Smoothies

Making a smoothie is fairly easy.  I like to get fresh vegetables and fruits at my local Farmers Market, or if I’m in a hurry, I’ll just go to the grocery store.  There are not any Health Food stores where I live, but online is a great source for finding anything that you might need.

Here a few basic steps to making a perfect smoothie.

• Step 1: Combine the frozen or fresh ingredients (fruits, vegetables, ice cubes, etc.a wonderful) in the bowl of a blender.  Add other dry ingredients such as chia seeds, avocado, dark chocolate (or cocoa powder), raw honey, nut butter and such.
• Step 2: Fill the blender with liquid ingredients like almond milk, coconut water, or water. Blend until smooth and creamy.
• Step 3: Add toppings (optional). Coconut flakes, sesame seeds, chia seeds, crushed nuts and ginger san excellent addition to your healthy smoothie. Drink it up while cold.  If you feel good about the steps to make a smoothie, read ahead for the 5 delicious weight loss smoothie recipes.

1. Strawberry Banana Smoothie

This strawberry banana smoothie recipe is so easy to make, delicious to drink and nutritious and satisfying to your body.
All the ingredients take literally zero prep time, and you can omit dirty dishes by throwing everything into the blender straight out of your fridge.
Because all the sweetness naturally comes from strawberries and banana, there is no need to add additional sugar.
But if you must, you can add a tad more sweetness to it by adding a teaspoon of honey.  That way, you can enjoy a delicious, sweet yet healthy smoothie without going off track on your diet.  This simple, super yummy fruit smoothie satisfies your following daily dietary needs:

• Calories: 476 calories (24%DV)
• Carbs: 59g (45% DV)
• Dietary Fiber: 11 g (44% DV)
• Calcium: 329 mg (33% DV)
• Potassium: 1008mg (21% DV)
• Vitamin C: 90mg (120% DV)
• Vitamin B6: 0.5mg (38% DV)
• Riboflavin: 0.6mg (54% DV)

Ingredients:

• 1 cup strawberries
• 1/2  banana
• 2 tablespoons sliced raw nuts (any nuts of your choice. Almonds, cashews, and walnuts are all excellent sources of good fats and protein)
• 1 teaspoon chia seeds
• 1/4 cup granola (choose unsweetened one)
• 1 cup unsweetened Greek yogurt
• 1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Strawberries

We touched on the nutrition profile of strawberries earlier, but there are a few more noteworthy healthy benefits to eating strawberries.
First is its weight loss benefit.  It’s a weight loss food because it contains the anthocyanins class of flavonoids, known for its associations with Put simply, strawberries have positive effects on metabolism and appetite suppression.  This red, ripe fruit, a member of rose family is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory enzymes that rev up your metabolism and suppress the appetite.  Secondly, strawberries come with other hidden nutrient like Omega 3 fatty acids.  Thirdly, strawberries can lower your risk of a heart attack by 34%.  Dr. Eric Rimm, associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School’s recent study came with incredible findings and links between berries and risk of heart attack in women. Gathering data from 93,600 women between the age of 25 to 42, they found women who ate most berries were far less likely to have suffered a heart attack than those who ate fewest amount of berries.  Based on his study, he recommends eating three or more servings of 1/2 cup strawberries or each week to gain heart benefits.

2. Pineapple Kale Green Smoothie

This energy boosting kale smoothie is just that right kind of post-workout smoothies that helps you refresh, replenish and renourish after a workout. And I say it’s the right kind not solely because it has kale in it, but because it’s also packed with 20 grams of protein, which is 43% of daily value based on a 2,000 calorie diet.  If you are trying to lose weight, maintain lean muscle mass, and prevent metabolism slowdown, then you know how important meeting your daily protein requirement is.  According to Harvard School of Public Health, protein helps with weight loss in 4 incredible ways.

1 Keeps you feel fuller for longer
2 Prevents blood sugar from dipping sharply. This prevents hunger that often follows the dips.
3 Burns more calories during digestion
4 Preserves lean muscle and boost the energy expenditure.

