Have you heard about different ‘superfoods’ that can be added to smoothies to make them even more healthy?
There’s a long list of them; so many that it’s easy to get overwhelmed in the land of superfoods.
I always recommend to keep things simple, but I can understand the urge to test out something new, especially if there are health benefits attached to it.
To save you the time and energy required to sort through all the superfoods out there, I’ve put together a short list of my favourite smoothie boosters. Check them out and give them a try!
5 Ways to Boost Your Smoothie
1. MACA POWDER
Known for its hormone balancing effects. Maca has been studied to help normalize the symptoms of premenstrual/menstrual symptoms, as well as the symptoms of menopause including hot flashes, night sweats, cramps, fatigue and lethargy. Look for gelatinized maca for easier digestion and absorption. Add 1 tsp.
The ultimate anti-aging smoothie booster! As we age, our bodies’ natural production of collagen starts to slow. Collagen supplementation has proven to be effective in supporting the strength and flexibility of bones, tendons and cartilage, as well as the appearance of skin and nails, and GI tract health. Incorporating a collagen powder into your smoothie is an easy way to support many areas of your health and stay forever young. Learn more about the benefits of Whole Body Collagen. Add 1-2 scoops.
Whole Body Collagen
A unique blend of THREE collagen peptides supported by clinical research showing their efficacy for supporting collagen production, bone strength, joint & gut health, skin elasticity + more.
These little guys are loaded with antioxidants, even more so than tea, wine and blueberries! In addition, cacao nibs are a high source of magnesium, iron and fibre. A great way to add extra nutrition and crunch to your smoothies. Stir in 1 tbsp.
4. SEA SALT
Not only will a high-quality sea salt enhance the flavour of your smoothie, but it will add life-giving nutrients. Sea salt is rich in trace minerals that are hard to obtain from food due to the lack of nutrient-rich soil. Sea salt can help promote vascular health, healthy pH & electrolyte balance, as well as increase energy, regulate sleep and improve symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Look for Pink Himalayan or Celtic. Add a pinch.
Popular for its blood sugar lowering effects, but also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and immunity-boosting abilities. Great way to naturally sweeten your smoothies as well. Opt for Ceylon cinnamon over Cassia (aka “fake”) cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon contains a higher amount of coumarin, a natural plant chemical that can be toxic to the liver and kidneys, and it may also be carcinogenic, in large doses. Add 1/2-1 tsp.
Chocolate Covered Almond Smoothie is rich & creamy–and bursting with rich chocolate and almond flavour! This smoothie is the perfect meal in a cup. It’ll leave you feeling energized, nourished and satisfied.
Do you want to create chocolate flavoured smoothies, like this one, but only have vanilla or unflavoured protein powder?
Here’s a quick tip to help you achieve a rich chocolate flavour from your smoothies when using a vanilla or unflavoured protein powder!
Just add 1-2 teaspoons of cacao powder into your blender along with the other smoothie ingredients. Blend & enjoy! That’s it!! Told ya it was a quick tip.
Chocolate Covered Almond Smoothie is rich & creamy--and bursting with rich chocolate and almond flavour! This smoothie is the perfect meal in a cup. It'll leave you feeling energized, nourished and satisfied. Dairy Free & Paleo.
In this article, you’ll find a list of gut healing smoothie ingredients that you can easily add to any smoothie recipe.
Do you feel like your gut could use a little extra support?
Maybe you’re experiencing symptoms like excess gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, stomach pain or other issues that could be related to your gut?
Gut friendly smoothies are a top priority for me because I truly believe that all health begins in the gut — and by healing and supporting our gut, we can optimize our health and prevent & reverse illnesses.
I come from a long history of IBS, so I’m always experimenting with different ways to support my gut. I’ve discovered that adding certain ingredients into my smoothie is not only an effective way to promote gut health, but it’s super easy too!
The best part is, these foods & supplements will have little impact on the flavour or texture of your smoothies. Feel free to add as many of these ingredients as you’d like — your gut will love you for it!
5 Gut Healing Smoothie Ingredients
1. COLLAGEN POWDER
Collagen is an essential component for healing and sealing the gut. Besides providing the building blocks for new collagen in the body, the amino acids delivered by hydrolyzed collagen support gut health.
For example, glutamate and arginine (and possibly methionine, cysteine and threonine) optimize the immune functions of the intestine. They also help to maintain the integrity, growth and function of the intestine.
The amino acids methionine, threonine, arginine, serine and proline all support intestinal mucosal healing. Glycine, has been shown to reduce inflammation.
Collagen supplementation can help a number of gastrointestinal disorders, such as leaky gut syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Glutamine is the most important and commonly used nutritional substance to repair tissues, particularly high turnover tissue such as the cells of the intestinal lining.
