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A Guide to Making Superfood Shakes at Home

August 20, 2021

“Superfoods” like berries and leafy greens have been linked to a number of beneficial health outcomes. They get their names from the high content of important nutrients that can reduce the risk of issues such as heart disease and certain cancers, while also helping you stay within calorie limits. [1] Yet, if you’ve ever struggled to get your days’ worth of fruit and vegetable servings in, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: superfood shakes.

Healthy shakes or smoothies can help you meet your daily micronutrient requirements and satisfy other key nutrients, including fiber and protein. [2] Yet, experts warn that store-bought smoothies often have added sugars which can be misleading for those aiming to lose weight and may contribute to health issues like diabetes over time. It’s far better to make your own superfood shakes at home so you can skip added sugars and use frozen fruit. [3] Here’s a quick guide to get you started.

1. Add Your Veggies

While you can add virtually any vegetables to your smoothies, dark leafy greens are popular for their high content of health-boosting phytochemicals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium. Spinach has a mild taste and is therefore an excellent choice. You can also consider adding kale, mixed greens, pumpkin, cucumber, or beets. Aim for one cup of vegetables.

2. Incorporate Fruit

Either a berry blend, blueberries, Acai and goji berries are all ideal for shakes since they are low in sugar but high in antioxidants. You can also add natural sweetness and nutrients with apples, berries, or cherries. Add one cup of fruit in total.

3. Choose Your Liquid

All good shakes start with a liquid base. While water is a great option to consider, you can also choose unsweetened non-dairy, like almond, cashew or hemp milk. Each type of milk has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on your personal dietary or allergy concerns, health goals, nutritional needs or personal taste preferences. For example, unsweetened oat milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk; consisting of 120 calorie (per 8 ounce), 3 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and 16 grams of carbs compared to cow’s milk which has 150 calories per, 8 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, and 12 grams of carbs [4].

It’s important to choose the liquid base that is suitable to your nutritional needs. Use 12 to 18 ounces, or less if you prefer a thicker shake.

4. Select a Protein Powder

Cenegenics Whey Protein

Protein powders can help you build muscle mass, enhance sports performance, and support your weight loss goals.

Here are a few options to choose from:

  • Whey protein: This popular option digests quickly and contains essential amino acids to build and repair muscle after workouts.
  • Pea protein: A hypoallergenic option, pea protein is highly digestible and naturally vegan.
  • Hemp protein: Another vegan option, hemp protein is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. [5]

Vegan options like Hemp, Pea, and Rice, offer a blend of sources to improve the essential amino acid profile.

Regardless of which option you choose, add one to two scoops (depending on your product of choice) or a total of 25 to 50 grams to your shake.

5. Add a Healthy Fat

Healthy Fats

With nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and fibers, healthy fats can enhance the nutritional value of your shake. Consider walnuts, flax, hemp, chia seeds, cashews, almonds, or nut butter. Limit it to one to two thumb-sized portions, as these foods are calorically dense. [6]

6. Build in Some More Flavor

If you feel your shake is still lacking in some way, it probably just needs a little extra flavor. Cinnamon, vanilla extract, coconut, and dark chocolate nibs are all great options to consider. You may also need some ice for better temperature and texture.

7. Use a Strong Blender

Most inexpensive blenders will jam up when you’re using quality ingredients like leafy greens, frozen fruits, and ice cubes. This is because their motors simply don’t have the capacity to break up fibrous or hard foods. If you’re looking to invest in your health, consider a high-power blender with 1,400 watts or more. A high capacity such as 64 ounces will also allow you to batch recipes in advance so you can grab a shake on the go.

No matter which superfoods you put in your shake, you can get an instant, balanced, high-nutrient health boost and a filling snack or meal replacement with these delicious treats.

Allow Cenegenics to help you make the best nutritional choices for your unique needs—schedule a free consultation with our expert medical team now.

Contributor: Rudy Inaba Vice President of Health Performance

Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Vice President of Health Performance. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 19 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.

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