By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND

Looking for a quick, simple, healthy, delicious breakfast solution for the whole family? A breakfast smoothie is a great way to boost breakfast nutrition and get the family off to a great start! Understand the nutritional benefits and enjoy!

Place the following ingredients into your blender or Vitamix: Blend for about 1 minute. Serves 3-4 people.

– 1 cup of Berries: Berries are rich in vitamin c (about 20-30mg per cup). Minerals are also fairly high particularly potassium, calcium, magnesium and some iron. Berries are lower glycemic index (which means less sugar for the system).

– 1/2 Avocado: More like a nut than a fruit, avocados are high in calories (about 300mg) and fat (30g) per whole avocado. However, it is jam packed with basic nutrients that improve health and balance appetite. The fats come from the mono saturated Omega 9 oleic acid which is associated with reduced cardiovascular risk. As well, avocado contains phytosterols including beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigma sterol which help both cardiovascular health and weight maintenance. From a nutrient perspective avocados contain good levels of folic acid, niacin, B5, B6, Potassium, Copper, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K.

– 1 cup of Spinach: 1 cup of spinach contains about 2 mg of iron. It is a good source of fibre. It contains high levels of Vitamin A, B Vitamins, and Vitamin C. Like many greens, it is rich in minerals.

– 1 cup of Kefir Yogurt: More like a drink than a yogurt, kefir is slightly tart and the amount may need to be adjusted based on taste preferences. Kefir is a decent source of protein and essential amino acids containing about 10g per cup. It is also rich in calcium, potassium and vitamin A. Most importantly, it is an excellent source of healthy bacteria and yeast that promote gut health.

– 1 cup of Protein Powder: Organic Whole Whey provides a complete protein source with about 23 grams of protein depending on the brand. Brown rice protein is an alternative source (for those with dairy sensitivity) with about 16g per scoop depending on the brand. Protein helps to control cravings, supports metabolism, provides the building blocks for the immune system and is helpful to balance mood and concentration.

– 2 tsp of Fish Oil: There are many type of fish oils. A liquid EPA:DHA fish oil at a ratio of 3:2 is a good place to start. Full of Omega 3’s, fish oils are anti-inflammatory in general. However the benefits are far reaching from health of skin, hair & nails to balancing mood and improving concentration.

– 2 scoops or 1/2tsp of Probiotics: Supporting the gut = supporting all aspects of health. Digestion, elimination, immunity and brain function. The benefits are endless. It can be hard to establish adequate gut bacteria with todays North American dietary habits and medical practices. Using both a probiotic and kefir will help to maintain or reestablish gut flora. However, if you feel gassy, cut out the probiotic and keep the food-sourced kefir.

–  1 tbsp Crushed Flax Seed (or an alternate fibre source): Crushed flax contains soluble and insoluble fibre that provides a healing lining for the gut, roughage for regular bowel movements and food for gut bacteria that promotes healthy gut flora. Fibre is also satiating and is associated long-term with lower risks for metabolic and inflammatory diseases.

– 2 cups of Water, Almond Milk or Rice Milk: All of these help the texture of your smoothie while the ‘milk’ alternatives help the taste.

TIP: Need more sweetness? Add a little natural juice or sub out the avocado for a banana.