Ten years ago, I never would have imagined that one day I would be adding fats into my diet. It turns out that not all fats are created equal and, in fact, our body needs healthy fats to function properly. Healthy fats can lower bad cholesterol, protect against heart disease, improve brain function and even strengthen hair and nails. Plus, these nutritious fats are packed with a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that benefit the body from the inside out.

One of the easiest ways I can add healthy fats into my family’s diet is through a hearty smoothie. This creamy coconut cashew smoothie is high in healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, which makes it an excellent anti-inflammatory snack.

While cashews are full of essential minerals and vitamins, they are also rich in heart-friendly monounsaturated fatty acids. These essential fatty acids help lower harmful cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol in the blood, which can prevent heart disease and strokes.

It turns out that coconuts, and coconut oil, are the richest sources of saturated fat on the planet. Lauric acid, the healthy saturated fat found in coconuts, can help fight off bacteria, improves cholesterol, and can help with weight loss. By adding chia seeds you’re packing in extra healthy-plant based fats, omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Chia seeds help lower blood pressure and having anti-inflammatory properties.

As a general guideline for consuming healthy fats, you’ll want to consume minimally-processed foods that have multiple benefits to your health. Avocados, coconuts, organic butter and ghee, salmon, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed beef, flax and chia seeds and yogurt are all excellent choices.

Creamy Coconut Cashew Smoothie
Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter or oil
  • 2 bananas
  • 4 dates, soaked for ½ hour in water
  • 1/3 cup cashew butter
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds, soaked in one tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 4-5 ice cubes

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth and creamy.
  2. Top with blackberries, figs, bananas or any fruit of your choice.
  3. Optional; melt 2 teaspoons dark chocolate and drizzle on top.
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About the Author

Elizabeth Jacob

Elizabeth Jacob is a freelance writer who has found a passion for cooking and photographing her way through the kitchen. After her nine-year-old son’s diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease and several struggles with doctors, she decided to fight his battle with dietary changes and clean eating. With her love of good food, learned photography skills and background in creative writing, she documents their journey on her lifestyle blog. You can also follow along on her Instagram accounts @KicknCrohns and @ElizabethMJacob, Facebook and Twitter.