Smoothies are convenient, tasty, and healthy if you make them right.
Take out a few ingredients, whip them up in a blender, and you’ve got a quick meal that you can drink on the go.
Another great thing about smoothies is that they’re easy to digest. You can think of blending as pre-digesting your food - breaking it down into mush before you even start to chew it. Studies have shown that blending makes nutrients more easily absorbed by your body [citation].
Finally, smoothies can help you lose weight if you make them correctly.
Out With The Sugar, In With The Nutrition
Smoothies that are packed with leafy greens and healthy, creamy nut butters are the way to go. They still taste good and can help you shed extra pounds because they don’t spike your blood sugar.
Sugary junk food smoothies are out. Healthy, low-sugar nutrient-dense smoothies are in.
No more sugar-packed smoothies that contain only fruit, sweeteners, and dairy.
It’s time for smart smoothies.
1. Kale Banana Smoothie
Adding kale to a fruit smoothie is a great way to get a protein, vitamin, and mineral boost. One vitamin which kale is loaded with, vitamin K, is important for cardiovascular and bone health. Vitamin K helps prevent calcium building up in your arteries (which makes your arteries stiff and less able to pump blood) 1†. It also helps keep calcium in your bones - where it belongs 1†.
Kale could help promote healthy weight loss because it can prevent blood sugar spikes, which increase the fat-building hormone insulin 2†. Here’s a tasty way you can add kale to a fruity smoothie:
- fluid ounces coconut water, chilled
- avocado (peeled and pitted)
- kale leaves or packed frozen kale
- cayenne pepper
Source: Kale Banana Smoothie
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2. Low-Sugar Super Green Smoothie
To lose weight, you’ve got to moderate your sugar consumption. You want to prevent blood sugar spikes and the insulin spikes that follow. The more insulin you produce, the more your body will store fat.
So a key to making effective weight-loss smoothies is to have nearly as many non-sweet ingredients as sweet ingredients. That means that it's important to get plenty of greens and healthy plant fats in the smoothie alongside the fruit.
This recipe gives you plenty of greens to choose from:
- cucumber, roughly chopped
- kale leaves, destemmed
- small banana
- green apple, roughly chopped
- hemp seeds
Source: Vegan Low Sugar Smoothie3. Lean and Green Smoothie
This smoothie is very low sugar. If you want a mild green smoothie, that’s basically a salad in a glass, with a fruit kick to it, this is your thing.
Unsweetened almond milk and avocado supply healthy unsaturated fats so that you can enjoy a creamy treat without any weight gain. Almonds have actually been shown to promote weight loss 3†. You’ll also get a nice dose of protein with this smoothie, as it contains pea protein powder.
The acacia fiber in this recipe does many good things for your body, including balancing blood sugar and feeding the good bacteria in your gut that keeps it healthy†.
- serving organic pea protein
- organic acacia fiber powder
- chopped kale
- green apple
- unsweetened almond milk
Source: Low Sugar Green Smoothie
4. Super Healthy Green Smoothie
Drink the whole garden! This one has gone tons of veggies in it. But don’t worry - it’s still got carrots and orange to sweeten it up. If you drink this, you’ll be drinking an explosion of antioxidants.
This recipe recommends romaine lettuce but choose any lettuce that tickles your fancy. Lettuces give you folate that your body needs to run its metabolism efficiently. Folate is involved in detoxifying your body, repairing DNA, and generating neurotransmitters to help you feel good. And if you’re not eating leafy greens, you might not be getting enough folate.
- romaine lettuce (or other green such as spinach or arugula)
- stalks celery
- ounces water (Depending on how thick you want it)
Source: Super Healthy Green Smoothie
5. Berry Green Smoothie
Although you don’t want to gorge on sugar if you’re trying to lose weight, you can still safely enjoy the sweetness of fruit in moderation. The fiber and colorful antioxidants in fruit help slow down the absorption of the natural sugars in these foods 4†. That way, you won’t get the sugar and insulin spikes that cause more fat to store on your body.
So enjoy the orange and berries in this recipe. The coconut water also gives it an extra but mild boost of sweetness.
- (or unsweetened coconut water)*
- (packed) spinach leaves
- frozen berries (I use a mixture of raspberries, blueberries & blackberries)
- medium orange, peeled, seeded & cut in quarters
- flaxseed meal
- hemp protein powder (or protein powder of your choice)
Source: Berry Green Smoothie