I love smoothies! You probably do too. Some smoothies, however, are just calorie bombs filled with added sugars. I checked out the nutritional contents of several smoothies from some of the most popular outlets and found that some have well over 1,000 calories and more than 100 grams of sugar! And some store-bought smoothies skimp on protein, so your blood sugar is likely to spike then crash, leaving you feeling sluggish, mentally foggy, and hungrier. That’s a bad combo for your brain and body.Some store-bought smoothies skimp on protein, so your blood sugar is likely to spike then crash, leaving you feeling sluggish, mentally foggy, and hungrier. Click To Tweet
Making your own smoothies at home is the best way to ensure you’re getting adequate protein while keeping calories and added sugars in check. As far as ingredients go, think frozen organic berries, a handful of greens, coconut water or unsweetened almond milk, and ice to make it thick. That’s just the beginning, though. If you’re whipping up a smoothie in your own blender, you may as well add a few things that will make it ultra-healthy.
Here are 5 of my favorite health-boosting smoothie ingredients:
1. Plant-based protein powder
Adding protein powders to smoothies is essential. I think of protein like medicine, and you want to have small doses of it throughout the day. Protein helps keep your blood sugar balanced (no rollercoaster ups and downs!), improves satiety (so you don’t feel hungry again 2 hours later), and enhances focus. When it comes to protein powders, look for sugar-free plant-based varieties that include inulin (a type of fiber that is a prebiotic), branched chain amino acids, and enzymes to aid in digestion. Personally, I use OMNI Protein in vanilla or chocolate, a primarily pea protein that also includes chia, quinoa, and rice proteins.
2. Freeze-dried veggies and fruit
Did you know that every serving of vegetables and fruits you eat increases happiness (up to 8 servings a day)? Consuming more veggies and fruits is also linked to better physical health and a reduced risk of dementia. One of the easiest ways to boost your intake is with freeze-dried produce. Giving your smoothie a power boost with a bounty of nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich, fiber-filled vegetables, and fruits is easy with these powders. Adding a scoop that includes foods from a rainbow of colors—greens, blues, reds, purples, and yellows—packs a potent punch. I add a scoop of Neuro Greens Superfood in my smoothies because it’s designed to benefit the brain, immune system, and entire body.
3. Mushroom powder
These days, who doesn’t want to strengthen their immune system? A wealth of research shows that mushrooms, such as lion’s mane and shiitake, enhance immune system function. But that’s not all. Some mushrooms also support acetylcholine circuits, which play a role in memory and focus, while others are anti-inflammatory. That’s why I like to use a scoop of Smart Mushrooms, which includes 6 types of potent mushrooms. I feel great knowing I’m giving my body the nutrients it needs to help fight off viruses and other infections.
4. Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil
Adding healthy fats to your smoothie is another brain health bonus. MCT oil raises ketones, which activates the body’s satiety hormones and helps you feel fuller for longer. Plus, research has found that consuming MCT oils improves cholesterol levels and may provide benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. In my smoothies, I add a splash of Brain MCT Energy to get these healthy fats.
5. Brain and memory boosters
Give your smoothie a massive boost with antioxidants and nutrients that enhance brain connectivity, energy, and protection. If you don’t like taking supplements, putting a spoonful of a powdered nutraceutical blend in your smoothie is a sneaky way to get the vitamins and minerals your brain and body need. I typically add a scoop of BRIGHT MINDS Memory Powder to my smoothies to ramp up the health quotient.
As you can see, it’s so simple to create a smoothie that is delicious and good for you. Try one or all of the ingredients mentioned in this blog to get a quick brain boost. Drink to your health!
If you’re struggling and need professional help, Amen Clinics is here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.