By now, you probably have a good idea of why smoothies are so great. They taste delicious, you can fill them with nutritious add-ins, and if made right, they are packed with wholesome, real, and clean ingredients that deliver many benefits for our bodies. Thats right, they’re extremely healthy and taste amazing.
Today I want to focus a bit more on why many people incorporate smoothies into our diet and how you can pick the right smoothies to reach your goals too. There are so many reasons to drink smoothies, and most of it comes down to the fact that smoothies help promote an overall wellness for our bodies. And you will likely feel AMAZING after including them into your diet because, well, they’re packed with real foods! Clean foods. Healthy food. Fruit & Veggies. If you make it right, of course. But our bodies are so much more than what we see on the outside. Lets break it down a bit to see how smoothies can help make you the best healthy version of yourself. And don’t miss another perfect smoothie recipe at the bottom!
Reasons to Incorporate Smoothies into our Diets
Whether you live in a big city, eat packaged foods, apply drugstore type lotions and makeup, or have negative people in our life (jk- thats not the toxins I’m talking about), most of us come into contact with so many different toxins on a daily basis. Its nearly impossible to avoid them, and even more impossible to become completely de-toxed. I actually don’t even recommend trying to, as many detox tactics require the restriction of calories to a dangerous amount.
Instead, taking small steps to actively reduce the toxins in our bodies and incorporating small habits in our lives to limit our contact with toxins, we can lead a healthy less-toxic life. Working out, steam rooms/saunas, drinking a lot of water or tea, eating ‘clean’ and/or organic foods, and buying skin products that contain less harmful chemicals are just a few strategies. But I am here to talk to you about getting those detoxifying foods into your diets. A great way to do so? Smoothies. Smoothies packed with foods that help flush those toxins out. One way of doing so is by eating foods that help drive these toxins out. Try using foods that are high in antioxidants (berries or green tea), high in fiber and chlorophyll (kale), have anti-inflammatory properties (ginger and beets), contain healthy fats (avocado), packed with vitamin C (citrus fruits), contain probiotics (plain yogurt), or are rich in pectin (apples). Its pretty easy to incorporate these types of foods into your smoothies, but Ive outlined some of my favorite detox smoothies below (also, stay tuned for Part 5 of the Ultimate Guide to a Perfect Smoothie because I will be posting my FAVORITE detox green smoothie recipe!):
- Kale Ginger Detox Smoothie by OhMyVeggies (one of my favorites)
- Bikini Ready Green Detox Smoothie by The Glowing Fridge (another favorite if I have spirulina and celery on hand)
- Super Detox Green Cleansing Smoothie by The Green Forks (an ultimate cleanser, but I would typically add some honey)
- Berry Detox Smoothie by Baked in Arizona (If you’re not a fan of all the greens!)
Reach Physique Goals
Smoothies are great in that they are versatile and you can modify them to help reach your health and fitness goals, whatever those goals may be. You can use smoothies as a pre-workout, post-workout, breakfast option, snack, dessert alternative, a pick-me-up energizer, and even make it a meal by throwing it in a bowl with some toppings. However, its easy to throw together ingredients, regardless of their benefits, and not pay attention to how each ingredient is contributing to those goals. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, adding globs of peanut butter, spoonfuls of hemp seeds, and tons of honey might not be your best option (even though it would taste amazing).
Instead, think about what ingredients (based off their protein, carb, and fat content) you can add (and how much of each ingredient) that would be most beneficial for what we are trying to achieve. Pre-workout smoothies should include healthy carbs (such as berries or banana) to help fuel your workout. Post-workout smoothies should contain protein (protein powder is a common additive) to help your muscles recover from a workout. If you are using a smoothie as a meal replacement, its important to have healthy carbs (fruit/veggies), protein (powder/nut butters/hemp seeds) and healthy fats (avocado/nut butters/seeds), which will likely be a higher calorie smoothie.
I am a sweets person- big time. Sometimes, at night, when my cravings are the worst, Ill make a chocolate peanut butter smoothie, or a strawberry vanilla smoothie. Sometimes I will even stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes which makes it a bit thicker (like a shake). This instantly curbs my craving and I have no reason to feel guilty about it! However, this is only true if I don’t make a smoothie large enough for 3 people.
Below are some of my favorite smoothies for reaching fitness goals:
- Pre workout: Blueberry Muffin Smoothie by Iowa Girl Eats
- Post workout: Iced Coffee Protein Shake by Blender Bottle (also great for breakfast!)
