The best way to slim down, without missing out on the proper nutrients, is by focusing on your diet. A great addition to your diet plans is fresh homemade smoothies. These blends of fresh fruits and vegetables are the perfect low-cal yet nutrient-rich preparations that keep you satiated for long. A good mix of protein, complex carbohydrates and good fats, vitamins, and nutrients, smoothies can be an easy breakfast or a quick snack.
Health Benefits Smoothies
Apart from catalysing weight loss, smoothies have a number of additional health benefits. Here are a couple of them :
Detoxifies the body
Unlike juices, smoothies retain the fibre of fruits and vegetables. Fibre safeguards our bodies against toxins by boosting antioxidants and increasing the activity of enzymes that clear off and neutralize free radicals. It detoxifies your liver and plays a crucial role in preventing fat deposition.
Research shows that adding fibrous fruits and veggies such as berries, bananas, pears, beets, leafy greens etc. to your smoothies eliminates the harmful waste material accumulated between tissues and cleanses your blood.
The primary ingredients in a smoothie are fresh fruits and vegetables along with nuts, and seeds. These elements are rich in various phytonutrients and minerals that enrich the body and strengthen the immune system.
A robust immune system protects our bodies against any kind of infection or disease. In case you fall sick, a stronger immune system will help you recover faster and better. It’s also helpful to slow down the effects of certain infections like antibiotic-resistant ones in particular.
It’s a known fact that fibre facilitates digestion and adds bulk to the stool giving quick relief from constipation and other related issues. However, what you may not be aware of is that smoothies are better than fresh fruits or vegetables when it comes to ease of digestion.
Keeps You Hydrated
Having less than the required amount of water in the body results in dehydration, making you susceptible to several diseases. Being a mixture of various fruits, smoothies replenish the water loss in your body. Smoothies hydrate you the same as twice the amount as plain water while meeting your nutrient needs.
Promotes better hair and skin health
Smoothies can make your skin healthier and hair stronger. They are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre which are natural beauty enhancers.
The deficiency of these phytonutrients affects our skin and hair in various ways. Regular consumption of smoothies prepared with different fruits and vegetables can help fight multiple skin-related issues ranging from acne to signs of ageing.
Consumption of fruits rich in antioxidants induces collagen production and fights free radicals that cause skin damage. It can also reduce hair fall and make the hair look lustrous.
Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss
1. Evergreen Smoothie
- 1 cup, of baby spinach
- Bottle gourd/ cucumber, ½ cup
- Curd, ½ cup
- Mint leaves, a handful
- Rock salt, a pinch
- Jeera powder, ¼ tsp
- Amla, a piece, or lemon juice, ½ tsp
Method Place all the ingredients in a blender, toss in the ice cubes and blend till smooth.
Best time to have it: In the morning, to detox your body.
Benefits: Bottle gourd and cucumber are extremely low in calories and aid in weight loss.
Calorie Count: 95
2. Nutty Delight Smoothie
- Puffed amaranth/rajgira, ½ cup (Use a rajgira laddoo if puffs aren’t available)
- Low-fat milk, 1 cup
- Banana, frozen, ½
- Date, 1, chopped
- Flax seeds, 1 tsp
- Chia seeds, 1 tsp
- Melon seeds, 1 tbsp
Method Blend all the ingredients till smooth and enjoy it as it is
Best time to have it: Post-workout – as it’s a good dose of protein.
Benefits: This smoothie is high in omega-3 acids, good fats and fibre. It also keeps you fuller for longer.
Optional: Add a scoop of protein powder for an extra energy boost.
Calorie Count: 295
3. Golden Glow Smoothie
- Carrot, grated, 1
- Orange or mousambi juice, freshly squeezed with pulp, 1 cup
- Papaya, ½ cup
- Turmeric powder or grated fresh haldi, 1/2 tsp
- Ginger, grated, ½ tsp
Method Blend all ingredients and grind till smooth. Enjoy.
Best time to have it: During the day.
Benefits: Papaya and carrots have a significant amount of fibre and are relatively low in calories!
Calorie Count: 175
4. Chai Spice Smoothie
- Apple, chopped, 1
- Banana, frozen, ½
- Oats, 1 tbsp
- Walnut halves, 3
- Almond or low-fat milk, 1 cup
- Chai masala, 1 tsp
- Cardamom powder, a pinch
Method Blend all ingredients till smooth and enjoy this aromatic smoothie.
