7 healthy smoothie recipes for energy throughout the day

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  • Healthy smoothies contain a balanced mix of sugar, protein and fiber.
  • Don’t overload your smoothie with fruit and juice as this could cause blood sugar spikes.
  • Focus on a mix of fruits, vegetables, and a protein source like apples with carrots and Greek yogurt.
  • Check out the Insider Health Reference Library for more advice.

Smoothies can be a quick and easy way to get your daily needs for vegetables, fruits, protein, fiber and many vitamins and minerals.

But not all smoothies are created equal and this is important to know as the global smoothie market reached US$20.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach US$34.2 billion by 2027.

What you put in your smoothie is important because the wrong ingredients can make a smoothie more like a sugary soda than a health drink, says Wendy Lord, a registered nutritionist in private practice.

Below, experts share tips on how to mix up a healthier drink — plus some nutrient-dense smoothie recipes to try at home.

Are smoothies healthy?

Smoothies can be healthy when they have a balanced mix of ingredients.

Lord says that ideally a smoothie should contain:

  • A portion of fruit
  • At least one portion of vegetables
  • A source of protein (Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, silken tofu, etc.)
  • Some healthy fat (avocado, flaxseed, hemp seed, peanut or almond butter, etc.)
  • Optional: complex carbohydrates (oats, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, etc.)

This combination of protein, fat, and fiber makes the smoothie more filling and slows the release of sugar from the fruit into the bloodstream, preventing blood sugar from spiking, Lord says.

This is important because frequent blood sugar spikes and crashes can increase your risk of a number of health problems, including insulin resistance and diabetes.

Smoothies, which consist mostly of juice, syrup, and fruit, aren’t as healthy because they tend to increase calories and spike your blood sugar. Therefore, when preparing or buying a smoothie, try to avoid the following ingredients:

  • Juice. Juice is loaded with sugar and lacks protein or fat for satiety. Instead, opt for a milk alternative like almond milk.
  • Treasure. If you want a thicker consistency, try some yogurt instead.
  • agave syrup. Try a dash of vanilla extract with some cinnamon for an extra flavor boost without the sugar.

The calorie content for a smoothie can vary greatly. According to Cory Ruth, RDN, CEO of The Women’s Dietitian, a homemade smoothie typically falls in the 300-500 calorie range, while store-bought blends can be as high as 800 calories or more.

The best way to ensure your smoothie has maximum nutrients with a reasonable amount of calories and sugar is to make it at home. Below are some nutritionist-approved recipes to get you started.

1. Orange Mango Cream Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled cara cara oranges
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1 cup of ice
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup water or almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon. vanilla extract

Calories: 400-500

Thanks to the oranges, this smoothie is loaded with immune-boosting vitamin C, according to Schlichter, and the protein powder and Greek yogurt provide plenty of protein to keep you fuller longer while helping to maintain and build muscle.

2. Nutty apple smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 small green apple
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 2 TBSP. oats
  • ½ cup of water
  • ⅓ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 heaped tsp. peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup ice cubes

Calories: 280-325

According to Lord, this smoothie is particularly high in fiber at around 8.3 grams thanks to the combination of carrot, oats and apple. High-fiber foods not only help control blood sugar levels, but they also take longer to digest, helping to stave off hunger pangs.

3. Chocolate Covered Raspberry Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen raspberries
  • 2 TBSP. grated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon. cocoa powder
  • Pinch of cinnamon

Calories: 350

Don’t let the delicious taste of this dessert-inspired smoothie fool you: Ruth says it’s packed with healthy ingredients. Raspberries happen to be one of the highest-fiber fruits, while coconut contains healthy fat in the form of medium-chain triglycerides, which have been shown to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and aid in modest weight loss and fat burning.

4. Spicy Kiwi Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 scoops vanilla collagen peptides (a supplement found at most grocery stores)
  • 1 chopped frozen kiwi
  • 1 cup frozen cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon. cashew butter
  • ½ tsp. turmeric

Calories: 350

A cup of cauliflower contains 16.6 micrograms of bone-strengthening vitamin K — 18.4% of the RD for women and 13.8% of the RD for men. Meanwhile, Ruth notes that turmeric has well-studied antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties: a 2017 review found it may even help reduce post-workout muscle soreness, thereby promoting and speeding recovery.

5. Chia Banana Berry Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • ½ banana
  • 1 tablespoon. Chia seeds
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt without fat
  • ½ cup of water
  • Optional: small handful of ice cubes

Calories: 360

Strawberries are a rich source of antioxidants, which promote heart health while reducing inflammation and “bad” LDL cholesterol, Lord says.

Chia seeds contribute to a filling combination of protein and fiber, as well as heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. A 2016 review found that chia seeds contain a variety of compounds that may have anti-aging, anti-cancer, and cardioprotective benefits.

6. 6C smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop collagen protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon. cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp. cinammon
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon. almond butter (or other unsweetened nut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon. MCT oil
  • 1 teaspoon. Moringa Powder
  • 10 drops of liquid monk fruit sweetener
  • ½ cup frozen cauliflower
  • Small greenish banana
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • ½ cup ice cubes

Calories: 325-375

Lauren Slayton, MS, a Registered Dietitian and Founder of Foodtrainers, says this is one of her favorite blends, in part due to the addition of moringa: this powder, derived from the leaves of the moringa tree, is not only high in antioxidants, but can help to lower cholesterol levels. It also acts as a diuretic, Slayton says, meaning it can help relieve gas and bloating.

7. Blueberry Basil Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ banana
  • Big handful of spinach
  • Small handful of fresh basil
  • ¼ – ½ avocado
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • ½ cup milk of your choice

Calories: 450

Meghan Pendleton, a registered nutritionist with a virtual private practice, likes this blend because blueberries are high in polyphenols, compounds known to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, thereby reducing the risk of many chronic diseases such as cancer and


heart disease

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In addition, spinach provides many carotenoids, which are converted into vitamin A, which supports healthy vision and immune function. Avocado is a great source of B vitamins, which help your body make better use of the foods you eat for energy and absorb essential nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Insider snack

Smoothies can definitely be a healthy addition to your diet—as long as they’re made from whole fruits and vegetables and contain a balanced mix of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Fiber is especially important as it helps you avoid blood sugar spikes from the fruit.

A homemade smoothie tends to be much healthier than a store-bought one, which may contain calories from sweetened juices or other added sugars.

For a healthy, filling smoothie, nutritionists recommend adding filling ingredients like Greek yogurt, protein powder, nut butters, and complex carbohydrates.

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