Eating all the nutrients you need in a day can be a challenging task. Yet, if you're short on time and want to get pack in as much vitamins and minerals as you can, opt for a healthy smoothie.
Smoothies can instantly provide 20 to 30 grams of protein, depending on what type of protein powder you use. Plus, you can throw in just about anything else to add more nutrients.
If you typically just mix your protein powder with milk and some fruit, you're missing out. While it's still a healthy snack option, you can supercharge it by adding a few other key ingredients.
More: Smoothie Recipes to Try
Add more omega fats to your diet with flaxseeds. Rich in fiber, healthy fats and a small dose of protein, these help you meet your nutritional needs.
Stir in one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds—you'll hardly notice they're there.
More: To Flax or Not Flax
Peanut butter also provides a dose of fiber, as well as protein, making it ideal for those who need to calm hunger quickly.
Peanut butter works great with banana-based smoothies or simply blended with chocolate protein powder and some milk. If you need even more thickness to this smoothie, try adding a half-teaspoon of xanthan gum, which is a great gluten-free and low-carb way to thicken your smoothie and make them taste more like a milkshake.
If you struggle to get your vegetables in, add them to your smoothie. Many people shun the thought of adding greens to a beverage, but you'll hardly notice them in there if you do. The trick is to not add too many.
A little spinach, kale or cucumber will work perfectly. Cucumber works especially well, as it's mostly water, so it's less noticeable in a smoothie.
Oats are another option if you have a particular busy day ahead or have a workout planned in a few hours. Grind these up as much as possible before adding them into the blender to ensure they're well concealed.
They'll provide some complex carbohydrates, which you can use to fuel your workout.
Avocado is rich in healthy fats, so it will help the smoothie combat hunger while providing dietary fiber and vitamin E. Vitamin E is important for antioxidant protection, and it helps strengthen the skin, hair and nails.
A quarter of an avocado should be plenty to reap all the benefits this food has to offer.
The great thing about making a smoothie yourself rather than purchasing one from the local smoothie bar is that you have complete control over the ingredients that get added. This means you can very easily custom tailor them to fit your needs, making sure that you're getting the right amount of calories along with grams of proteins, carbs and healthy fats while avoiding any added sugar.
Stay healthy with our nutrition guide.