Just about everyone loves a refreshing smoothie—what’s not to like? They taste great, pack a serious punch when it comes to vitamins and minerals, and offer a healthy way to boost your energy. It’s near impossible to screw up a smoothie. Throw any combination of milk, fruit, nuts, and other goodies into a blender and presto: You’ve got drinkable meal. Your made-to-order drink can be silky smooth, thick and creamy, or even have a bit of texture. (Chia seeds, we’re looking at you.)
How to make a smoothie
Making a smoothie is fairly easy. Here are a few basic steps to making perfect smoothies.
- Step 1: Combine the frozen ingredients (fruits, vegetables, ice cubes, etc) 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 slices make a wonderful addition to your healthy smoothie. Drink it up while cold.
Pretty easy right? If you feel good about the steps to make a smoothie, read ahead for the 5 delicious weight loss smoothie recipes.
So let’s get started!
1. Strawberry Banana Smoothie
This strawberry banana smoothie recipe is so easy to make, delicious to drink and nutritious and satisfying to your body.
It’s also perfect for those who have very little time to prep vegetables and fruits for smoothies.
All the ingredients take 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. This not only keeps your calories under control but also save you from excess sugar intake, which has been named a main cause of belly fat.
- 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)
Obviously, one of the vital ingredients in this strawberry smoothie is well, strawberries. First is its weight loss benefit.
First of all
It contains the anthocyanins class of flavonoids, known for its associations with greatest weight loss. According to a study reported by Discovery News, this type of flavonoids has resulted in 0.16 to 0.23 pounds less weight gained over 4 years.
Put simply; strawberries have positive effects on metabolism and appetite suppression.
This red, ripe fruit, a member of the rose family is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory enzymes that rev up your metabolism and suppress the appetite, explains Dr. Leo Galland. He further explains strawberries can also slow down the digestion of starchy foods.
This helps regulate the blood sugar, a great benefit to those with type 2 diabetes.
Secondly, strawberries come with other hidden nutrients like Omega 3 fatty acids. Really!
Who knew you can find Omega 3’s in strawberries?
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 per week to gain heart benefits.
2. Pineapple Kale Green Smoothie
If you are anything like me, you can definitely appreciate a nice refreshing shake after your morning workout routine. While it’s easy to disregard the importance of your post-workout foods, they are just as essential as a meal.
What that means is, the wrong kind of post-workout meal can completely undo your efforts in the gym while the right one with the good balance of carbs, protein and fats can restore energy, rebuild muscle and aid in recovery.
This energy boosting kale smoothie is just that right kind of post-workout smoothies that helps you refresh, replenish and renourish after a workout.
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.
- Keeps you feeling fuller for longer
- Prevents blood sugar from dipping sharply. This prevents hunger that often follows the dips.
- Burns more calories during digestion
- Preserves lean muscle and boost the energy expenditure.
Indeed, protein is one essential, must-not-miss macronutrient in your healthy diets and weight loss. But its protein content hardly is the only one in this shake that brings goodness to your health.
Thanks to kale, pineapple and banana, this green kale smoothie recipe definitely brings its “A” game when it comes to nutritional profile.
Let’s highlight a few.
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.
If that’s not what you want from a green smoothie recipe, I don’t know what else is there.
Kale and Pineapple
According to USDA nutrition data, 2 cups of raw Kale alone provides 95% of daily recommended Vitamin A and 252% of Vitamin C.
Those are essential vitamins our bodies use for proper bodily functions. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, Vitamin A contributes to bone growth and immune system health.
It also benefits vision as it slows declining of retinal function in retinitis pigmentosa patients. Conversely, Vitamin A deficiency has shown links to night blindness, and when left unchecked, it can potentially lead to permanent blindness.
Vitamin C also brings a slew of health benefits including treating a cold. There is no scientific evidence Vitamin C actually hedges you from catching a common cold, but studies have shown it can reduce the duration and severity of cold.
On a more serious note, Vitamin C is known to aid in heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, osteoarthritis, age-related muscular degeneration, asthma, and more.
Although the serious case of vitamin C deficiency may be rare, evidence suggests low levels of vitamin C intake are seen in many individuals, especially amongst cigarette smokers.
