When you’re making smoothies during winter, you probably don’t have the summer goodies like pineapple or fresh berries handy.
But this is actually a good thing!
The seasonal ingredients will have the nutrients and benefits you want to thrive during the colder months.
So I’ve rounded up 5 of the best winter smoothie ingredients that’ll keep you happy and healthy all winter long!
Most people know that citrus contains vitamin C, which is essential for immune function.
But this is only one role that citrus can play in supporting your immune system.
Citrus fruits are packed with antioxidants that offer a variety of benefits, including helping to boost your immune support.
These fruits also contain a decent amount of fibre too.
Fibre supports your gut (where much of the immune system is found), by feeding the good bacteria in there.
Another cool fact for you is citrus fragrance has been found to support the immune system as well as helping to alleviate symptoms of depression.
So consuming citrus could have a similar effect, assuming you don’t have a blocked nose!
Over winter, we tend to crave comfort foods that are high in carbohydrates (and also just eating more in general).
There are many reasons for this, but one theory is around seasonal depression.
Seasonal depression has been linked to low levels of serotonin which is a feel-good brain chemical and if you’re eating carbohydrates, it can stimulate serotonin production.
But we don’t want to binge on chips and lollies for serotonin, because that can have all sorts of negative effects on your body!
That’s where oats should be your carbohydrate of choice.
Oats are packed with fibre, so they give you steady energy throughout your day.
The fibre in oats is fantastic for supporting your gut and this is where the majority of your serotonin is produced.
And because oats are so filling, they can help prevent your weight from creeping up over winter by reducing the volume of food you try to eat.
I think that cocoa is an essential smoothie ingredient for any time of year, honestly.
But it’s great in winter because it makes your smoothie feel like a hot chocolate, except healthier!
Cocoa contains chemicals that support your mood and act as a precursor to feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Plus cocoa could even help protect you from weight gain by keeping you fuller for longer.
And let’s be honest – who doesn’t want to have chocolate every day?
The excuse of it being healthy is a bonus in itself!
So this is a little bit of a cheat ingredient, because it covers so many ingredients.
But spices are my favourite way to make a smoothie winter-friendly and are also warming ingredients, which makes them an ideal smoothie ingredient selection for cold days.
Different spices have so many different benefits.
You can choose from spices such as:
- Turmeric, known for its anti-inflammatory properties
- Ginger, great for any type of pain or inflammation, including sore throats or aching tummies
- Cinnamon, helps to balance blood sugars, keeping your energy steady
- Cardamom, supports lung function, so worth adding to help prevent asthma or respiratory infections!
- Cloves, super anti-microbial and an anti-bacterial
This is just a starting point for spices because there are so many to choose from.
Your favourite spice is bound to have some kind of benefit for you over the wintertime.
So have a play with them and see what you can create!
Green leafy vegetables
Any time of year is a great time of year to eat more greens.
Winter is no exception to this rule! In fact, it’s a better time to eat it, because you probably won’t be chowing down on salads every day.
If you really need more reason, leafy green vegetables are full of antioxidants, much like citrus fruits.
Leafy greens are also full of fibre to help feed your good gut bacteria.
Many green leafy vegetables also contain good amounts of tryptophan, which is a pre-cursor to serotonin.
So next time you are making a winter frozen smoothie, try adding in a handful of one (or more!) of these super greens into your blender.
- Bok choy
- Choy sum
One more secret winter smoothie ingredient
I know I’ve run through 5 of the best winter smoothie ingredients for you and there are so many potential health benefits when you’re adding them to your smoothies.
But there is a 6th ingredient worth a notable mention too if you’re looking for some extra winter smoothie fillers.
A frozen smoothie ingredient list wouldn’t be a list without adding in some of my favourite Super Cubes frozen smoothie cubes.
If you head over to the Super Cubes shopping page you can see the nutritional break down of the cubes which include many of the ingredients listed above.
So why don’t you do what I do.
Remember, preparation is the key to staying healthy leading into and during winter, so make sure you’re thinking about it now before it’s too late!