This post includes ten health benefits of drinking smoothies, especially as a vehicle for superfoods and green leafy vegetables.
Dieting and smoothies:
As I’ve experimented with various types of diets over the past several years, one of the staples in my everyday routine continues to be breakfast green smoothies (see my index of smoothie recipes here), and this post contains ten reasons why.
Granted, it does take a little tinkering to find a smoothie recipe that you love, balancing the amount and types of ingredients you use, along with the extra add-ins that make them both nourishing and delicious. But, I promise, if you get started making smoothies, you’ll find at least one, if not many recipes, that you look forward to drinking.
The bottom line is that smoothies, especially green smoothies, can be one of the easiest ways to consume more vegetables, but in a super delicious way!
Ten Health Benefits of Smoothies:
1. Smoothies are great for kids and picky-eaters.
Picky-eaters and/or “supertasters” love smoothies, even green smoothies. I should know because I’m both. I don’t love the texture or flavor of greens, but by blending them with fruit, I can’t even taste them! And, in fact, green smoothies can taste quite delicious. I did a whole podcast episode with my tips for making green smoothies here, by the way.
2. Smoothie are nutrient-dense.
Well, this is kind of obvious, but green smoothies are green for a reason. Greens have all kinds of nutrients. In particular, they are a great source of natural folate which my body really needs to run properly (through testing, I discovered I don’t do well with any sort of folic acid or methyl folate supplements, so consuming green leafy vegetables in any form is very important for my health).
Green leafy greens aren’t the only vegetables that can be blended into a smoothie. Cauliflower and squash are great for smoothies too, with the added benefit of not being green! See my Vanilla Smoothie with frozen cauliflower here and my Vegan Raspberry Cream smoothie with frozen squash here.
3. Smoothies are easily digestible.
Blending make greens easier to digest, especially compared with chewing. I further improve digestibility by gently steaming the greens before adding them to the blender (I recommend a high-speed blender like this one).
4. Smoothies are portable.
If you need food that is easy to take on the road, smoothies fit the bill. I often have leftovers from my breakfast smoothie that I pour into a thermos and take with me for an easy snack. In fact, when I was in the hospital for my thyroid cancer, I brought smoothies along with me and had them whenever I had to take medication or needed to eat (the nurses were so kind to store them in their employee mini-fridge for me).
5. Smoothies are easy to make ahead of time.
If I’m pressed for time in the morning, I’ll assemble most of my smoothie the day before, store it in the fridge, and just blend it in the morning. I even freeze the leftovers and just defrost them sometimes, too. (Have I convinced you that smoothies are the new fast food yet, hee hee)?
6. Smoothies are a superfood vehicle.
Green smoothies are a great base to which I add all kinds of superfoods, including sprouts, powders, vitamins, etc.
Recommended products to get started with making smoothies (some affiliate links included):
- High-speed blender like a Blendtec
- Paleo protein powder made with beef
- grass-fed collagen protein powder
- sprouted pumpkin seed powder
- sprouted flax
- organic cocoa powder
- organic Japanese matcha powder
- cod liver oil
- organic goji berries
- mushroom powder,
- brazil nuts
- organic ceylon cinnamon
You can read an article with more of my favorite smoothie superfood additions here.
7. Smoothies have nutrient diversity.
I add diversity to my overall diet with green smoothies, especially based on the season. In addition to rotating the type of greens I use to make sure I don’t get too much of a good thing, I also switch up the type of fruit I use, as well as my choice of add-ins. I always use healthy fats in my smoothies, too, which improves the absorption of the nutrients, as well as increasing satiation. Win-win.
8. Smoothies have high adaptability.
Outside of satisfying your general run-of-the-mill picky-eater, green smoothies can be really great for those on special diets, including those with allergies or food sensitivities. I always make my smoothies dairy-free, for instance. The key is adapting the ingredients to meet those needs (*see my note about checking with your doctor, though).
9. Smoothies are a great source of plant-based or collagen protein.
There are some fantastic plant-based protein powders on the market now, including the Sunwarrior brand, but you I also increase the protein content of smoothies through whole foods like hemp seeds, sacha inchi seeds, or your favorite plant protein source. I’m also a huge fan of collagen protein powders. Get creative and experiment!
10. And, lastly, smoothies have high fiber content.
Blended smoothies retain the fiber content of the fruit and vegetables. I believe this helps reduce the glycemic load from the fruit, too.
*Note: Even though this list includes some good arguments why I consider green smoothies health-promoting for me, it’s a good idea for you to take your own needs into consideration before adding them to your diet. In particular, you should discuss this with your doctor if you have a history of metabolic or kidney disease or are taking medications such as blood-thinners.
Happy blending, friends! Tell me about your favorite smoothie ingredients in the comments!
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