A meal replacement is a intended as a substitute for solid food meal which has controlled quantities of nutrients and calories. It is a protein-rich, low-calorie and fibre-rich meal that takes only about 2 minutes to prepare and can be eaten on the go. Meal replacement shakes are great for reducing calorie intake because they enhance and delivers the full load of essential nutrients and proteins.
When going to change to meal replacement shakes from ordinary meals there are certain factors we need to take care of. The new meal replacement drink should provide us with all the essential nutrients and proteins that an ordinary meal can provide us with. Replacing meals with meal replacement shakes won’t be much effective if it can’t provide you with all the required nutrients and proteins. When protein is the key ingredient of meal replacement shake, they help to fuel your workout and boost your muscle recovery afterwards.
You can increase the nutrition factor by tossing a few more healthy ingredients into your diet. Given below are seven things you can add to your meal replacement shakes for extra health benefits.
It is a common misconception that adding oats to a health drink can make your drink chalky and disgusting. It is false. Adding oats to your meal replacement shake isn’t too bad, especially if you add frozen fruit or little ice to keep it cold and crisp. Toss in ¼ cup of oats to your shake for getting a wide range of benefits ranging from immunity boost, disease prevention to that longing feeling of fullness. It has also been proven that oats can provide you with protein: carb balance required to provide you with sustained energy. Oats help to make you feel fuller and the natural tendency of grabbing a snack in between meals and so eating junk and fast food will decrease. Thus, adding oats to your meal replacement shake is always a good option.
The change of seasons can put you under constant risk of sickness. This can be prevented or reduced by stacking more antioxidant rich berries in your diet. Such antioxidant-rich berries include strawberries, cherries or blueberries. Since these have high fibre and water content, they can keep you fuller for longer. Berries helps to make you fuller very fast. Its rich water content enables you to stay hydrated throughout the day. Hence starting your day off with a meal replacement drink rich in berries helps you to stay hydrated and full throughout the day. Adding frozen berries can provide that extra punch required for a refreshing kick.
Yogurt is rich in calcium, potassium, zinc, protein, and with vitamins like B12 and B16. Adding yogurt to your meal replacement drink not only gives your drink a creamy texture, it also provides your body with all these essential nutrients and vitamins. Ordinary yogurt provides your body with essential nutrients, but Greek yogurt is rich in proteins and hence adding it your drink helps you feel fuller. It also contains probiotic cultures and also have lower lactose content than other yogurts.
Usually water is used as the sugar-free and fat-free base for meal replacement drinks. But if you wish to have more vitamin D in your diet, then you should go for milk rather than water in your meal replacement drink. Milk is rich in all vitamins and proteins. Hence replacing water with milk is a very good option. High content of vitamin D in milk helps to make your bones stronger, boos up your immunity and keep depression at bay. If you are not such a big milk lover (don’t like the taste of milk), almond, oats, soy, flax or rice milk can be used as base for your meal replacement drinks. They help to make your drink nutritious and low in calories.
To boost metabolism and immune function, adding bananas to your meal replacement drink is a good option. Bananas are a good source of potassium, dietary fibres, vitamin c as well as vitamin b6. Adding frozen bananas to your meal replacement drink helps to make your drink crunchy and crispy. The sweetness of banana helps to increase the overall taste of the meal replacement drink and add flavour to the drink. It also helps to improve the overall texture of the shake. It can provide you with the much-needed refreshing kick you need to start your day on high.
According to some research conducted by WebMD, it has been found that cinnamon tends to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and have other antioxidant benefits. Apart from the health benefits, adding cinnamon to your meal replacement shake can provide the drink with and extra flavour and punch which you may need to provide that extra bit of tastiness to your drink. The extra bit of flavour which adding cinnamon to your drink provides a refreshing kick.
There is common feeling that adding peanut butter to a drink can make it taste bad. But it is not true. Adding peanut butter to your meal replacement shake can help to increase the overall taste of the shake. Apart from adding on taste to the shake, peanut has a lot of nutritional benefits. It is rich in protein, potassium, magnesium and other nutrients. Peanut butter is a good source of essential healthy fat which is very low in calories. Even though a spoon of peanut butter contains almost 188 calories, it is very rich in proteins essential for a meal replacement drink.
These are some of the healthy ingredients you can add to make your meal replacement drink healthier. There are various other ingredients you can add to make your meal replacement shake more healthier and tastier. But always remember that the main motto of a meal replacement drink is to provide all the essential proteins and nutrients that an ordinary meal can provide with lesser calories. It’s fun playing around with meal replacement shake recipes.