- Weight loss: Detox Green Smoothie by Ally’s Cooking
- Dessert alternative: Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana by Honey & Spiced
- Breakfast: Triple Berry Kiwi Smoothie by The Pretty Bee
- Meal replacement: Berry Green Smoothie by Kitchen of Eatin’
We all (I think?) want clear, beautiful skin, right? We want to look in the mirror and see a flawless and radiant complexion that we feel confident in. So many of us focus on trying the latest and greatest skin care products (sometimes spending a fortune), relying on their promise for perfect skin. What many of us don’t realize is that our diets can have a huge impact on our skin.
Between the environments we live in, our lack of using moisturizers and sunscreen, battling dry skin or acne, or simply not knowing how to care for our skin, many of us could give our skin a little more love. Smoothies, combined with some key add-ins, are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that can help in improving and protecting our skin, as well as our hair and nails. I’ve gathered a couple smoothie recipes below if you’re looking for those beautifying smoothie benefits:
- Blueberry Avocado Banana Smoothie by Well Plated
- Triple Berry Kiwi (again because its great) by The Pretty Bee
- Mermaid Smoothie Bowl (yes, a smoothie bowl) by The Glowing Fridge
Sharpen the Mind
Skipping breakfast is so common in our crazy and busy lives, but we are missing out on (as your grandma would say) the most important meal of the day. Truly. How we start our day, and what we fuel our bodies with, is an indicator of how we will perform throughout the day. How we think. How we act. How fast we think and act. What we remember. How we interact. How we make decisions. How productive we are. Seriously, if you think you are full of energy and extremely productive all day, every day and you don’t eat breakfast, I dare you to start eating breakfast and see how much more you can do.
You have three options when it comes to breakfast. 1. You skip it. 2. You eat something of little or no nutritional value. Or 3. You eat something of high nutritional value. We know we should pick 3. “But time! No one has time for a healthy and nutritional breakfast!” What if I said you could make an extremely nutritional breakfast in less than 5 minutes. Then would you?
Im assuming you know what I am referring to. Smoothies! Because of all the nutritional value in smoothies, we can have better focus in our work, clarity in our decisions, and quick responsiveness in the situations we encounter. They give us energy to get through the day and provide us the nutritional value we wouldn’t otherwise get. Try some mind sharpening smoothies (obviously blueberries are a trending ingredient for mind enhancing smoothies):
- Blue-nana Muffin Smoothie by Honey & Spiced
- Blueberry Walnut Memory Smoothie by Protein Recipes
- Blueberry Avocado (Brain Power) Smoothie by Gimme Some Oven
Brighten your Mood
Considering all smoothie benefits, this one is something most of us aren’t necessarily concerned about, but I consider it whip cream on top. Smoothies can give us energy boosts, contribute to our bodies/skin looking and feeling good, take part in helping us reach our goals, and so many more things. How could we not be happy? There actually is some science behind it too, but just knowing I’m fueling my body with nutrients when I start my day automatically makes me happy. Pinch of Yum has a great round-up of mood boosting smoothies that I recommend you check out (here)!
Simply Be Healthy
Smoothies help us to naturally incorporate more fruits and vegetables in our diets. They are absolutely jam packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help boost our immune system, help keep our bones strong, support colon and gut health, lower cholesterol, and fight against disease. There is no guilt and they taste delicious. Incorporating smoothies into our diets can simply aid in our overall health and wellness, helping us feel and look amazing!
And there you have it. Reasons for drinking smoothies! Do you have a different reason other than listed above? I would love to read about it in the comments. Until then, I’m going to share with you one of my favorite high antioxidant smoothies, Berries on Top of Berries with Berries. Yup, there are a lot of berries in this one!
Berries on Top of Berries with BerriesPrint Recipe
- 1/2 ripe banana (can be frozen)
- 1/2 C blueberries
- 1/2 C raspberries
- 1/2 C strawberries
- 1/3 C plain 0% fat greek yogurt*
- 1/2 C almond milk
- 2 ice cubes
- Optional Add-Ins**
Throw it all in a powerful blender.
Pulse on high for 30 seconds.
Blend on high for 30 more seconds.
*If you're eating a non-dairy diet, I recommend non-dairy yogurt, coconut milk, or excluding it (but adding more banana and almond milk) **Add in optional add-ins of choice. For this smoothie in particular, I like chia seeds, raspberry Emergen-C, or vanilla protein powder.