Making smoothies can be an easy and fast way to provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals. To make, all you need is a blender, yogurt or milk, water, and fresh fruits and veggies. Making your own smoothie gives you total control over the sugar and fat content, so you can ensure you’re not consuming too many calories in one shot and that you enjoy all the benefits of drinking healthy smoothies that are loaded with the right fruits and veggies.
Drinking an all-natural smoothie is the way to go if you’re trying to make healthier food choices. These drinks are easy to make, are very nutrient-dense, and can give you a natural energy boost that will help you get through the day. This guide will cover many of the benefits these drinks have to offer and important tips on what to do and what not to do to when you make one.
Essential Nutrients Recipes
When you make your own smoothie, you can get really creative in the kitchen and include fruits and veggies that complement each other. Citrus fruits, such as lemons, tangerines, oranges, and grapefruits, are a smoothie favorite and add the right amount of sugar, not to mention they’re loaded with vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to boost the immune system, while also creating collagen. Citrus fruits also contain potassium, which helps to maintain blood pressure and supports heart function. Folate is also found in citrus fruits and it promotes healthy cell development.
There are many high calcium veggies that are used in smoothies these days. Green smoothies are more popular than ever before and usually contain kale, spinach, broccoli, celery, and wheatgrass. Essentially, you can consume a significant amount of your daily recommended vitamins and minerals in just one smoothie, which is a big plus for any person who’s guilty of eating a diet that’s normally high in processed foods.
Smoothies are also an excellent source of fiber and can easily help you reach your daily recommended intake, which is thirty-eight grams for men and twenty-five grams for women. Just one serving of fruit contains approximately four grams of fiber, with apples providing the highest concentration with seven grams of fiber per serving. The soluble fiber that’s found in fruits and veggies will aid in digestion and can also lower cholesterol and blood sugar.
There are so many smoothie recipes for weight loss online that you’re probably excited to get started on your new diet, especially since you’ve learned that drinking smoothies can help you lose up to three pounds a week.
If done right, you can use a smoothie as a meal replacement option. This allows you to carefully control your calories per meal while cutting out trans fat, and all the calories you’ll commonly find in processed foods and fast food. Many people will turn to smoothies when they’re trying to lose weight since they’re an easy, affordable alternative to fancy pre-packaged diet shakes. Not only do smoothies taste great, but if they have a high fiber content, they can leave you feeling full between meals, so you’ll be less likely to cheat or snack. Many fruits and veggies can also help to boost your metabolism and have a low sugar content. The fact that they’re easy to make and you can pour a smoothie into a to-go cup and take it to the office, is a huge plus if you’re looking for a healthy alternative during the workweek.
A Healthier Diet
If you have trouble throwing together a healthy meal, or you don’t care for certain fruits and veggies, making a smoothie is a great way to incorporate healthy produce into your diet. The best thing about smoothies is that they allow you to easily add a cup of kale, without really tasting it. This is because the sweetness from the fruit helps to disguise the taste, while you still enjoy the nutritional benefits of leafy green veggies.
A Low-Sugar Treat for the Kids
There’s no question that most kids are incredibly picky when it comes to eating right. If you’re trying to get the kids to eat more fruits and veggies, while cutting back on cakes, candy, cookies, and other high sugar sources, then you’ll find that most kids actually love homemade smoothies. You can also try making smoothie bowls, which have a consistency that’s similar to ice cream.
Immune Boosting Power
As I mentioned earlier, you can easily add fruits that are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, to your favorite smoothie. But with the right mixture of fruits and veggies, you can create a smoothie that’s specifically designed to boost your immune system, which will be a huge help during the cold and flu season. Add important superfoods to your smoothie, such as citrus fruits, pomegranates, spinach, papaya and more. These fruits and veggies are very nutrient-dense, so you can easily increase your antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral, content, for a smoothie that’s packing some serious immune-strengthening power.
Save Time with Meal Prep
Are you on a strict diet, or you’re looking for a healthy alternative for lunch when you’re at the office? If you’re not the best cook, or you don’t want to deal with cooking a huge batch of food once or twice a week for your meal prep, make a pitcher of smoothies instead. This will allow you to enjoy a smoothie before work and you can take one with you, for your noon meal. Making a smoothie is fast and easy, so you don’t have to make it days ahead of time. You can even freeze any leftovers and simply defrost it the night before. This is the perfect solution for anyone tired of eating fast food, people who don’t have time to prepare lunch at home before work or anyone who wants to make healthier food choices.
Plant-Based Collagen Protein
There are many types of plant-based protein powders on the market these days, so you’ll find no shortage of options to choose from if you want to add some serious protein power to your smoothie. If you’re vegan, finding meal options when you’re at work or traveling can be very difficult. Make your own protein-packed smoothie at home and take it with you to the office or for a protein-rich drink right after a workout.
