While much of the Generator Method is related to fitness, this month I’d like to discuss the part that relates to nutrition. A dialed-in nutrition plan can be something that is so difficult to nail down and is sometimes difficult to navigate without a nutrition coach or other expert. When I’m feeling confused about what to eat to help fuel my body the best way I can, my go-to is a smoothie — since I know the chances of me screwing it up are far less than with any other meal!
While smoothies may have gotten a bad rap in recent years from added sugars and scoops of ice cream, a smoothie (read on for the recipe) can add a ton of health benefits to your daily routine.
I drink a smoothie every single day. Why? Because like most of you, I’m busy and can’t spend a lot of time cooking, yet I want to make sure I’m eating as healthy as I can. Smoothies are the quickest and easiest way to squeeze in a nutritious, vitamin-packed, healthy meal. Smoothies are also an easy way to add ingredients you otherwise may not think or want to eat, or are easier consumed blended.
Not all smoothies are healthy, but I make sure that mine provide as much nutrition as I can pack into a single serving. Even my family drinks and enjoys them, too! I promise, they are delicious.
Jess’ Smoothie Benefits
Not only is it tasty, but this particular blend will provide natural energy, fight inflammation, boost the immune system and is loaded with antioxidants.
While your social media feeds may be flooded with healthy, creamy looking smoothies, they’ve always had popularity for some solid, justified reasons.
- They are a convenient and delicious way to pack in nutritious vegetables and fruits.
- They provide hydration that we all need.
- They provide tons of fiber to help with gut health and aid in digestion throughout the day.
While some of the components of my smoothies vary from day to day, there are three ingredients I never leave out.
This can be a combo of spinach, kale and mixed greens — really, it’s whatever I have in the house, but leafy greens provide the base for my smoothies. The more the better!
Leafy greens are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with so many nutrients our bodies need:
- Potassium: a very significant body mineral, important to both cellular and electrical function.
- Beta-carotene: gives our skin that healthy glow.
- Folate: helps your body produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
- Magnesium: to help support vascular health.
- Calcium and vitamin K: for optimal bone health.
- Antioxidants and polyphenols: to fight inflammation and support your immune system.
- Chlorophyll: to help cleanse your liver for a natural body detox.
Do you add chia seeds to your smoothies? If not, you definitely should. Chia seeds provide a massive amount of nutrients with very little calories.
A one-ounce serving of chia seeds is high in antioxidants and contains:
- Fiber: 11 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s)
- Calcium: 18% of the RDI (recommended dietary intake)
- Manganese: 30% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 27% of the RDI
- They also contain a decent amount of zinc, vitamin B3 (niacin), potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2.
Finally, similar to the leafy greens, whatever I have on-hand goes into my smoothies, but I always add a handful of these nutritious powerhouse fruits.
In addition to being an excellent source of antioxidants, fiber and folate, berries also provide several other benefits:
- Anthocyanins: preventative and therapeutic properties, such as the ability to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
- Polyphenols: can improve or help treat digestion issues, weight management difficulties, diabetes, neurodegenerative disease and cardiovascular diseases. They help clean out the built-up toxins in the brain that are a contributing factor in Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show that eating at least two servings of berries per week can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease by up to 25%.
- Blueberries are especially great because they can be frozen and still retain all of their nutritional benefits.
Jess’ go-to smoothie recipe:
- 1 banana
- 2-3 cups of leafy greens
- 1-2 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ cup raw carrot
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 cup frozen berries
- ½ cup frozen mix mangos, pineapple, strawberries
- 3 cups water
- Blend and enjoy!
This smoothie is so nutritious — and so delicious! Green smoothies are a great way to increase your fruit and vegetable intake and add some superfoods to your daily diet.