Discover What Ingredients To Use And Which Ones Not To Use For Healthy Smoothies
Do you know what it takes to make healthy smoothies? Just combining fruits and veggies in a blender may not be the right answer. It is true that fresh ingredients are the foundation of healthy eating.
However, smoothies bought from the supermarket, restaurants and fast food places may not be healthy for you.
The best healthy smoothies are those you make at home. Only this way, you can know exactly what goes in each smoothie you drink. Did you know that smoothies can still be calorie-filled bombs?
If sugar is added, as well as saturated fat, they become as unhealthy as junk food is.
You don’t have to depend on such smoothies that are dangerous for your health. You can make your own at home.
Furthermore, if you don’t know where to start, this guide will help you. By reading this, you will learn what ingredients to use, and what not to use.
Your smoothies will be perfect. They will be the healthiest smoothies you can drink. Their combination of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants, will make them health-bombs, not calorie-bombs.
Are you ready to start?
Best High-Protein Smoothie Ingredients
If you plan to consume more smoothies for health, you should start by learning a few things.
Protein is an essential nutrient for the human body. It gives you energy and a good start. Besides, it helps with building everything inside the body, down to the smallest cell.
But what ways are available for introducing more protein in your diet? Eating too much meat can have severe consequences for your health. You surely don’t want that.
That is why we want to introduce you to the world of high-protein smoothie ingredients.
Your smoothies can be the healthiest, but if they don’t pack enough protein, they may not be so good.
So, here are some ingredients for healthy smoothies that pack a load of protein. From now on, you will always start your day on the right foot.
Non-Fat and Low-Fat Yogurt
You may not know it, but non-fat and low-fat yogurt varieties have the same amount of protein as regular yogurt. That may come as a surprise, but it is a known fact.
Therefore, you can rest assured that you won’t deprive your body of the much-needed protein. Yet, you will consume fewer calories, and you don’t have to worry about fat, either.
Non-Fat and Low-Fat Milk
Can non-fat milk be still a source of protein? The healthiest smoothies often include milk in their recipe. But whole milk can be rich in fat. As a result, you will want to skip it and replace it with skim milk.
You will be happy to know that skim milk has 40% fewer calories compared to whole milk. The content of protein remains the same.
Non-Fat and Low-Fat Kefir
Another great ingredient for ensuring enough protein in your smoothies is kefir. We insist on getting the non-fat or low-fat variety. While it has a lower or non-existent content of fat, it preserves the necessary protein.
The tangy flavor will make your smoothies for health tastier, and you’ll find it easy to include more of them in your diet.
If you’re thinking about boosting the amount of protein in your healthy smoothies, go for tofu. With its high content of unsaturated fats – which are the good ones – this ingredient is a must have.
Furthermore, it contains plenty of protein, so a tofu smoothie should be your drink to go after a workout. You will build muscles faster. Even more, your body will recover easily from training.
Now, this is a tricky one. We all know how rich in fat peanut butter can be. Nonetheless, this ingredient can be part of the best healthy smoothies, without a problem. It is known to decrease appetite, which is essential if you try to lose weight.
And it’s a fantastic source of protein. Just two tablespoons of it contain almost 8 grams of protein. Mix it with milk for flavor, and enjoy a tasty smoothie, packed to the brim with healthy stuff.
If you want to go for a healthier alternative to peanut butter, choose almond butter. This one may not have just as much protein, but it has plenty of fiber, essential for good health.
Moreover, it has more vitamins and minerals, which is another reason to prefer it.
As far as fat content is concerned, almond butter scores better, again. It has 25% more monounsaturated fat than peanut butter.
Therefore, it can contribute to reducing heart disease. It also promotes the regulation of sugar levels in your blood.
For someone who follows a vegan diet, the best smoothies are those made with 100% vegan ingredients. This is where you would like to replace regular milk with vegan varieties.
In regards to protein content, soy(a) milk will satisfy this need. Although not as rich in protein as regular milk, it still contains plenty for you to add to your smoothies.
Protein-Fortified Almond Milk
Almond milk, as it is, contains little protein, about 8 times less than cow milk. But, if you like the taste, and you’re also vegan, you can choose protein-fortified varieties.
This type of almond milk has increased amounts of protein, so it is healthy and free of dangerous fats.
Best Fruits for Smoothies
Fruits are essential to healthy smoothies. They add delicious taste, and they are easy to digest. Fruit smoothies are delicious, and they should be part of everyone’s diet.
What’s more important, they pack lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Also, they have fewer calories than other ingredients and significantly less fat.
Choose a mix of fruits when you create your smoothies for health. This way, you will ensure your body gets an assortment of antioxidants you cannot find anywhere else.