The Right Way to Make a Smoothie
If you’ve decided to make healthier food choices, you’re trying to lose weight, or you’re looking for the perfect meal replacement or after workout snack, there are definitely some smoothie making dos and don’ts that you should pay attention to. While it’s true that smoothies contain fruits and veggies, it’s actually pretty easy to create a smoothie that’s high in calories and sugar, so you may be ruining your weight loss efforts without even knowing it. Below, you’ll find some great tips that will help you to enjoy all the benefits that these versatile drinks have to offer.
Measure Out the Ingredients
There are many different types of fruits and veggies to choose from, and hundreds of smoothie recipes online that you can try. But if you’re not careful, you can easily turn a healthy drink into one that’s high in sugar and calories. Avocado smoothies are a favorite, but if you use too much avocado, this healthy fat can actually pack on the pounds. So, before you hit the blend button, make sure you carefully measure out the ingredients. Don’t just toss everything into a blender. Carefully follow a recipe’s directions, since most will include important nutritional information such as the serving size, calorie content, fat content, and sugar content.
Avoid Using Fruit Juice
In most cases, commercial fruit juice is very high in sugar and lacks the nutrient content that you’ll get from fresh fruit. Avoid using fruit juice as the base and instead opt for water or almond milk, for a low calorie, and low fat and sugar option. If you want to add some protein to your smoothie, you can use a plant-based powder or use plain Greek yogurt.
Don’t Use too Much Kale
If you’re not usually big on green leafy veggies, then don’t overdo it in the beginning and add kale. This veggie is very bitter and may cause you to add too much fruit in order to mask the bitter taste. Instead, start off slow and use a leafy green that has a much milder flavor, such as spinach. Masking the flavor of spinach is easy and it’s the perfect leafy green for the smoothie newbie.
Don’t Go Overboard with Protein Powder
Did you know that if you eat more protein than your body needs it gets stored as fat? Unless you work out, avoiding going overboard with the protein powder and instead try flaxseed or nut butters. Just one spoon of almond butter can provide the perfect serving size of protein that your body needs.
Use Smoothies in Place of Processed Sweets
If you’re on a diet and the sugar cravings are hitting you hard, then making a smoothie can help to satisfy your sweet tooth, so you don’t crack and head for the ice cream. Avoid adding any sugar-loaded toppings or ingredients to your smoothie, such as chocolate chips or syrups. Keep it healthy and use only fresh, all-natural ingredients. A few dates or berries can naturally sweeten your smoothie and can curb those cravings.
The Right Blender
If you’re dead set on sticking with green drinks, then make sure you use the best blender for green smoothies. Low-priced blenders will struggle to shred and blend leafy greens, which can cause the motor to overheat. The blender you use should be powerful and have a reputation for easily making short work of leafy greens and other types of tough veggies. Invest in a good blender, one that’s designed for smoothies and able to withstand heavy-duty use.
Avoid Drinking Smoothies Like a Normal Beverage
Smoothies are packed with nutrients, but they’re also loaded with calories. If you’re using a smoothie as a meal replacement, don’t go overboard with the serving size and avoid making a smoothie every time you start to feel hungry. It’s easy to overdo it with calories when you make a smoothie since you’re basically drinking your calories instead of eating them. If you’re making a smoothie for a late-night snack, cut the portion size in half, and add fruit that has a lower sugar content.
Are Smoothies Really that Healthy?
If done right, yes. If you have trouble eating fruits and veggies, then making a green smoothie is definitely a great way to incorporate more greens into your diet. Using more greens will ensure you’re getting a huge dose of fiber, and well as vitamins K and A. But you also want to be mindful of when you drink them and the portion size. If you’re making a smoothie for a snack, then try to keep it under two hundred calories. For a meal replacement, keep the smoothie at three hundred and fifty calories or less, if you’re trying to lose weight. It’s pretty easy to make a smoothie that’s five hundred or six hundred calories, so if you’re not careful, you won’t see any weight loss results. Following the tips I’ve included in this guide will help you create healthy meals while avoiding making smoothies that can sabotage your weight loss efforts.
Whether you want to incorporate more fresh fruits and veggies into your diet, you want an easier way to meal prep during the week, you’re trying to shed some unwanted pounds, the benefits of drinking healthy smoothies seems almost endless. The fact that they’re so easy to make and are nutrient-dense also makes them an excellent choice for the busy family that’s on the go. These very versatile drinks can easily be customized to suit your weight loss goals, meet your daily nutrition requirements, and can give you that natural energy boost you need to get through a long workday.