Smoothies are like the next step from juicing for those of us who are new to consuming a ton of liquefied nutrition in our daily diets.
Unlike juicing, making a smoothie is a blending process (not an extraction process) that makes use of the entire fruit and/or vegetable, skin and pulp included. Some fruits like apples need to have their seeds removed because of their toxicity but for other fruits like lemons, it is safe to leave their seeds on. The blending process breaks up the fruit or vegetable and makes their nutrients more bioavailable to your body.
I am a fan of both juices and smoothies as a way to eat healthier and helping my body gently detox over time. For some of us with a more sensitive digestive system, juicing might be a good way to start incorporating more nutrients in our bodies and prepare it for a gentle detox. And then move on to smoothies when our digestive system strengthens over time. If your digestive system is fully capable of handling all types of fiber and pulp from fruits and vegetables, definitely choose a smoothie over juicing. Or do a combination of both. You never know what you would be in the mood for!
Health Benefits of Smoothies
Smoothie advocates argue that because the entire fruit and vegetable is used, smoothies are nutritionally more superior that juices because more fiber and more nutrients are retained. And because smoothies are made in a blender and everything in the blender is poured out into your glass and consumed, it is easier to incorporate other ingredients such as protein powders, to make it a complete meal. Smoothies are therefore also touted to be more filling than juices, making them ideal choices for breakfasts and light lunches.
Depending on the ingredients you use in your smoothies, you can be sure to reap many of the benefits below.
Here are 12 amazing health benefits of smoothies:
1. Weight loss
This benefit should not be a surprise. When your body has enough of the right nutrients to do all of its tasks, it will not crave for anything else. Smoothies are an excellent way to get in all the essential nutrients that your body needs, every single day. You do not need to replace any of your meals with a smoothie in order to reap its benefits. You just need to be smart about your choice of ingredients. The abundance amount of soluble and insoluble fiber from the fruits and vegetables together with the protein from protein powders or nut butters or milk alternatives that you are using will help your body feel fuller longer. Aim for fresh, organic and a wide variety. A reduction in cravings and staying fuller longer will help you keep those extra pounds off. 
Fruits and vegetables naturally contain a lot of water. Consuming them as part of your smoothie indulgence ensures that you are on your way to take in the recommended daily amount of water to keep your body hydrated so that it can function effectively and efficiently.
3. Improved digestion
Having a smoothie is also a great way to take in a ton of alkaline foods such as leafy greens that are really good for regulating the pH of your body for improved digestion. Let’s face it, how many of us crave for kale on a daily basis? Even as adults, sometimes we just need to “trick” ourselves into eating what is good for us. Pair the healthy leafy greens that you do not like that much with what you really like a lot like blueberries, carrots, and strawberries for a healthy detox focused smoothie that is so yummy that you won’t know that there’s a bunch of greens in there. So through a gentle and slow detoxification of your body and a boost in intake of fiber and alkaline foods, you can be sure your digestive system will improve over time.
4. Improved immune system
If you choose a lot of ingredients that are high in antioxidants in your smoothie, your immune system will thank you for it. Smoothies are great ways to include fruits and vegetables from the colors of the rainbow each day. A healthy dose of antioxidants each day helps your body to fight off free radicals and reverse some of the negative effects of your body’s natural oxidation process, thereby improving your overall immune system. 
5. Improved sleep
When your body is not working in overdrive each day trying to get you through the day due to a lack of essential nutrients to do its job, you can be sure your body will also naturally rest better at night.
6. Healthier skin, nails, and overall glow
Once you get onto the smoothie bandwagon, it will be no time before you realize how easy it is to take in an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients. Your body will start feeling very pampered and it will show through in many ways such as healthier skin, better-looking nails, and just an overall healthy glow all around. And because this is coming from within, these improvements can be permanent if you keep it going.
7. Improved brain function and health
Add ingredients that are good sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to provide your brain with the nourishment it needs. Avocados and coconut oil are great choices that are affordable and easily available all year round in your local market. And smoothies are great avenues for adding omega-3 fats to your diet especially if you are not that much into cooking. 
8. Improved mood and emotional stability
A healthy body will yield a happier you. I promise. It is hard to not feel happy when your body is not in aches and pains, and you are not craving for foods that make you feel miserable afterwards. Adding ingredients with folic acid has also been shown to ward off depression. Commonly available ingredients include broccoli, bananas, citrus fruits and green peas.
