Done correctly, smoothies are nutrition powerhouses that can pump you full of healthy fruits and veggies. Done wrong, they can pad your waistline with excess sugar, fat, and artificial ingredients.
The best way to enjoy a smoothie? Make it yourself.
It’s refreshing, easy to sip on the go, and packed with health-boosting nutrients. Smoothies from grocery stores and quick-service chains often contain ridiculous amounts of sugar and fat.
Use the following tips to whip up the perfect drink to flood your body with nutrition without adding pudge.
Healthy smoothies have plenty of ice.
According to Health magazine, research shows that people who drank dense smoothies felt fuller than those who had a thinner version—even when the calorie counts were the same! The best way to thicken your smoothie without adding calories? Ice.
Healthy smoothies have nonfat dairy.
Calorie-bomb smoothies may use ice cream or full-fat yogurt, but nonfat yogurt or cottage cheese gives your smoothie a healthy dose of filling protein without excess calories.
Healthy smoothies have whole fruit.
Does your go-to smoothie blend fruit juice instead of cut-up fruit? You’re missing out on a crucial opportunity for fiber, which takes longer to digest so you don’t get hunger pangs an hour after eating. Try banana, mixed berries, or apple. Frozen fruit may make your smoothie taste thicker and frostier, according to Bon Appetit, which recommends chunking peaches, plums, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, and apricots, then spreading on a tray and freezing until firm.
Healthy smoothies contain omega-3s.
A tablespoon of flaxseed meal goes a long way to add both fiber and inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids.
Healthy smoothies taste sweet—without added sugar.
If the smoothie doesn’t taste good, there’s no point in drinking it. But you can achieve that sweet sensation with light coconut milk, coconut water, or water. (Again, fruit juices contain added sugar.) You can also blend in a teaspoon or two of honey, a little vanilla extract, or some unsweetened cocoa powder or cinnamon.