But more on the benefits of mixed fruit smoothies later on. Let’s see now what fruit ingredients you should focus on.
A strawberry smoothie is health in a cup. Rich in vitamin C, as well as other nutrients, strawberries are an incredible source of antioxidants. Your entire body and mind will work better, thus giving you energy for a whole day.
Did you know that blueberries have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants among all foods available? That should be incentive enough for you to include the tasty fruit in your smoothies.
If you want to postpone aging signs and fight chronic illnesses, get plenty of raspberries in your diet. Frozen raspberries are an option, and, if you add them to your healthy smoothies, you’ll have no regrets.
Studies show that blackberries are the richest in cancer-fighting substances. This is all the more reason for you to drop a few in you smoothie blend. Remember that combining different fruits offers you a cocktail of health benefits.
A combination of active ingredients in mango helps to prevent cancer, above all else. Plus, mango consumption lowers bad cholesterol, making you healthier. What you may not know is that mango is great for your eyesight, too.
Boosting your immune system with smoothies is ideal because they are so easy to digest by the body. In case you’re looking for the perfect ingredient, look at the pineapple. Just one serving ensures more than the necessary daily dose of vitamin C.
Rich in fiber, peaches are your go-to source for a healthy digestive system. Your blender can turn them into delicious smoothies that will boost your health. Bear in mind that good health starts with gut health, and peaches are an excellent addition in that regard.
Bananas are fat-free, but their texture makes any smoothie richer and more delicious. Get your daily dose of health, by including bananas in your healthy smoothies. Even more, this fruit is rich in amino acids, essential for overall health.
The pectin present in apples promotes weight loss, some studies show. In addition to pectin, apples are an excellent source of fiber, promoting a healthy digestive system. For your daily dose of fruit, add some apples to your smoothies.
You can efficiently fight the lack of vitamin A in your diet, by eating enough melon. You can also add the tasty fruit to your blender mix, so you can make the healthiest smoothies possible. Furthermore, melons are fruits high in potassium, essential for good heart health.
In case you love to exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle, you’re no stranger to pain and inflammation. Get a healthy smoothie made with cherries, and your body will recover better. These deep red fruits are a fountain of youth, and they reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.
For the best protection against the action of free radicals, you can count on apricots. These fruits are a bundle of antioxidants, and they are essential for a long healthy life. Add a few to your smoothies, and enjoy the benefits.
Health Benefits of Fruit Smoothies
You can offer your body exactly what it needs with fruit smoothies. Ditch the type sold by eateries, as they contain sugar and preservatives. The only way to make healthy smoothies is at home, using ingredients you pick.
Fruits are essential for a healthy diet. When they turn into smoothies, they are even easier to digest. This simply means that all the healthy compounds found in fruits are made available to the body faster.
A plethora of vitamins and minerals make the most of fruits’ composition. Furthermore, they are an ideal source of fiber. The primary role of this substance is to increase gut health. Also, it helps with reducing cholesterol and controlling sugar levels.
You can combine fruits with low fat or non-fat dairy products. Bear in mind that you can opt for vegan ingredients like soymilk and tofu. But it is also possible to use water as the base of your smoothies.
Any fluid will help deliver all the nutrients to your body faster. This is the essence of the best healthy smoothies. They are capable of offering your body the exact things it needs to thrive and work like a well-oiled machine.
Offer your body what it needs by introducing more smoothies to your diet. Add fruits for enhanced benefits. And don’t forget that it is up to you to fight illness and signs of aging, by changing your lifestyle.
Best Vegetables for Smoothies
Green smoothies are part of a healthy diet. We all know that even the most dedicated people who want to live healthily cannot include all the veggies needed all the time.
That means that the time for a change is here. Instead of trying to load your plate with more veggies and get depressed about not being able to eat, here’s the deal. Get creative with your smoothies. In addition to your usual ingredients, place some veggies, too.
There are many incredible benefits to eating enough vegetables. But we will talk about that a little later, after being introduced to a few veggies you can easily include in your smoothies.
Carrots are a powerhouse when it comes to getting enough vitamin A in your diet. Carrot juice added to your smoothies will boost your immune system. Furthermore, this ingredient will increase your body’s ability to fight diseases.
If you’re following a vegan diet, and you’re worried about not getting enough calcium, think of kale smoothies. This green smoothie is rich in calcium, but be aware of its strong taste. In combination with highly-flavored fruits, it makes for an excellent addition to your daily smoothies.
Spinach is known as a promoter of cardiovascular health. It does not have a taste as strong as kale, which makes it a good option for green smoothies. Moreover, some people even love its taste and think it makes their smoothies more palatable.