Best time to have it: In the morning to feel fresh and energetic
Benefit: Banana and oats not only keep you satiated but bring your digestive system on track.
Calorie Count: 265
5. Refreshing Smoothie
- Cucumber chopped, 1
- Kiwi, chopped, 1
- Green apple, chopped, 1
- Coconut water, 1 cup
- Lemon juice, ½ tsp
- Mint leaves, a few
- Chia seeds, 1 tsp
- Ice cubes, 1 cup
Method Blend all the ingredients except chia seeds, until smooth. Top up this glass of goodness with a dash of chia seeds for that extra crunch.
Best time to have it: In the evening to feel refreshed
Benefit: The cucumber helps remove toxins, which sets your body up for weight loss.
Calorie Count: 175
Consider the ingredients you’re adding to your smoothie carefully. Elements rich in protein, fibre and those that can boost your metabolism will speed up weight loss. You can also try green smoothies. Learn more by consulting a HealthifyMe nutritionist.
Smoothies help you lose body weight without having to compromise your energy and taste requirements. Replacing a solid meal with a smoothie reduces the overall calorie intake and keeps one satiated for longer owing to its high nutritional value.
Being rich in fibre, smoothies detoxify the body and improve digestive health. It vitalises the immune system and thus safeguards the body against any kind of illness.
Healthier skin and better hair quality are a few other perks of including smoothies in your weight loss diet. So go on… blend it up!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are smoothies a good way to lose weight?
Yes. Smoothies help you lose body weight without having to compromise your energy and taste requirements. Replacing a solid meal with a smoothie reduces the overall calorie intake and keeps one satiated for longer owing to its high nutritional value. A good mix of protein, complex carbohydrates and good fats, vitamins, and nutrients should be used to create a well-balanced smoothie.
Which smoothie is best for a flat tummy?
There is no such miracle smoothie to flatten the tummy, however, there are ones to boost your metabolism and help with calorie burn and toxin removal do indirectly help reduce overall weight.
A tropical smoothie containing mango, banana, oats, ginger, greek yoghurt, orange Juice and a dash of milk when whizzed in a blender tastes amazing and can help your tummy.
Can I drink 2 smoothies a day?
Yes, you can have two smoothies a day if it doesn’t exceed your calorie intake for the day. However, remember to have solid meals too.
Is banana smoothie good for weight loss?
Yes, banana smoothies are good for weight loss. They are rich in fibre content and control hunger hormones. Their sweet taste and creamy texture may also help reduce unhealthy cravings. However, bananas have a high carbohydrate and calorie content. Thus it is advisable to limit its consumption if you’re aiming for weight loss.
Do blueberries cause belly fat?
No, blueberries do not cause belly fat. It, in fact, reduces fat accumulation. Research indicates the presence of flavonoids in berries that regulate fat burning and storage in the body positively affecting body weight and abdominal fat accumulation.
Can a smoothie replace a meal?
Yes, smoothies can replace a meal. Being a great source of many necessary nutrients and minerals they help you meet your energy needs. Being rich in fibre it makes you feel full for longer as well.
Can smoothies make you fat?
Smoothies are a great way to lose body weight without having to compromise your energy and taste requirements. However, too many smoothies can have an inverse effect on your body. It can increase the sugar, calorie and fat intake which will lead to an increase in body weight along with other issues like high blood sugar levels and nutrient deficiency.
What happens if you drink smoothies every day?
Daily consumption of smoothies detoxifies the body, strengthens the immune system, enhances digestion and promotes healthier skin and hair along with facilitating weight loss.
What should you not mix in a smoothie?
Avoid mixing canned fruits and fruit juices and use only fresh fruits for your smoothies. You would also not want to add ice creams, frozen or flavoured yoghurt or sherbets. Do not add any kind of sweeteners to your smoothies.
Are oats smoothies good for weight loss?
Yes. Oats, even in their original form are highly nutritious, easily digestible and great for weight loss. Blending it into a smoothie makes it easier for the body to digest it while retaining its nutritional value.
Which fruits are helpful for weight loss?
Some easily available fruits that are great for losing weight are avocados, berries, apples, bananas, melons etc.
How does a banana smoothie help belly fat?
Banana smoothies help with belly fat and weight loss. They are rich in fibre content and control hunger hormones. Their sweet taste and creamy texture may also help reduce unhealthy cravings. However, bananas have a high carbohydrate and calorie content. Thus it is advisable to limit its consumption if you’re aiming for weight loss.