Lifestyle

8 protein-rich smoothie ingredients that help fight inflammation

WHile protein deficiencies are rare, making sure you’re getting enough is (very) important – and no, not just for bodybuilders.

Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutritionist and author of Smoothies & Juices: The Kitchen of Preventive Healing. “It’s also important for providing oxygen to the body and making the enzymes that digest our food.”

But the benefits don’t stop there. Protein can be boosted with anti-inflammatory antioxidants.

“We interact with inflammatory free radicals every day from our lifestyle, environment and daily activities,” says Largeman-Roth. “Even things that are good for us, like exercise, create free radicals. To fight inflammation and the effects of aging, we need to eat foods high in antioxidants every day.”

If that sounds complicated, know it’s not. There are *lots* of great anti-inflammatory, protein-rich ingredients that are not only accessible, but also versatile, affordable, and easy to throw in a smoothie. No protein powder needed.

Here are eight protein-rich smoothie ingredients that will provide key anti-inflammatory benefits for your next smoothie.

8 protein-rich smoothie ingredients that help fight inflammation

1. Chia seeds

“These tiny seeds are prized in the nutrition community for the long-lasting energy they provide, and they’re packed with protein: two tablespoons of chia seeds provide six grams. They are also rich in the anti-inflammatory alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a plant-based form of omega-3,” says Largeman-Roth. “I love Chia seeds from Bob’s Red Mill because they are organic, gluten-free and come in a resealable bag that is super easy to store in the fridge.”

2. Walnuts

“With 4 grams of protein in every quarter cup of walnuts, plus plenty of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, these nuts make a great addition to your smoothie,” says Largeman-Roth. ‘ said Largeman-Roth.

3. Oat milk

Whole-grain oats boast a lot of benefits: They’re rich in fiber and can help lower cholesterol and inflammation in the body. “And today, many people not only eat oats, they drink them as well. While most oat milks only contain one to three grams of protein per eight-ounce serving, Ripple’s Oatmilk + Protein actually provides six grams, making it ideal for post-workout smoothies,” said Largeman. Roth said.

4. Cocoa nibs

Cacao nibs are small dried cocoa beans that are made from chocolate. Like cocoa powder, cocoa nibs have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, according to Largeman-Roth. their chocolate flavor and crispiness. Three tablespoons of cocoa nibs add four grams of protein, along with lots of delicious texture,” she says.

5. Almond Butter

The rich and creamy almond butter adds a delicious flavor to smoothies. “In addition, it provides seven grams of protein in every two tablespoons, and the monounsaturated fat in almonds helps reduce markers of inflammation,” says Largeman-Roth.

6. Spirulina

According to Largeman-Roth, this microalgae gives your smoothie a bright green color, as well as four grams of protein per tablespoon. She also notes that seaweed — including spirulina — has amazing anti-inflammatory benefits.

7. Hemp Seeds

“One and a half tablespoons of hemp seeds will load your smoothie with 5 grams of plant-based protein, and these fresh-tasting seeds also contribute to the anti-inflammatory power of alpha-linolenic acid,” says Largeman-Roth. ‘ said Largeman-Roth.

8. Flaxseeds

Largeman-Roth loves flaxseeds because they contribute 3 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber for every two tablespoons of ground seeds. Plus, they keep your heart healthy by helping to lower cholesterol. “If you want to add the power of flaxseed to your smoothie, it’s better to use ground flaxseed. The whole seed can go through your system without the full benefit,” she added.

But how much protein do we really need? Should we load all these components at once?

To get your daily protein needs, Largeman-Roth recommends taking your weight in pounds and dividing it by 2.2 to get kilograms. So a 150-pound person needs about 68 to 70 grams of protein per day. “This number may be higher if you are extremely active or if you are elderly, as older people do not process protein as efficiently,” she said.

To kick things off, check out Largeman-Roth’s two favorite anti-inflammatory, high-protein smoothie recipes below, both from her latest book, Smoothie Plan.

Strawberry-Chia Smoothie Recipe

Element
3/4 cup oat milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
1 cup frozen strawberries
4 stones

1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth.

Cocoa Blast Smoothie Recipe

Element
1/2 cup cold brew coffee
1/2 cup chocolate oat milk
2 teaspoons cocoa nibs
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/2 banana
1/4 cup ice

1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth.

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