A smoothie is a wonderful, delicious, filling way to combine a variety of food for maximum nutrition and health benefits. I have created my own delicious and nutritious smoothie that I enjoy daily.
At a minimum, my daily smoothie contains bananas, green, leafy vegetables, carrots, lemon (for digestion and nutrient absorption), and berries. I will vary the produce I use, depending on whatever is in season or on sale, or what I have extras of (like grapes, cherries or nectarines). Additional fruit makes the smoothie sweeter, but I generally keep the serving small to keep my sugar intake minimal. I suggest that if you add new vegetables, do it sparingly and try it once before making a batch. An extra cup of spinach doesn’t seem to change the taste, but warning: bell peppers and alfalfa sprouts will make your smoothies taste like bell peppers and alfalfa sprouts. Not disgusting, but not as smoothie-delicious.
As I shared in my post Eating for Nutrition recently purchased some fortified yeast for Vitamin B12 (typically only found in meat), and I began adding it to my smoothies this week. I found that it made no change to the taste of the smoothies.
I use the “super food” hempseed in my smoothies to provide additional minerals such as iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. It is also rich in Omega-3 (see Benefits of Omega-3).
I also enjoy coconut water in my smoothies for some sweetness via electrolytes (see Benefits of Electrolytes in Water).
Below is a list of the most typical ingredients of my smoothie. There is no need to be precise; every smoothie is a little different, but it’s always delicious and nutritious.
- Banana, 1/2 large
- Strawberries, 2 medium
- Blueberries, 6 medium
- Cucumber (with peel), 1/4 medium
- Carrots, 1/2 medium
- Avocado, 1/2 tbsp
- Kale, 1 cup
- Spinach, 1 cup
- Lemon juice, 1 tbsp
- Hempseed, 1 tbsp
- Nutritional yeast, 1-1/4 tbsp
- Coconut water, 4 oz.
- Ice, 1 cup (or use a 1 cup of water if the ingredients are mostly frozen)
Because I journal what I eat on SparkPeople.com, I’m able to run a report on the nutritional content of my smoothie. It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s close.
Each smoothie contains 289 calories (174 without the nutritional yeast and hempseed) and 10 grams of fiber. I eat an average of a 1200-calorie/day diet, so the smoothie provides an average of 24% of my daily calories and 62% of my daily dietary fiber.
Each smoothie contains the following macro-nutrients:
- 44 grams carbohydrates
- 15 grams protein
- 7 grams fat
I aim for consuming 50% of my calories from carbohydrates, 20% from protein, and 30% from fat. As a vegetarian, it’s most important for me to ensure my protein intake is sufficient. My daily minimum is 50 grams, so this smoothie provides 30% of my minimum protein.
Each smoothie provides the following percentages of the USDA Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) of micro-nutrients:
- 344% Vitamin A*
- 418% Vitamin B6*
- 106% Vitamin B12*
- 201% Vitamin C*
- 6% Vitamin E
- 17% Calcium
- 23% Iron
- 20% Zinc
- ~400% Riboflavin*
- ~500% Thiamin*
- ~300% Niacin*
- ~200% Folate*
- ~ 5% Phosphorus
- ~30% Potassium (based on a recommended 4,200 mg)
- ~12% Magnesium (based a recommended 310-320 mg for women)
* This site has a nice chart of Upper Tolelerance Levels (UL): Vitamins and Minerals: How Much Should You Take?
I have shared with you how this smoothie is NUTRITIOUS, but you’ll have to taste it yourself to verify that it’s DELICIOUS. I certainly think it is! I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below if you are giving the smoothie (or a variation) a try.