10 ways to add protein to your smoothie

without

adding protein powder

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Greek yogurt

Protein Payout: 18-20 g per 6 oz

If you prefer a milkshake consistency to your smoothie, Greek yogurt is your go-to. And when it comes to weight loss, fat burning and fitness fuel, few foods are more powerful. Not to mention, it’s loaded with probiotics that aid in digestion, plus calcium and vitamin D, which are essential for bone health.

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Cashew butter

Protein Payout: 4 g per tablespoon

What’s a smoothie without peanut butter? After all, its creamy, savory flavor adds just enough sin to our weight-loss efforts. And when we feel satisfied, we’re a lot more likely to stay on track. Not sure what jar to pick? Check out these The 36 Top Peanut Butters—Ranked.

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Raw eggs

Protein Payout: 6 g per egg

Eating the full egg—not just the whites—can boost your immunity, reduce the risk for heart disease, increase overall energy, improve the appearance of your skin and hair, protect your vision, nix stress and anxiety, and even help you score those washboard abs. 

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Hemp seeds

Protein Payout: 11 g per 3 tablespoons

Hemp seeds (or hemp hearts) are a beach bod’s BFF. Not only are they bursting with muscle-building amino acids, they contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid that promotes a healthy metabolism and fights inflammation. What’s more? Consuming the seeds regularly can increase skin, hair and nail health. Summer bodies are made in the winter, so start tossing these into your smoothies now!

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Raw oats

Protein Payout 7 g per ½ cup

You know how bomb overnight oats are for your body, schedule and taste buds, but what if you could toss them into a blender and reap the benefits? You can. Quick reminder: Research says replacing just 5 percent of the day's carbs with a source of resistant starch (like raw oats) can boost post-meal fat burn by as much as 30 percent!

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Chia seeds

Protein Payout: 9 g per 3 tbsp

When it comes to potent weight-loss weapons, experts often point to chia seeds. In fact, according to Ilyse Schapiro MS, RD, "chia absorbs water, causing it to grow in our bellies and keeping us full longer. Chia also contains tons of nutrients including calcium, healthy fats, protein, and fiber.”

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Kale

Protein Payout: 4 g per cup

Despite its mildly bitter taste (which can be counteracted with a banana), kalemakes an exceptional addition to any blended beverage. From vitamins A, K, B6, and C to minerals like calcium, manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium, it’s basically your edible multivitamin.

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Spirulina

Protein Payout: 8 g per tablespoon

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that’s typically dried and sold in powdered form. Why we love it? Not only is composed of 60 percent protein, but it’s a complete protein (meaning it contains all nine amino acids). What’s more? It’s packed with vitamin B12, a crucial nutrient for proper nerve function and just 43 calories per serving, making it a no brainer way to boost the protein in your smoothie.

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Almonds

Protein Payout: 6 g per ounce

Almonds contain the amino acid L-arginine, which has been credited with building lean muscle and frying belly flab. And tossing them into your smoothie before or after the gym can fight free-radical damage caused by intense exercise by as much as 43 percent, according to a presentation at the American College of Sports Medicine!

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Cottage Cheese

Protein Payout: 14 g per ½ cup

Cottage cheese hit its heyday a few years back, but we’re still partial to it. Especially considering it contains casein—a protein that takes longer to digest, keeping you full and out of the snack drawer.

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