Thanks to kale, pineapple and banana, this green kale smoothie recipe definitely brings its “A” game when it comes to nutritional profile.

In one drink, it satisfies your following vitamin and mineral daily requirements. DV% based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

• Calories: 496 calories (24% DV)
• Protein: 20g (43 % DV)
• Carbs: 71g (55% DV)
• Dietary Fiber: 9 g (36% DV)
• Calcium: 563 mg (56% DV)
• Potassium: 1486mg (32% DV)
• Iron: 3mg (17% DV)
• Magnesium: 162mg (52% DV)
• Phosphorus: 368mg (53% DV)
• Vitamin A: 791 µg RAE (113% DV)
• Vitamin B6:1.0mg (130% DV)
• Vitamin C: 189 mg (252% DV)
• Vitamin E: 13 mg AT (87% DV)
• Vitamin K: 946 µg (1051% DV)
• Riboflavin: 0.7mg (64% DV)

The most impressive ones besides protein are Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. You can reach your day’s worth of vitamins by just gobbling down this energy boosting kale smoothie a day.

Pineapple

According to Organic Facts, pineapple is one of the richest sources of proteolytic enzyme called bromelain, which digests protein.  Treasured as folk medicine in Central and South Africa, bromelain’s pharmaceutical applications are evident in studies.  It’s now used to treat various conditions including: swelling and inflammation treatment, writes University of Maryland Medical Center.  Because bromelain enzyme helps digest protein, having pineapple in this high-protein smoothie is just a perfect way to get the most out of each healthy ingredient in it.

Ingredient:

• 2 cups raw kale leaves, stems removed
• 3/4 cup almond
• 1 banana, cut into chunks
• 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
• 1/4 cup raw pineapple pieces
• 2 tbsp peanut butter (unsweetened)
• 1 to 3 tsp honey, to taste

Note: This would be a great opportunity to add water or ice cubes to create the consistency desired. Water is one of the best things to drink for your body. It’s recommended to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.  I was surprised my skin began to look and feel so much better after I began drinking the right amount of water daily.

3. Turmeric and Ginger Tropical Smoothie

Made with banana, mango, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon.  Cleansing your body doesn’t always have to be a 7 day plan where you live off of detox drinks.  By incorporating little things like rebooting your body and metabolism with weight loss smoothies that contain toxin flushing ingredients like ginger into your routines can go a long way for your health and weight loss.  Harvard Medical School’s Family Health Guide writes,”we tend to forget that the body is equipped with a detoxification system of its own, which includes the skin, respiratory system, immune system, intestines, liver, and the kidneys.” Rather prescribing detox and cleanse programs, Harvard recommends a healthful diet, adequate water, frequent exercise and quality sleep.  A healthy diet with ingredients that can boost the efforts of our own body’s detoxification systems provides the perfect solution for those not looking to commit to a detox or cleanse plan, but want to do a little extra to reboot the metabolism. This tropical smoothie is just the kind of a weight loss smoothie.  It is loaded with yummy foods and spices that keep you feeling full longer. With only 299 calories in one cup, it’s a low-calorie drink that’s also friendly to your calorie budget.
This healthy smoothie recipe keeps getting better by going beyond the works of the spices. By adding a banana, you know you are getting magnesium, vitamin B6 and B12, as well as potassium, a nutrient we know we can’t live without since potassium helps with our hearts beating.
This alone can give 56% of Americans a reason to enjoy this healthy smoothie as Greatist reports, that’s the portion of the U.S. population having a potassium deficiency.
For those looking to reduce belly fat, this tropical drink can also be your savior.
Turmeric and ginger, they’ve both been long known and used for its healing properties aiding everything from depression, diabetes to inflammation on top of weight loss and belly fat reduction.
Despite all the medicinal effects and weight loss benefits, this smoothie still manages to taste nothing like a tasteless diet drink; rather, it tastes more like a tropical dessert. Let’s also not forget it’s Paleo and gluten-free. It’s also dairy free and vegetarian.  1 serving of this tropical drink can meet almost half of your recommended daily intake of calcium, copper, magnesium, Vitamin C, and Riboflavin. Additionally, it provides 95% of daily value of Vitamin E.

