Today’s health tip comes from my buddy Tom Stockwell, who lives in South Korea. He’s also an accomplished travel blogger, karaoke singer and english teacher.. but he’s mainly just a rather fun and cool guy to know.
Here are his tips on how to make you own super saver smoothies!
5 Super Saver Smoothies
Smoothies are a great way to get a fix of nutrients in a hurry without having to spend too much time slaving over a stove or doing too much preparation. However, a lot of recipes out there call for ingredients that aren’t exactly budget friendly. The likes of acai berries, flaxseed and kale are all well and good, and no doubt brimming with health benefits, but often not accessible to those who are saving the pennies, or don’t have a giant supermarket with a dedicated health food section in close proximity.
The smoothies below have been designed with a budget in mind, using ingredients that are easily available in any supermarket, and are crammed full of vitamins, antioxidants and other glorious health benefits. For those of you who are hitting the gym and pumping muscle, you can add in a cup of chopped almonds to the first four smoothies to increase the protein level as well as give you a dose of healthy fat that your skin and hair are going to love you for.
1. Better Carotene
Ingredients – one banana, one peeled and chopped carrot, mango (either a small, chopped mango, or a handful of frozen mango pieces), small amount of chopped or shredded ginger
Milk or water? – Water
What do you get if you put a banana, a carrot, mango and some ginger into a blender? The Better Carotene smoothie, that’s what. Carrots and mangoes are loaded with body-boosting goodness from the carotene family, which help to give the skin a naturally healthy glow and ups your intake of vitamin A – your liver and small intestine convert the carotenoids to the vitamin for you.
The ginger in this smoothie is a great booster for the immune system and a small amount chopped up gives smoothies a zesty, but not overpowering flavour.
Carrot and mango are both naturally high in carotenoids, and for an extra dose you can try adding papaya, spinach or pumpkin to the mix and see what happens.
2. Very Berry
Ingredients – a healthy handful each of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries
Milk or water? – Either
This super simple smoothie is choc full of vitamin C and antioxidants, with raspberry, blueberry and strawberry in the mix. These three berries are known as super foods supreme. If buying the small boxes every week works out to be a bit too expensive, then consider buying them frozen – just check that the label says natural and doesn’t talk about added syrup, sugar or sweeteners.
The berries’ natural abundance in vitamin C helps protect your body from all kinds of nasties, and can even help in the fight against cardiovascular disease, prenatal problems, and make your skin appear more youthful and fresh.
3. Green Giant
Ingredients – a generous handful of spinach, half an avocado, half a large cucumber (chopped)
Milk or water? – Water
For all you green smoothie lovers out there, this one packs everything in with a punch. Spinach is a natural source of beta carotene, vitamin C and fibre, and can even help with things like lowering blood pressure and protecting our bones due to its huge amount of vitamin K. Avocado is known for being a great source of healthy fat, as well as being a powerhouse in helping build and maintain shiny hair and break-out free skin. The cucumber in this smoothie contains a lot of B vitamins, as well as being a source of natural hydration for the body and a great hangover remedy.
4. Choco Surprise
Ingredients – one banana, a handful of pineapple chunks, two small oranges or satsumas (peeled), a small bar of dark chocolate, a sprinkling of cinnamon
Milk or water? – Milk
If you have a sweet tooth and want to indulge, this is the smoothie for you, and it’s a perfect pick-me-up for the winter months. The dark chocolate in this smoothie helps your heart and brain by lowering blood pressure and encouraging your body to release endorphins. It’s also rich in antioxidants, which can slow down the aging process by fighting against those nasty free radicals. The pineapples and oranges here are a great source of vitamin C, with the banana being naturally high in potassium, and the cinnamon not only gives your smoothie a warm, fuzzy feel, but it can help stabilize blood sugar levels as well as improving your brain function and lowering that bad, bad cholesterol.
5. Brekkie Bonanza
Ingredients – three egg whites, tbsp of peanut butter, a small handful of oats, one banana, two scoops of protein powder, a handful of blueberries, mango and raspberries
Milk or water? – Milk
For those of you who are pumping iron at the gym but get bored of just the same old protein shakes again and again, consider guzzling down this breakfast smoothie about an hour before you hit the weights. The milk, egg whites and peanut butter, in addition to the protein powder, make this a smoothie loaded with that all-important muscle fuelling protein. The oats are slow to digest and release energy, which make them great for endurance and stamina, while the fruit here makes sure you’re getting your carbohydrate fix but at the same time energising yourself with antioxidants and vitamins that make your skin glow and your whole body happy.
About Today’s Guest Writer:
Tom Stockwell is the voice, brains and fingers behind waegook-tom.com, an expat and travel blog currently based in South Korea. When he’s not planning his next big trip or browsing flights and hostels online, Tom can be found devouring plates of delicious Korean food or traumatising his friends through karaoke. Tom will set off on his round-the-world trip in March 2013, and you can keep up with his adventures on Facebook, or by following @waegook_tom on Twitter.