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The healthiest smoothie ingredients for maximum benefit (VIDEO)

Karen Miner is the Food & Home Editor for SheKnows. She is a freelance writer, recipe developer and is also the cook, author and photographer behind the food blog, Tasty Trials, a collection of original recipes and stories. She and her h...

If you're not adding these ingredients to your smoothies, you're doing it wrong

'Tis the season for eating right, making changes to your diet, etc., etc., etc., right? But no matter the time of year, smoothies are here to stay, so you might as well know how to make them for maximum nutritional benefit.

I'm not gonna lie. As I write this, I'm enjoying a cocktail while my husband is upstairs working out. Here I am, touting the benefits of healthy smoothies, while all I really care about is if the ice in my drink is watering things down too much. But... it is the new year, and I did breezily mention something about a detox. Maybe a smoothie would have been the smarter choice?

Well, there's a caveat to that. A smoothie made correctly would be the smarter choice. If you're adding the wrong ingredients to your blender, you might as well join me in my debauchery. Think that flavored yogurt or full-fat anything, be it regular milk or coconut milk, is doing you any favors? Nope.

For the most benefit — from losing fat to increasing energy and even keeping your skin aglow — you need to add these foods to your smoothie. And just so you don't think it's all kale, ginger and whatever other superfood buzzword we're talking about today, I've got a spoiler for you: One of the recommended ingredients is dark chocolate. One (extra-chocolaty) smoothie for me, please.

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