Kansas City Chiefs' dietitian Leslie Bonci shared the smoothie recipe she regularly serves the team.
Bonci's "soothie smoothie" contains beets, prunes, cherry juice, protein, and more, she said.
Bonci serves the smoothie in shot glasses to make it more fun, she told Insider.
Leslie Bonci has been the Kansas City Chiefs' dietitian for nine years and has perfected the art of sneaking nutritious foods into the players' diets.
One of her secrets is smoothies that are packed full of vitamins and minerals, easy to drink, and often contain ingredients the team would be reluctant to eat, like beets, she told Insider.
Bonci said she serves the smoothies to the players in shot glasses, "because that's more fun, right?"
"It's like a jello shot," Bonci said. "I try to make it fun and appealing for them, and also palatable and flavorful."
Bonci's staple recipe is what she calls her "soothie smoothie," which she said is particularly important for anyone recovering from injury.
"It's a good way for me to get beets into them because beets certainly have a role to play, with the anthocyanins in them, as an anti-inflammatory," Bonci said.
Anthocyanins are deep red, blue, and purple pigments found in plants. They are a type of flavonoid and have antioxidant properties.
Leslie Bonci's 'soothie smoothie'
Bonci's smoothie contains:
Fresh beets, grated
Tart cherry juice
Whey protein isolate
Bonci uses fresh beets as opposed to cooked or pickled ones because they're sweeter and give a better texture, but it's important to blend them well for a smooth consistency, she said.
The orange zest adds the "wow factor" and flavor, because some people don't like the taste of beets, Bonci said.
Prunes add sweetness, help balance the flavors, and boost bone health, while tart cherry juice and spinach are anti-inflammatory, she said.
Many players would gag if they had to try and eat many of the ingredients separately or would struggle with a whole plate of vegetables, but they can manage a smoothie, Bonci said.
"We're doing all these things that are adding value without them being aware of it," she said.
Read the original article on Insider