Smoothies seem to be everywhere you turn. They are on the shelves in the produce section of your grocery store, blended up at your local Starbucks and coffee shops, and smoothie and juice chains and shops. They might even be blended up in your very own kitchen. Recipes can be found on food blogs, smoothie and recipe books, and all over Pinterest.
The reason these are everywhere is because they offer so many benefits to your health, not to mention they are super easy to make, buy or order for a quick and healthy meal or snack. Smoothies offer endless options of ingredients, an easy way to get healthy ingredients into your body and a quick meal on the go.
One of the biggest reasons to start making smoothies part of your daily routine is that it can help you lose or balance your weight. When made with healthy ingredients, smoothies can be an extremely useful tool to balancing out your weight. Rather than using a powder or shake packet, fresh smoothies use fresh ingredients that your body recognizes and craves naturally. These include fresh fruits, vegetables and even seeds and nuts. These super healthy ingredients help you balance out your intake of fiber, protein and even healthy fats, so each smoothie satisfies your bodies needs, as well as tastes fantastic.
Smoothies also help you regulate your weight by making sure you don't skip a meal or go too long between meals, leading to a binge or starvation-mode in your body. It is super common to skip breakfast or lunch, because there is simply no time. This can lead to a bigger binge later, either in a meal or with convenience snacks. It can also cause your body to head straight into starvation mode, which means it holds onto more calories, turning them into fat in case another "famine" comes around soon. By making a quick smoothie, you curb hunger and keep you body functioning properly, which keeps your weight in check.
*Please note: I'm talking about freshly blended smoothies here, not supplements, protein mixes or powdered meal replacement shakes. These are more of a "diet" and not a lifestyle, which means that any weight loss would be hard to maintain.
If you are craving something sweet, smoothies can be the perfect solution. Fruit smoothies offer a bit of sweetness, without adding much sugar. This can help when you are looking for something somewhat sweet, but also refreshing. For dessert cravings, smoothies are also a great option. You can make them thick, much like a milkshake, without adding in the unhealthy processed sugar, heavy cream and ice cream. Instead, you can use ingredients like bananas (to thicken and sweeten), carob or cacao (for chocolate), nut butters (much like peanut butter in a shake), and even dates (to make it naturally sweeter and add more nutrition). You end up satisfying your craving, without the guilt or sugar overload.
Get More Greens:
Smoothies are also a fantastic way to get more greens and leafy items into your diet. Even if you like salads and eat them every day, it can be hard to get a massive amount of greens or a huge variety of produce in your salads, unless you make an ENORMOUS salad or spend tons of time sitting down to eat it. Chances are, you might get bored with it halfway through or start to not want salads quite as often. And getting salads, or even just greens, in for breakfast is even more difficult to do.
Smoothies offer a great option. You can blend more then you would ever eat in one sitting into one smoothie at any time of the day. It is also a way to add in some greens you might not normally eat (kale, chlorella, spirulina), but that offer tons of nutrition. Greens are one of the most nutrient dense foods, meaning they pack more nutrition per bite than any other food. You end up getting in more micro-nutrients and more nutrition per sip than you could without blending up a smoothie.
Experiment with Ingredients:
In addition to more greens in your daily diet, you'll also get to play with other ingredients. Since a blender can blend just about anything, you can add tons of different ingredients in to your smoothies. This means you can play with new ingredients that you might not otherwise use, as well as come up with endless recipe combinations. The trick is to add healthy ingredients, so your smoothie doesn't turn into a fruity or green milkshake. You can try adding in nuts and seeds to up the amount of omega-3s in your diet, different fruits to add a touch of sweetness, coconut water to up the hydration from your smoothie or even natural nut butters to thicken the texture.
Overall, smoothies are a fantastic way to increase your nutrition each day. You can get healthy fats, proteins and healthy carbs all in one drink, which make a balanced meal or snack. You also get to experiment with superfoods like chia seeds, flax seeds, spirulina, chlorella, and everyday powerhouses like kale and spinach. They are the perfect way to eat your veggies, without feeling like you are deprived or on a diet. You end up with more vitamins, nutrients, and fresh enzymes that your body needs to routinely detox and cleanse, to help you maintain a balanced weight and to work at the most optimal level.
Now that you know why smoothies are so amazing for you, it's time to put it into practice. Grab your favorite blender, gather some ingredients and give making a smoothie a try.
For more recipes, grab your sample copy of The Smoothie Life and all the other smoothie tips featured in the House of Healthy Resource Library.
Jessi Andricks, author of Detox 101 and The Smoothie Life, is an emerging leader in the field of modern healthy, whole living. Through her training in Health Coaching, Yoga, and mind-body fitness, she's able to blend together the best of all worlds to create innovative online wellness and private coaching programs. Jessi fuses together clean eating basics, empowering fitness techniques, and expert wellness tips to help clients live the happier, healthier lives. Get in touch with Jessi at thehouseofhealthy.com.