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15 Amazingly Refreshing Smoothie Recipes You Should Try This Summer

15 Amazingly Refreshing Smoothie Recipes You Should Try This Summer

I currently work at a gym café where I blend up healthy smoothies and shakes day in and day out. It’s not uncommon for these gym-goers to slurp down smoothies even in the coldest Minnesota months. For the majority of the population though, smoothies are a yummy treat to drink while lounging on the beach so this is the perfect time to round up some delicious smoothie recipes.

Working in this gym café, I have sampled dozens of smoothie recipes from the simple and sweet strawberry banana to the overly healthy kale and broccoli smoothies. This smoothie expertise serves a good purpose today as I have brought you some healthy yet decadent summer smoothie recipes to try out.

I also realize that “healthy” is one of those terms that is different to each person, so for the purpose in this post, none of the drinks contain ice cream, booze, or excessive added sugars. Many of them involve fruits which are packed with vitamins, nutrients and soluble fiber or leafy green vegetables which you probably already know are good for you since your mom probably insisted, “Eat your vegetables!”

I hope you enjoy drooling over these smoothie recipes as much as I did!

1. Peanut Lover’s Green Smoothie via Fit Foodie Finds

peanut lover's green smoothie via fit foodie finds

    This is genius. What better way to hide spinach in a smoothie than to smother it with peanut-buttery goodness? This smoothie packs healthy fats and healthy, green leafy veggies into one mason jar!

    2. Cake Batter Smoothie via Running with Spoons

    Cake Batter smoothie via running with spoons

      How can you turn down a smoothie that promises to taste like cake batter? The answer is: you can’t.

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      3. Strawberry Banana Pineapple Smoothie via Averie Cooks

      Strawberry Banana Smoothie via Averie Cooks

        This is definitely a summer smoothie recipe made with simple, tropical ingredients. Kick back and sip on this smoothie while pretending you are on a beach.

        4. Blueberry Mango Smoothie via Eat Your Heart Out

        blueberry mango smoothie via Eat Your Heart Out

          Blueberry and mango are flavors that seem as though they wouldn’t go together, but they really do! Try it for yourself.

          5. Very Berry Chocolate Protein Smoothie via Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

          Very Berry Chocolate Protein Smoohie via Lexi's Clean Kitchen

            This smoothie makes me think of chocolate-covered strawberries—a super decadent treat. This smoothie also contains chia seeds, which is something I’ve wanted to try adding to smoothies for the many health benefits.

            6. Apple Pie A-La-Mode via Meals and Moves

            apple pie a la mode smoothie via meals and moves

              This smoothie is as American as apple pie. We all know that apple pie goes together with ice cream like peas and carrots, so why not try to duplicate those flavors in a healthy smoothie?

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              7. Banana Cream Pie Shake via Ari’s Menu

              banana creme pie smoothie via ari's menu

                We have another pie themed drink in the smoothie recipes round-up! This one involves frozen bananas which are so much fun to work with (you can also use a frozen banana to make make-shift ice cream!).

                8. Berry Oatmeal Smoothie via Mollie’s Sprinkles of Life

                berry oatmeal smoothie via mollie's sprinkles of life

                  Another fascinating way of adding nutrition to your smoothies is with oatmeal. You heard me right, oatmeal. You really can blend up anything!

                  9. Mango Strawberry Frozen via The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie

                  Mango Strawberry smoothie

                    Strawberry and mango are the perfect summer flavor combination. This smoothie is super simple and only has three ingredients.

                    10. Watermelon Spritzer via Barefoot Colorado

                    watermelon spritzer

                      Now that I have said strawberries and mangos are the perfect summer flavor combination, I cannot say that watermelon exudes summer, can I? You would agree with me if I did though, right?

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                      11. Beautifying Beet Smoothie via Kiss My Broccoli

                      beet and avocado smoothie

                        I will be honest; I have never tried a beet. They remind me of Dwight, a weird farmer slash office worker from the sitcom, The Office. (Bears. Beets. Battlestar Gallactica.) This particular selection of smoothie recipes makes me want to at least try one blended up, especially if it is going to make me feel beautiful as the title suggests.

                        12. Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie via Peanut Butter and Peppers

                        peanut butter and jelly smoothie

                          Now this is right up my alley. I have peanut butter (and sometimes jelly) toast every single morning. If I could blend it up in a smoothie and drink it while driving to the café, it would probably be a much safer alternative to what actually happens.

                          http://www.peanutbutterandpeppers.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Smoothie-002.jpg

                          http://www.pinterest.com/pin/77053843599690897/

                          13. Protein Packed Blackberry Smoothie via Eating Bird Food

                          Protein Packed Blackberry Smoothie

                            The color of this smoothie is out of this world. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this thus far, but pretty much the only time I eat berries is when they are blended up in a smoothie or in my jelly (see last smoothie) so this would be perfect for me.

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                            14. Green Colada Power Smoothie via Little Blue Boo

                            green colada power smoothie

                              Do you like pina coladas? And getting lost in the rain? Well you will probably enjoy this smoothie as well as the added health benefits. Something interesting the blogger mentioned was adding a scoop of bee pollen for added energy. We use a powder that has bee pollen in it at work and I’ve always thought it a little weird. Whatever works, right?

                              15. Orange Push-Up Smoothie via Averie Cooks

                              Orange Push up smoothie

                                Apparently I like the sounds of smoothie recipes from Averie Cooks. The name of this smoothie literally made me start drooling. Push-ups remind me of summer days as a kid when we would go to a friend’s house whose parents were nice enough to buy this particular sugar-ridden treat. Okay, I do appreciate the fact that I wasn’t pumped full of processed sugar as a kid. This last one does deviate from the “healthy” mold I was trying to achieve for this post, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about this recipe. I’m sure you don’t have to add all the sugar…

                                 

                                Are you ready for some frozen summer smoothies on the beach now? I sure am!

                                Which of these smoothie recipes will you try first?

                                Featured photo credit: Collage Created by Me; all original images and sources found in post via semihealthyblog.com

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                                Amanda DeWitt

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                                12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

                                12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

                                Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                                But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                                I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                                Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

                                1. Nuts

                                The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                                Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                                Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                                Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                                2. Blueberries

                                Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                                When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                                3. Tomatoes

                                Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                                4. Broccoli

                                While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                                Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                                Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                                5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                                Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                                The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                                Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                                6. Soy

                                Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                                Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                                Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                                7. Dark chocolate

                                When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                                Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

                                15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                                8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                                Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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                                B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

                                Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                                Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                                To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                                9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                                Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                                Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                                Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                                10. Gingko biloba

                                This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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                                It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

                                However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                                11. Green and black tea

                                Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                                Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                                Find out more about green tea here:

                                11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                                12. Sage and Rosemary

                                Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                                Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                                When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                Reference

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