The surface area of your gut is lined with a type of cell known as enterocytes. L-glutamine is considered an essential amino acid because your body uses so much during times of intense physical stress. It is essential for maintaining the health and growth of enterocytes in your gut since it is the preferred fuel of these cells.
Glutamine deficiency can cause severe intestinal degradation and supplementation can enhance intestinal healing and repair.
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics which help restore a healthy gut microbiota and intestinal barrier.
According to Isolauri, Salminen, (from the Nutrition, Allergy, Mucosal Immunology and Intestinal Microbiota Research group), immune regulation in the gut depends on the establishment of the healthy gut bacteria.
The factors that contribute to leaky gut tend to produce inflammation and improper functioning of the mucous layer that protects the cells of the gut from damage. Medical experts suspect that probiotics’ role is to reduce these factors and therefore protect the gut.
Yogurt and kefir can provide probiotics in abundance. However, make sure you’re not struggling with histamine intolerance before increasing your intake of these foods, as fermented foods can exacerbate symptoms. I recommend a good quality unsweetened coconut kefir or yogurt.
Add 1-2 tbsp. to your smoothie. My favourite coconut kefir is from Healing Spirit Nutrition (available at Nature’s Emporium & Ambrosia in Ontario).
Slippery elm is a herb that contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. This mucilage coats and soothes the stomach and intestines, promoting the healing of ulcers and inflamed tissue, and reducing cramping by relaxing the intestines.
Slippery elm is ideal for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticulitis and diarrhea.
Add 1/4 tsp. to your smoothie. Find slippery elm powder here.
5. MARSHMALLOW ROOT POWDER
Marshmallow, like slippery elm, is a herb that contains mucilage, producing a thick sticky substance that coats membranes.
Marshmallow extract also contains flavanoids, which contain anti-inflammatory properties. The flavanoids are able to reduce inflammation while the mucilage holds them in place and prevents further damage.
Marshmallow helps restore integrity of the gut lining making it beneficial for people suffering from leaky gut and other forms of inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Add 1/4 tsp. to your smoothie. Find marshmallow root powder here.
This Eggnog Smoothie is bursting with holiday flavour! It’s creamy & delicious just like eggnog, but without the refined sugar, dairy and other problematic ingredients. Not only is it void of unhealthy ingredients, but it’s packed with healthy ones, like greens, dates, avocado, high-quality protein & more!
How would you like to indulge in holiday flavours like eggnog, candy cane, gingerbread, roasted chestnut and peppermint mocha without worrying about your waistline expanding over the holidays?
Cravings for holiday goodies tend to hit hard given that temptation is all around.
You might be asking – “Jen, how the heck do you stay on track during the holiday season?!”
My approach is simple – I satisfy my cravings instead of attempting to beat them.
The trick here is finding ways to replace unhealthy, sugar-loaded options with healthy alternatives that leave you not only satisfied but healthier (mentally, emotionally and physically).
I’m always experimenting with different recipes that allow me to enjoy delicious and familiar flavours while still staying on track with my health and weight.
My dessert-inspired smoothies have allowed me (and so many others) to enjoy mouthwatering meals that not only leave you feeling satisfied and healthy, but help kick cravings too.
So, if you’re looking for healthy &delicious holiday smoothies like Eggnog, Candy Cane, Gingerbread, Roasted Chestnut, Peppermint Mocha, Ferrero Rocher and more, grab my smoothie e-book HERE!
AND just in case you need some convincing, give my eggnog smoothie a try.
Looking for more delicious & healthy holiday recipes? You’re going to love these …
This Eggnog Smoothie is bursting with holiday flavour! It's creamy & delicious just like eggnog, but without the refined sugar, dairy and other problematic ingredients. Not only is it void of unhealthy ingredients, but it's packed with healthy ones, like greens, dates, avocado, high-quality protein & more!
Seed cycling for hormone balance is simple, easy & natural! This approach can be helpful for menstruating, menopausal and post-menopausal women.
In a perfect world where women are healthy and feel great, the menstrual cycle and hormone production will happen naturally with no help or intervention – and many of the issues listed below would not exist.
Painful or heavy periods
Tender breasts or menstrual headaches
Mood swings or anxiety
Not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep
Post-menopausal hormone symptoms
Breast or ovarian cysts
Breast or ovarian cancer
Unfortunately, in today’s world there are many factors working against healthy female hormones, including:
High stress (leading to excess cortisol production)
Low-quality diet and sleep
Digestive issues and food sensitivities
High caffeine and alcohol consumption
What is seed cycling?
Seed cycling is a systematic way of incorporating seeds into your diet to bring back the important balance of estrogen and progesterone for menstruating, menopausal and post-menopausal women. This simple food-based technique can help to reduce or eliminate many of the hormone related issues that women experience in as little as one or two months.
