Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
Smoothies Can Be Nutritious Too!
Smoothies are delicious and convenient to sip on the go. With the seemingly endless ways you can customize smoothies, it's no wonder they're becoming a food trend. But are they as healthy as people seem to think? The answer depends on what goes into your smoothie recipes. Read on to learn more about making healthy smoothies for a post-workout meal, meal replacement, or snack.
Are Smoothies Healthy?
Specific smoothie ingredients determine whether or not a smoothie is healthy. If you mix several sugary fruit juices or add tablespoons of sugar to fresh fruit, your smoothie may be packed with extra calories and are less than ideal for a healthy diet. However, the right smoothie add-ins can set you up for a healthy, sippable meal or snack.
How to Build a Better Smoothie
To make a better, healthier smoothie, follow the following tips:
Fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients but also contains lots of natural sugars. As a result, it's generally best to limit smoothies to 1 cup of fresh fruit. To bring more flavor and nutrients into your smoothies, add vegetables such as spinach, zucchini, cauliflower or kale. Cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric can add more taste to your blended beverages as well.
Choose Whole Fruit and Vegetables Rather Than Juice
Although it may take longer to cut, chop and peel, whole produce is a better choice for smoothies than ready-made juices you buy in a store. Pre-prepared fruit juices often add sugar, giving them more calories and sugar per serving than fresh fruit. Some pre-prepared vegetable juices contain sodium, raising blood pressure and negatively impacting heart health.
Watch for Added Fats
Dairy products are a popular base for smoothies, but whole milk and other milk products may be derived from whole milk, and contain saturated fat, which experts say should be consumed in moderation. Choose low or no-fat dairy products for a healthier smoothie, or you can skip dairy altogether and try almond milk, soy, hemp or coconut water.
Add in Grains, Seeds, and Nuts
Nuts and grains are loaded with nutrients and can make meal replacement smoothies more filling. Add nut butter, chia seeds, flax seeds, oatmeal, and other nutritious items to your smoothie. Just make sure to measure the serving size before you add these ingredients because they will significantly impact the calorie content of your smoothies. Aim to keep smoothie snacks at around 200 calories or less and meal replacement smoothies at 300 to 500 calories for weight management.
Use Nutritional Smoothie Add-Ins
Powdered supplements can increase the nutritional value of your smoothies. Today, many top brands offer powdered supplements designed to be blended with other ingredients to produce smoothies. Choosing one that aligns with your health and wellness goals can pack more nutrients and benefits into every sip
The Best Supplements for Smoothies
You've probably heard about protein powder smoothies. Many people believe that they're the gold standard, but the truth is that they're not always the right choice for everyone at all times. Adding protein powder to a smoothie is a great idea when you want a filling drink that can replace a meal or need extra protein to support muscle mass development.
The best-powdered supplements for smoothies are the ones that best match your dietary needs and health and wellness goals. For example, if you want to make smoothies for healthy skin, collagen and elastin powder like Body Kitchen Collagen + Elastin Powder may be a good solution. Our powder provides two essential proteins for healthy skin: Verisol collagen and Prolastin elastin. Plus, it contains the antioxidant vitamin C needed for collagen synthesis and skin-plumping, hydrating hyaluronic acids. These key ingredients have been shown to enhance skin firmness and elasticity, minimize lines and wrinkles around the eyes and improve skin hydration and volume.
When looking to promote relaxation and ease stress, a powder magnesium supplement like Body Kitchen Unwind may be an ideal addition to your smoothies. Magnesium promotes the proper functioning of the parasympathetic nervous system, your body's natural mechanism for relaxing. By delivering 450 milligrams of pure magnesium per serving, Body Kitchen Unwind aids in restful sleep, helps reduce tension, and supports relaxation.
In closing, there is no one-size-fits-all best choice of smoothie add-ins for everyone. As a result, the best approach is to start with your most significant health and wellness concerns and then plan out your delicious, healthy smoothie recipes accordingly.