Below is the nutritional profile.

• Calories: 299 calories (15% DV)
• Protein: 4g (9 % DV)
• Carbs: 61g (47% DV)
• Dietary Fiber: 8 g (32% DV)
• Calcium: 439 mg (44% DV)
• Potassium: 690mg (15% DV)
• Copper: 393 µg (44% DV)
• Magnesium: 84mg (44% DV)
• Vitamin B6:0.4 mg (31% DV)
• Vitamin C: 35 mg (47% DV)
• Vitamin E: 14 mg AT (93% DV)
• Riboflavin: 0.6mg (55% DV)

Ingredients

• 1 cup almond milk
½ fresh or frozen banana
• ½ cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
• ½ tsp. each ground turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom
• 1 tsp honey (unless your fruit is really ripe and naturally sweet)
• 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
• dash of sea salt or pepper
• a few ice cubes, if you find it is too thick

Ginger is one food that’s universally known as medicinal food. According to Dr. Mercola, ginger is a “rich source of antioxidants, providing broad-spectrum of antiparasitic properties.”  Another spark is its positive effects on losing belly fat and getting a flatter stomach.  In short, ginger can aid your weight loss and abdominal fat reduction in a couple of ways.

1 Suppresses appetite via its regulatory effects on blood sugar and serum cholesterol.
2 Reduces cortisol production. Since high cortisol levels are linked to increased excess belly fat and weight gain, ginger’s work on cortisol is considered beneficial.

If you are looking for a belly fat blasting drink that has the benefits of cleanses and detoxes, this delicious smoothie recipe should certainly be your top choice!

4. Dark Chocolate Banana Smoothie

A Chocolate Banana Smoothie is oh-so-decadent; it’ll be your go-to treat once you taste it. This recipe being vegan and gluten-free, it’s super friendly to different dietary preferences and restrictions, so I hope more of you can give it a try.  The base of this recipe is a green smoothie, which totally gets hidden by naturally-sweetened cocoa and creamy, rich banana.  With several tablespoons of chia seeds added, this green drink is truly a mecca for nutrients. It’s high in fiber (88% daily value), copper (120% DV), calcium (70% DV) and many others. According to Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, calcium, fiber, Vitamin A, potassium, iron, and Vitamin D are one of the most commonly missed vitamins and mineral.

Below is a snapshot of this chocolate banana smoothie’s nutrient report.

• Calories: 384 calories (19% DV)
• Protein: 12g (26 % DV)
• Carbs: 55 g (42% DV)
• Dietary Fiber: 22 g (88% DV)
• Calcium: 699mg (70% DV)
• Potassium: 1050mg (23% DV)
• Copper: 1080 µg (120% DV)
• Magnesium: 264mg (85% DV)
• Vitamin A: 305 µg (44% DV)
• Vitamin B6:0.5 mg (38% DV)
• Vitamin D: 3 µg (20% DV)
• Vitamin E: 13 mg AT (87% DV)
• Vitamin K: 146 µg (162% DV)
• Folate: 108 µg DFE (27% DV)
• Riboflavin: 0.6mg (55% DV)
• Niacin: 5mg (36% DV)

Ingredients:

• 1 banana (frozen)
• 1 cup raw spinach
• 1 cup almond milk
• 3 Tbsp. chia seeds
• 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
• (optional: 1 Tbsp. honey, if needed to sweeten)