How seed cycling helped me
An irregular cycle, heavy periods, pimples and debilitating cramps were my “normal” for as long as I can remember …
Prior to 16 years old, my cycle was very unpredictable and my period cramps were debilitating, to the point where I had to call my mom and have her pick me up from school because I was in so much pain. Strong pain meds were the only thing that helped to relieve the pain.
My confidence took a hit when I was 14 and started to experience acne. I visited an acne clinic and tried every lotion and potion to help, but nothing seemed to work, so the clinic recommended that I try Accutane. Although Accutane did get rid of my acne, I later learned about the dangers of this medication and it’s long term side effects.
After finishing a course of Accutane, the clinic then recommended that I start on a birth control pill to prevent my acne from returning. As you can see, these doctors were well trained on how to slap one band-aid on top of another.
Being on the birth control pill did control my acne. It also regulated my cycle and significantly reduced my period cramps. BUT I eventually learned that the birth control pill was a band-aid solution to my problems and I was just masking my messed up hormones with a daily pill.
After 10 years of being on the pill, I made the educated decision to stop. When I stopped the pill, I realized just how messed up my hormones were. My cycle quickly shifted to being irregular (even more so than before the pill) and pimples started to pop up, AGAIN!
At the age of 26, I made some pretty big changes to my diet and lifestyle because of other health challenges I was facing at the time (learn more here). Cleaning up my diet and lifestyle helped to improve my hormones, but I was still missing something.
I didn’t prioritize my hormones at the time mainly because I didn’t realize the importance of them. In addition, my family physician considered my irregular cycle and symptoms as “normal” – and told me that I only need to worry about it if I want to have a baby. Basically, it wasn’t important for me to have healthy hormones and be fertile if I didn’t want kids. Knowing what I know now, this school of thinking is total BS.
A few years later, I came across some great leaders in female health and hormones and discovered seed cycling.
I can honestly say that seed cycling has been a game changer for me – and my hormones. Within one month of seed cycling, my cycle length changed from a wide range of 27-48 days to a consistent 28-31 days (you can see the change in the graph below).
I have to say, even more exciting then a regulated cycle was the change in my skin health. All those annoying pimples that would leave behind months of scarring on my face had all of a sudden stopped popping up. This was a pivotal moment for me – and my self-esteem.
I still experience period cramps, but they’re not disruptive like they use to be; and I now know how to manage my pain/discomfort with more natural approaches. That being said, I’m still working on further fixing my hormones so period cramps become a thing of the past.
How to seed cycle for hormone balance
If you’re menstruating, here’s how to apply seed cycling for hormone balance:
1st day of period – mid-cycle/ovulation: Eat 1-2 tablespoons each of raw, fresh ground flax seeds and pumpkin seeds. These seeds can naturally increase estrogen levels.
Mid-cycle/ovulation – day prior to period: Eat 1-2 tablespoons each of raw, fresh ground sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. These seeds can naturally stimulate progesterone production.
If you’re pre-menopausal or menopausal, start seed cycle at any time and do two weeks of each seed rotation, as shown above.
How I incorporate seed cycling into my life
If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that smoothies are an important part of my life and have played a big role in my health journey. So, to keep things simple I just toss seeds into a blender, along with all other smoothie ingredients, and voila – I have a nutrient-dense, hormone balancing meal in 60 seconds!
Here are some healthy smoothie recipes to get you started (don’t forget to add your seeds!):
Munch on them as a snack (pumpkin & sunflower seeds)
Tips for seed cycling for hormone balance
1. Buy whole, raw seeds and not ground or roasted. The oils inside seeds are very delicate and can oxidize easily, so you should grind your seeds the same day you consume them OR you can grind a batch and store in the freezer for use throughout the week. I also recommend going organic with your seeds if possible.
2. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds can be easily broken down through chewing, so you don’t have to grind these seeds if you’d prefer to chew them. Flax and sesame seeds are smaller, making them difficult to break down through chewing, so you’ll have to grind them before consuming. A coffee grinder works well for this.
3. It’s very important that seeds are thoroughly chewed or ground so they don’t pass through your digestive system completely undigested. Incorporating seeds into smoothies makes seed cycling very easy since the blender will thoroughly grind all seeds.
FemGuard+Balance is a comprehensive blend of vitamins, minerals, and botanical extracts designed to support healthy female hormone levels, both during menstruation and through menopause.
3 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp nutmeg
1 ½ tsp allspice
1 ½ tsp cloves
I recommend buying organic ground spices to make this blend. Mix spices together in a bowl and store in a small glass jar. Feel free to double or triple this recipe so you have plenty of pumpkin pie spice for the season.
Want more delicious & healthy smoothie recipes? You’re going to love these …
Green Pumpkin Pie Smoothie is one of my favourite smoothie recipes during the Autumn. Not only is it nutrient-packed, but it's also loaded with delicious fall flavours! This smoothie will provide you with the right balance of macro-nutrients, including protein, making it a great meal replacement.