smoothie

Staying healthy is no easy task, and it’s one that tends to get even more difficult over time. As we age our endocrine systems change, with many hormones starting to decline once we reach 27-28 years old. This can result in a slower metabolic rate and less energy.

We may find ourselves needing a number of medications to compensate for these deficits — roughly 29% of Americans are estimated to be on at least five medications. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to promote lifelong health and wellbeing naturally. The best place to start tends to be with our diets. We truly are what we eat, so it’s essential that we nourish ourselves with good, wholesome foods.

One very effective (and tasty) method for getting the fruits and veggies we need is by regularly making smoothies. Now that we have fully entered the hot months of summer, it’s the perfect time to start incorporating some healthy and refreshing smoothies into our diets. Smoothies are an easy way to eat some nutrient-dense foods in a way that’s quick, convenient, and delicious.

Next time you get your blender out, try adding some of the following foods for a nutritional boost.

1. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a great way to take your smoothie game to the next level. For one, they provide a crunch that makes for a more interesting texture than the typical creamy or watery feel we generally associate with smoothie. The best part about chia seeds, though, is their nutritional content.

A one-ounce serving of chia seeds has roughly 20% our recommended daily intake of calcium and 30% of magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. They also contain some potassium, zinc, and vitamins B1, B2, and B3. All that comes in just two tablespoons of chia seeds, which you can effortlessly add to any smoothie. They have a neutral flavor that won’t clash with any ingredients.

2. Goji Berries

Goji berries have been consumed in China for many centuries, and have long been valued for their nutrition and medicinal properties. They also contain many important nutrients, including iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, antioxidants, and all eight essential amino acids.

Goji berries are sweet and tart, perfect to add to a berry smoothie. They tend to be available in dried form, but still blend well.

3. Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are perfect when you want to add some extra protein to your smoothie. They have a comparable protein density to soybeans — for every 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds you add, that’s nearly 10 grams of protein you’re getting. Hemp seeds also have fiber and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Their subtle nutty flavor complements most smoothies, so they’re an easy addition.

Staying healthy doesn’t have to be difficult, and it doesn’t have to involve breaking the bank. After all, we’ve all got bills to pay — the average mortgage alone stands at around $244,000.By shopping for deals, buying in bulk, and making these smoothies at home rather than buying them at a smoothie/juice bar, you can invest in your health while staying financially responsible. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your recipes, and enjoy!