The nutty flavor of avocado is an added plus. This ingredient will enhance the taste of your drinks. The healthiest smoothies are those that create a balance. So, mixing avocado with milk and honey creates a tasty treat that packs many health benefits.
Another excellent source of dietary fiber, cucumbers are ideal for green smoothies. In addition, they offer plenty of vitamins and minerals to go with it. You will be able to meet all the goals for veggie intake if you opt for such smoothies.
Health Benefits of Vegetable Smoothies
Smoothies offer a boost to your nutrition. And, if you choose veggies to add to your healthy drinks, you will witness a load of benefits.
For starters, these smoothies are great promoters of natural weight loss. All you have to do is to replace one meal a day with a nutritious smoothie.
Through the intake of fiber, vitamins, and minerals you will get this way, you will receive proper nutrition. Furthermore, you will consume fewer calories.
Masking the not so pleasant taste of greens with fruits is ideal. This way, you make them easier to eat, and you’ll enjoy the taste, too.
Your digestive system will be more than happy with the new diet. Because smoothies for health promotion increase bioavailability of ingredients, the fiber in your veggies becomes easier to digest.
Soluble fiber is essential for good gut health, and smoothies should be your primary source.
Adding veggies to your diet in this manner helps with other things, as well. You will boost your immune system, and your body will be more resistant to disease.
By adding more antioxidants, you will prevent premature aging, and even fight serious illnesses, such as cancer.
Healthy Smoothie Additions
Your smoothies can significantly benefit from tasty ingredients. Sometimes, the taste of vegetables can be overpowering, and that may be a problem. You can change that by adding more flavor to your healthy smoothies.
You will find listed here some ideas on what to add to your smoothies for great taste and flavor. Bear in mind that these are all healthy ingredients. Consequently, they will add even more health benefits.
Be aware not to replace them with sweeteners and the like. To preserve their advantages for your health, you should choose the natural varieties. Also, remember that organic is always better regarding bioavailability.
Let’s see now what kind of ingredients you may add to the best healthy smoothies you can make.
Flax seeds are a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other benefits to enjoy when consuming flax seeds. Add more of this ingredient to your smoothies, to get enough fiber, lower cholesterol, and promote weight loss.
Boost the intake of fiber in your daily diet with chia seeds. They are a fantastic resource for getting enough antioxidants every day. The high content of these free radical fighters recommends them for regular consumption.
Oats are often part of low-calorie meal plans for losing weight. If you are bored with having them with milk in a bowl, consider making some healthy drinks. A smoothie with oats and bananas will help you start the day on the right foot. Plus, it will help you lose weight.
You can be creative when it comes to making your own smoothies. That means that you can even reach for your cans of spices, to shake things up. You can use ginger, cinnamon, or nutmeg. But your choices should not stop here.
Drop some fresh herbs in the blender, too. Experts in making smoothies for health swear by mint and basil. The idea is to make your smoothies more palatable. Once you reach a taste you find ideal, it will be much easier for you to have smoothies every day.
Adding a bit of sweet is not a crime. But make sure that you go for natural options. A little honey is healthy, such as maple syrup. As long as you keep the added amounts in check, you will be perfectly fine.
There is another option if you want to add more taste to your smoothies. Vanilla extract is a remarkable ingredient, and the good news is you won’t add unnecessary calories to the mix. Plus, you will get some extra health benefits.
Vanilla is known as an excellent source of antioxidants, and it may even lower cholesterol. Studies are still carried out, but it is safe to say that this ingredient will not compromise your smoothies.
Adding fluids to your smoothies helps the body digest them fast. If you are against milk of any kind, and water does not appeal to you, here’s another option. It helps with excellent hydration, and it packs a plethora of electrolytes.
Studies show a connection between consuming coconut water and low cholesterol levels. Furthermore, it seems to be a fantastic tonic for your heart.
Bear in mind that you should add only unsweetened cocoa powder to your smoothies. After all, you want only the healthiest smoothies in your diet, right? Natural cocoa powder, without any additions, is an excellent source of health benefits.
It boosts your cardiovascular system, and it is known to reduce blood pressure. It is a great ally against blood clots, and it helps your mind work better. Moreover, let’s not forget that it will add plenty of taste to your drinks.
Smoothie Ingredients to Avoid
Now that you know so many things about the ingredients that should be present in your smoothies, it is time for another lesson. The purpose of this guide is to help you create the best healthy smoothies. For this reason, we need to include a list of all the ingredients you should stay clear of.
Fruit Juice with Added Sugar
Fruit smoothies are healthy, but only if you focus on using the right ingredients. However, if you miss some steps, you can compromise their health benefits for good. For instance, if you add fruit juice bought from the store, that’s a misstep.
