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By Suja Juice

7 surprising healthy smoothie ingredients to try

suja smoothie additionsStarting my day with a smoothie is one of the best morning habits I've ever picked up. Smoothies are an incredible way to sneak in more fruits and veggies than I would normally eat in one sitting. For example, I know I would very rarely eat the handful of spinach I put in my morning smoothie on its own for breakfast. While I love juicing, because my body is able to easily assimilate the nutrients without the fiber, I also love the satiation that comes with a blended drink. They make me feel more full and often keep me satisfied until lunchtime. Another thing I really love about smoothies is that there are innumerable ingredients to try when it comes to making them, most of which you might not have ever considered! Here are a few delicious, nutrient-packed, healthy smoothie ingredients that may surprise you: Avocados: Avocados add a smooth and creamy texture to smoothies. They're a great source of fiber and healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) to keep you fuller longer. I usually put ½ an avo in my blends but start smaller if you aren’t used to the taste! (1) Nut butter: The Justin’s Almond Butter Squeeze Packs are my #1 pick for smoothies, but other nut butters like cashew or walnut butters work amazingly too. They add creaminess, protein and healthy fat to smoothies. (2) Broccoli: I cringed at the mere thought of this when it was first suggested to me, but this fiber-rich vegetable helps keep you full without changing the taste of your favorite smoothie combos. (3) Sweet Potato: Cooked sweet potato naturally sweetens smoothies and adds a healthy dose of beta-carotene, which has been shown to enhance immune, bone and eye health. Simply peel, dice and then steam sweet potatoes until very tender before adding to your blender. (4) Chard: Spinach and kale are usually my go-tos, but chard is a fantastic choice as well. It’s a good source of protein, calcium, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, alkalizing chlorophyll and vitamins A, C, E. (5) Green Tea: Try swapping some of the water in your next smoothie with cooled (and brewed) green tea. It's full of antioxidants, adds subtle flavor and will give you a nice energy boost, great choice if you’re avoiding coffee! (6) Quinoa: Quinoa is a “complete” protein source, meaning that it provides the majority of the essential amino acids our bodies need. Adding cooked quinoa to your smoothie is a way to get a dose of protein without yucky chemical-laden powders! You may need to blend a little longer to achieve the right consistency with this gluten-free grain. (7) Enjoy! Katie SOURCES: 1. Dreher, M. (2013). Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. National Library of Medicine, 738-750. Retrieved from 2. Jacob, Aglaee. "Do Nut Butters Count as Proteins or Fats?" Healthy Eating. Demand Media, 2015. Web. 3. Unknown. "Does Fiber Keep You Fuller Longer?" Healthy Eating. Demand Media, 4 Apr. 2014. Web. 4. Mercola, Joseph. "Sweet Potatoes: A Tasty Treat for Your Health." Mercola Publishing Inc., 2015. Web. 5. Rudrappa, Umesh Rudrappa. "Swiss Chard Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits." Nutrition And Nutrition and You Publishing, 2009. Web. 21 Aug. 2015. 6. Ware, Megan. "Green Tea: Health Benefits and Risks." Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 2015. Web. 7. Bruso, Jessica. "Is Quinoa a Complete Protein Food?" LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 23 June 2015. Web.