If you are a smoker, pay particular attention to your daily Vitamin C value.
Pineapples are a delicious power packed tropical fruit commonly seen in tropical smoothie recipes.
Not only do they bring a whole load of sweetness, distinct taste and tropical sensation to a smoothie, they offer incomparable nutritional values to this healthy green drink.
According to Organic Facts, pineapple is one of the richest sources of proteolytic enzyme called bromelain, which digests protein. Bromelain is found in both the stem and juice of the pineapple and was first isolated for research in the late 1800s.
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.
Kale Green Smoothie (serving:1)
- 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
- Add all ingredients in your blender.
- Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Adjust liquid to create your preferred consistency.
3. Turmeric and Ginger Tropical Smoothie
What better way to kick start your morning than with this clean eating tropical smoothie, made with banana, mango, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon. Cleansing your body doesn’t always have to be a 7 full-day plan where you live off of detox drinks all week long.
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.”
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. This tropical smoothie is just that kind of a weight loss smoothie. The best part is, it won’t leave you hungry and headachey.
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. I mean literally, we can’t live without it 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.
Wanting to bust some belly fat!
Look no more, turmeric and ginger have 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.
Turmeric’s reputation as a fat-burning food additive gets support from the study by Tufts University in 2009. Their experiment on mice saw less weight and lower fat mass in mice with a high-fat diet with curcumin, a compound found in turmeric.
They concluded curcumin may work to suppress the growth of fat tissue.
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.
- 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
Everyone in the health field is nuts about ginger and it’s for a good reason. 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.
Judy Kilpatrick, a licensed mental health therapist explains “Belly fat accumulates for various reasons, including overeating, age-related hormone reduction, lack of exercise and stress, and consumption of ginger addresses each of these problems.”
In short, ginger can aid your weight loss and abdominal fat reduction in a couple of ways.
- Suppresses appetite via its regulatory effects on blood sugar and serum cholesterol.
- 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
Got a sweet tooth and sugar craving that’s about to undo all your weight loss efforts?
Don’t. There is a better way. It’s one solution chocolate lovers can certainly appreciate. This Chocolate Banana Smoothie is oh-so-decadent; it’ll be your go-to treat once you taste it.
In fact, you’d want to memorize the recipe, just so that this jaw-dropping banana smoothie is just at your fingertip whenever you need it (which proves to be every waking moment!).
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.
Oh so chocolately
Yes, it’s decadent, delicious, and oh-so-chocolatey, but you already know I don’t fall in love or recommend a recipe unless it’s good for your health and waistline.
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 minerals. If you have a hard time meeting your daily nutrition requirements, this healthy smoothie is one easy way to up your intake and avoid any vitamin deficiency.
- 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.
Although the recipe doesn’t necessarily specify what type of cocoa powder to be used in this healthy smoothie, I highly recommend dark chocolate. And by definition, dark chocolate is a chocolate without milk solids added and contains less of other ingredients such as sugar.
It’s 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.
This is also another food where its health merits have been a hot debate. Some passionately argue against bananas for its medium glycemic index (score 62) while others praise them for packing a real nutritional punch.
Studies show bananas are acceptable. 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.
- Slows digestion
- Boosts feelings of fullness
- 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
This plant-centric power smoothie is last on my list but certainly not the least in the nutritional value or tastiness. 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. It’s loaded with as many super foods as it possibly can have. Also on the ingredient list, you’ll see blueberry, mango, maca, chia seeds, avocado and more.
Definitely not a usual smoothie combination but it works so wonderfully in such an odd, surprising way.
And the taste? Just like berry mango sorbet. It’s quite a treat, really.
Since it’s vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, it’s as clean as can be. Even raw vegans can give this mango smoothie a try.
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, 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. Maca is also nutrient rich, containing vitamin B, C, E along with calcium, iron, magnesium and more. It also helps 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? Quite a bit. Let’s take a look.
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.
One serving has 704 calories, which is about 35% of daily calorie intake.
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 water
There you have it! 5 fiercely delicious yet wonderfully healthy smoothie recipes for weight loss. As always, I look forward to your comments (smoothie review), questions and the sharing of ideas.