Dark Chocolate and Banana

Literally every one of the ingredients in this smoothie qualifies to be called a “super food”, but I’d like to highlight two really essential ones, dark chocolate, and banana. Dark chocolate is more bitter than milk and white chocolate; it’s more nutritious and less sugary.  Chocolate may often get a bad rep for being categorized as sugar-loaded sweets, but dark chocolate really is a superior grade of chocolate.
There are numerous proven health and nutritional benefits of dark chocolate backed by science.  It’s truly a health food that can be enjoyed even when you are trying to lose weight.  According to neuroscientist Will Clower, Ph.D., eating chocolate 20 minutes before and five minutes after lunch and dinner can suppress your appetite by up to 50 percent.  But don’t go overboard with chocolate consumption. And make sure you are picking up unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa (or cacao powder).  This is so the sugar doesn’t overshadow the healthiness of cacao and pure chocolate.

Another superfood is bananas.  Studies show bananas are acceptable.As a matter of fact, they can be considered a weight loss food, containing fiber and resistant starch, which is known to support weight loss.  According to HuffPost Living, resistance starch found in foods like banana and beans has a positive effect on fat levels by having good bacteria turning the starch into a fatty acid and metabolizing fats. This helps decrease obesity and prevents fat accumulation in the long-term.  Resistance starch found in bananas also helps with your weight loss in a few additional ways.

1 Slows digestion
2 Boosts feelings of fullness
3 Works to lower cholesterol

Regardless, by combining bananas, chia seed and almond milk, this green smoothie brings hours of fullness and satisfaction that decreases food cravings and unnecessary snacking.

5. Blueberry Avocado Mango Smoothie

It’s definitely one of my favorites and the one I routinely make.  This mango smoothie is the closest thing to the perfect weight loss smoothie housing as many super foods as it possibly can.  Definitely not a usual smoothie combination but it works so wonderfully.   It’s quite a treat, really.  Since it’s vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, it’s as clean as can be.  It’s got the perfect creaminess without any dairy and just a tad tropical sweetness from mangos.  Although you can’t taste it, avocado is the secret ingredient in this berry mango drink.
It adds healthy fats and provides fullness that lasts for hours.  In weight loss, this hunger prevention is one of the most vital keys to success.
Another interesting, yet super valuable ingredient that brings weight loss benefits to this smoothie is maca.  Maca is a member of the radish family, grown in Peru.  It’s said to aid weight loss by boosting your metabolism.

Maca is also nutrient rich, containing vitamin B, C, E along with calcium, iron, magnesium and more. It’s known to help with sexual function, mood swings, women’s health, energy and skin.  So how much of nutritional value do you get from throwing all these super foods in one drink?  In one drink, you can take in 13 grams of protein (28% DV) which mainly comes from almond butter, coconut water, chia seeds and avocado, 21 grams of dietary fiber (or 84% DV) thanks to chia seeds and avocado, 40% of daily recommended potassium, 107% of daily copper intake, 90% of magnesium, 101% of vitamin C (mango alone brings 60%), and 80% of vitamin E.

• Calories: 704 calories (35% DV)
• Protein: 13g (28 % DV)
• Carbs: 99 g (76% DV)
• Dietary Fiber: 21 g (84% DV)
• Calcium: 297mg (30% DV)
• Potassium: 1912mg (40% DV)
• Copper: 966 µg (107% DV)
• Magnesium: 278mg (90% DV)
• Phosphorus: 433mg (62% DV)
• Zinc: 3mg (38% DV)
• Selenium: 15 µg (27% DV)
• Vitamin B6:0.6 mg (76% DV)
• Vitamin C: 76mg  (101% DV)
• Vitamin E: 12 mg AT (80% DV)
• Vitamin K: 50 µg (56% DV)
• Riboflavin: 0.7 mg (64% DV)
• Niacin: 5mg (36% DV)

Ingredients: 1 serving

• 1 cup blueberries
• 1½ cups mango
• ½ avocado
• 1 tablespoon chia seeds
• 1 teaspoon maca powder
• 1 tablespoon raw honey
• 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond butter
• 1½ – 2 cups coconut water1

There you have it! 5 delicious yet wonderfully healthy smoothie recipes for weight loss.