great options include; almond milk, hazelnut milk, coconut milk and rice milk.
  4. Whey Protein Powder: An ideal way to get a quick punch of protein without having to eat a heavy meal or if you are in hurry with no time to cook. But take great care when choosing and go for low sugar/no additives with no more than 5 ingredients. This is also a great way for our vegan friends to get the protein they need.
  5. Fats: Avocados, nuts and peanut butter are some of the best choices, make great additions to smoothies and fats are good for you in small quantities.
  6. Greens & berries: Anti-oxidant powerhouses, full of vitamins and minerals and phytochemicals – which are naturally occurring compounds thought to be largely responsible for protective health benefits beyond those conferred by their vitamin and mineral contents. Studies show that they may protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes to name but a few. Incorporating greens and berries in smoothies is a very good way to get children to eat fruits and vegetables. Fresh or frozen – both are good.

 

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The best thing about smoothies is how easy they are to prepare. Simply blend the following ingredients for the smoothie you need.

 

 

Breakfast on the run

 

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  • A shot or two of espresso coffee
  • 1 banana
  • 3 or 4 dates (not on my list, but great in this recipe and providing fibre)
  • 1 tablespoon of yoghurt and if the smoothie is too thick, add some milk too
  • Sprinkle with crushed almonds and cinnamon

 

Pre-Sport

 

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Consume between 30 and 60 minutes before you work out.

  • ½ banana
  • ½ avocado
  • A handful of blueberries
  • Almond or rice milk

 

Post-Sport

 

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Consume no later than an hour after physical activity.

  • 1 scoop of whey protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon yoghurt
  • A handful of spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 5 large strawberries
  • Coconut water to dilute to preferred consistency
  • Crushed cashew nuts

 

Article by Josie McKenlay

 

Josie is one of our top teachers. Check out her courses here:

https://www.ofcourse.co.uk/user/josie-mckenlay

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