Blueberries . . . raspberries . . . melons galore . . .
Peaches . . . plums . . . strawberries and more . . .
Is your farmers' market an overflowing cornucopia? Is your head spinning from the riot of colors spilling out on the tables?
Time to eat fruits like a fanatic! And what better way to enjoy fresh fruit than in a smoothie.
Better yet, in addition to dropping these fruity finds right into your blender, freeze some. You'll have ready-to-use ingredients for future smoothie-making when the growing season is long gone.
But while fresh fruit can be inspiring, smoothies don't have to be all about fruit. In fact, many inspired smoothie creators have magnified fruit's taste and health benefits by adding ingredients you might never imagine should be allowed in a smoothie recipe.
Ready to hit the "Liquify" button on your blender and bring sipping to a whole new level?
Try adding these off-the-beaten-path ingredients to your next smoothie . . .
Along with those luscious fruits, the farmers' market is filled with waves of green. And in those waves you'll find some terrific smoothie nutrition boosters. Spinach and kale are among the best greens to add in since they have a mild flavor. But you don't have to stop with them -try mustard greens, radish greens, collards, chard or even romaine lettuce.
Popeye's power food -is not only high in iron, but also high levels of manganese, magnesium, calcium, potassium,
Kale rivals spinach in its excellent nutrition. Also packed with vitamins A and K, it has more vitamin C than an orange. And for minerals, it's a good source of manganese and copper. A member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, kale also contains special sulfur-based compounds, called glucosinolates. These compounds seem to boost the activity of detoxifying enzymes in your body. They have also been linked to significantly reducing your risk for cancer.
While most people savor the crisp crunch of the radish bulbs, the radish greens are the real nutritional powerhouse. Packed with vitamin C and calcium, radish greens bring a nice sharpness to any smoothie mix. Like
Beet greens are just as good as the root when it comes to nourishing your body. And they may even boost your mood. In addition to Vitamins A, C, and K, beet greens have a rich supply of the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan not only can help you relax and go to sleep, it also is a building block for the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is linked to a feeling of satisfaction and contentment. While the delicious taste of a smoothie in itself can lift your mood, beet greens may actually give you the mood-boosting chemistry you need.
How to prep them? Look for deep green leaves that haven't yellowed. Wash them carefully and drop them in
Need a quick,
Technically avocados are a fruit, too. They grow on big avocado trees like pears -hence their alternate name, Alligator Pears. But even though we usually only associate them with savory foods, they're not just for guacamole! Avocadoes bring a light creaminess to your smoothie along with special fats your body loves.
Avocado contains good-for-you fats like:
Phytosterols like beta-
Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFAs) are only found in ocean
Finally, if you're looking to smoothies to help you trim your waist, avocados are a must-have ingredient. Recent research indicates avocadoes' rich nutrition may help curb cravings and support weight loss. 
Want to get the most from your avocado? Make sure you scrape out the darker flesh near the skin. This is the part of the avocado with the highest concentration of carotenoids.
Much of the smoothie furor has been triggered by an interest in low-fat, highly nutritious foods that can help you lose weight. For this reason, adding heavy cream may seem anathema to good smoothie protocols.
Not necessarily . . . While some research indicates the saturated fats in cream may increase your risk for heart disease, cream also has fats that are undeniably good for you. Cream from pasture-raised animals contains special fats called conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs). And these special CLAs actually help you build lean muscle mass. Found only in products from grass-fed animals, they can help you lose weight and may even help keep your arteries clean.
In addition to CLA's,
Of course, while cream may offer some health benefits, including helping you snack less over the day, keep in mind the concerns raised about saturated fats. By enjoying cream in your smoothies in moderation, you can be sure you're getting the good fats and nutrients without overdoing it on the potentially harmful fats.
In order to enjoy these creamy benefits, get your cream from a farmer who you know pastures her animals or look for grass-fed dairy in the supermarket.
Coconut milk and oil
The coconut offers another way to add healthy creaminess to your smoothie.
Coconuts contain special medium chain fats. Unlike the most common fats on the planet, long chain fats, coconuts' fats are absorbed differently in your body. Instead of being stored, they are used immediately for energy production. Because of this, coconut fats actually speed up your metabolism and help you burn even more fats.
In addition, coconut fats are easy to digest. And as a special bonus, they seem to fight fungal, parasitic and bacterial infections as well.
How to get these special fats? Get them straight as cold-pressed coconut oil. Just add a couple dollops to your blender and enjoy the rich flavor. Or try them combined with coconut water by pouring in some full-fat coconut milk.
Revolutionize Your Smoothie With These Additions!
So don't head out of the farmers' market with just fruits . . . grab some greens as well. And while you're at it, stock up on some creamy
And if these ideas are getting you excited, just wait until next week . . .
Next week we'll be sharing a whole new slew of delicious, nutritious, and somewhat unusual smoothie ingredients.
About Dr. Michael E. Rosenbaum, M.D.
Dr. Michael E. Rosenbaum is a 35-year veteran and widely recognized pioneer in the field of nutritional medicine, alternative
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 Cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention. National Cancer Institute website. Viewed 7/10/14 at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/diet...
 Wien MA et al. Randomized 3x3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults. Nutrition Journal 2013 volume 12: 155
 Whigham LD et al. Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans. Am J Clin Nutr May 2007vol. 85 no. 5 1203-1211