But it’s fruit juice, how can it be unhealthy? It is simple. Manufacturers have to do something to prolong shelf life. That means that they add sugar. The sweet taste also makes consumers drink more of these juices.
Do not fall into this trap. If you add fruit juice, make it on the spot, from fresh ingredients. Only this way you can guarantee the nutritional value and health benefits of your smoothies.
If the base you chose for your healthy smoothies is yogurt, always go with the plain variety. The flavored variety has incredible amounts of sugar in it.
Making smoothies the right way is not difficult. But it is preferable to break each recipe down to raw ingredients. In this case, add fruit and plain yogurt. Do not use flavored yogurt with fruit in it; it contains so much sugar, that your smoothies instantly become unhealthy.
The same thing applies to kefir. Dairy products are part of many healthy smoothie recipes, but not if they contain too much sugar. It is essential to know what ingredients you are using. Kefir is rich in calcium and protein, but if it is sweetened, it becomes a calorie bomb.
You should keep the content of fat in your smoothies as little as possible. That means that whipped cream is not a smart addition. If anything, it will just end up ruining the health benefits of your smoothies.
The purpose of replacing some of the foods you eat with smoothies is clear. It helps you eat healthier. But such goals are compromised by small mistakes. Don’t make your smoothies rich in fat by adding whipped cream. There is hardly a worse choice than this.
If you read the ingredients included in some smoothies sold in restaurants, you may notice ice cream. Everyone loves ice cream, and that’s a fact. But no one should love it in their smoothies. Ice cream is rich in fat and sugar, and it will ruin your waistline.
When making your own smoothies, opt for plain ingredients. The ice cream in ready-made smoothies makes them desserts, not healthy drinks.
Sorbet is another element that will ruin the healthiest smoothies. Even if it is fruit based, this doesn’t mean anything. It is still the type of ingredient loaded with sugar that you should stay away from.
It is the sugar in these ingredients that make smoothies sold by fast food places so unhealthy. When deciding to be healthy, be aware that it means you should pay attention to anything you eat or drink.
Sherbet may make a smoothie taste better, but it is not a healthy choice. Many people fall into this trap, but that doesn’t mean you should follow their example. For instance, you can replace sherbet with fresh fruit.
That is why it is so highly recommended to make your own smoothies at home. You will know exactly what goes in each recipe. And replacing sherbet with tasty fruit is the healthy choice. Plus, you won’t sacrifice taste.
If chocolate milk were to contain only cocoa powder and milk, that would be great. But this is not the case. For the best healthy smoothies, choose only raw ingredients. This cannot be stressed enough.
Chocolate milk contains sugar and preservatives, besides the ingredients that make its name. You would be surprised to see how many additives it has. Preserve your health and opt for the healthy alternatives. You will not regret it.
Just like chocolate milk, chocolate syrup is just a source of sugar. Sometimes, it can be a source of saturated fat, too. That type of ingredient will wreak havoc on your cholesterol levels. Not to mention, it is bad for your heart, too.
Canned Fruit with Added Sugar
When fresh fruit is not readily available, you may feel tempted to add canned fruit, instead. But you cannot obtain good quality, health-packed smoothies, this way. Canned fruit is very sweet, due to the high content of sugar added.
This is the most common method for preserving fruit when canned. All that sugar will enter your system and thus ruin your efforts to become healthier.
Replace canned fruit with frozen fruit. It is true that fresh fruits are not always in season. But frozen fruit does not contain added sugar, and that’s a plus. Combine, as much as possible, frozen fruits with fresh ingredients you have at hand.
A Few Things to Remember
You are now well informed on all the ingredients that should be present and the one that shouldn’t be present in your healthy smoothies. Instead of a conclusion, we want to stress a few pointers for you to remember.
Take Advantage of Fresh Ingredients While in Season
Different fruits and veggies are readily available on the market during particular seasons. Load your fridge with all these healthy ingredients and make plenty of smoothies. As a result, you will notice your health getting better and your waist getting thinner.
Use Frozen Fruits, Not Canned
The only allowed replacement for fresh fruits, when they are not in season, is frozen fruits. They preserve the same health benefits, and they don’t have any added sugar.
Create a Balance
Although not difficult to make, smoothies have certain rules to follow. One of them is to create a balance, in regards to taste. Green smoothies, in particular, can be difficult to tolerate, due to their overpowering flavor.
You can mask this flavor, by cleverly adding fruits with a pleasant taste. Another way is to add spices and herbs. The possibilities are endless, and it is in your power to make smoothies that are both healthy and tasty.
Now you know all the essentials about making healthy smoothies. Make sure to follow these recommendations, and you won’t go wrong.
Have a nice, healthy and long life!