9. Healthier bones
Add ingredients that are great sources of calcium in your smoothies. Together with the other fruits and vegetables and superfood powders that you are going to add to your glass of wonderful goodness, you are bound to be taking in healthy doses of vitamin D, magnesium, and phosphorus, that are important in helping your body absorb all that great calcium that you have consumed.
10. Lowered risks of heart diseases, diabetes and some forms of cancer
A well-known big benefit from eating a balanced healthy diet that is full of a wide spectrum of nutrients is the prevention of a multitude of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers. Although eating a balanced healthy diet will not guarantee you a disease free life, you can be sure it definitely helps a ton. At least eating a healthy diet is within your full control, so why not do yourself a big favor?
11. Better balanced network of hormones
A healthy body not only provides a strong foundation for a well-functioning body, it also properly prepares your body as it enters different stages of your life such as menopause for women. There are certain known ingredients such as flaxseed and maca powder that helps balance your network of hormones when they get disrupted as you enter menopause to help ease the nasty symptoms of menopause.
12. Improved sugar balance
The combination of quality protein, fiber, and good fats makes for a great way to balance your blood sugar. By drinking a well-balanced smoothie every day you will notice less sugar and carbohydrate cravings throughout the day. For this reason, I like to recommend a smoothie drink as a meal replacement for breakfast. However, many people also find drinking a smoothie as a snack or late dinner meal replacement very helpful too. Either way, you can’t go wrong so drink up!
How to Make a Smoothie
When it comes to making smoothies, your local produce market is really your playground. But as a general rule to a well-balanced smoothie, there are 4 key groups of ingredients that you will need.
- Pick a fruit. It will serve as a healthy natural sweetener for your smoothie. Try to use fruits that are in season for best flavor and nutritional value. Frozen fruits will work well also and they can double up as flavored ice cubes.
- Choose a liquid. I recommend either water to keep the flavor neutral so that the flavor of the other ingredients can shine or pick a light non-dairy milk such as soy milk or almond milk for a boost of protein and other nutrients.
- Pick a vegetable. Preferably a leafy green but any vegetable will do. This helps to balance the amount of sugars in your smoothie and also ensures that you are getting your well-deserved amount of vegetables each day.
- Add lots of healthy superfoods add-ons. Yes, maybe you can go to town with this one. There are superfood powder mixes out on the market these days that contain a combination of various superfood powders in one package for convenience. Or if you are picky like me, you can buy different superfood powders that you like and mix it into a big convenient jar yourself and add a tablespoon into your smoothie each time.
Once you have these 4 key things, all you need is a good blender and a good appetite! My favorite blender is the Vitamix blender.
Healthy Smoothie Ingredients
Below is a quick list of my top 10 favorite superfoods add-ins for my smoothies:
- Chia seeds – high in omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, iron, calcium, and antioxidants
- Coconut oil – high in healthy medium-chain fatty acids
- Hemp protein – high in plant-based complete protein (all 9 amino acids)
- Cacao powder – high in antioxidants and other key minerals such as thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium and sulfur
- Goji berries – high in antioxidants and amino acids and more than 20 vitamins and minerals
- Flaxseeds – high in dietary fiber, vitamin B1, copper and omega fatty acids
- Acai powder – high in vitamin A, fiber, protein and antioxidants
- Maca powder – high in vitamin C, copper and iron and a ton of other essential amino acids
- Spirulina powder – high in calcium, niacin, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and iron
- Moringa powder – high in calcium, iron, vitamins E and K
Healthy Smoothie Recipes
Once you are comfortable making and drinking smoothies, you can get really creative with your smoothie recipes. Some people dive right in and experiment at the get-go. If you need some help starting your smoothie journey, try some or all of my smoothie recipes below.
- Coconut Strawberry Smoothie
- Angela’s Favorite Protein Smoothie
- Cleansing Apple Kale Smoothie
- Healthy Hormones Detox Smoothie
- Pumpkin Smoothie
Learn more about what the best protein powder might be for your needs here.
There are so many more of my delicious recipes to try even beyond smoothies, click here.
Still need help working juices and/or smoothies into your daily nutritional plan? CONTACT ME today – I have many ideas to share beyond this article to make sure you catch the wave on this one!
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1. Effect of whey protein supplementation on levels of endocannabinoids and some of the metabolic risk factors in obese women on a weight-loss diet: a study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.
2. Effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on inflammatory biomarkers and immune cell populations: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis.
3. Fish consumption and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for prevention or treatment of cognitive decline, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in older adults – any news?