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9 Healthy Ingredients for Smoothies

9 Healthy Ingredients for Smoothies
Although smoothies can be an excellent way to lose weight, you do need to be cautious about the ingredients that you use for them. There is a big difference between a smoothie that has a bunch of carbohydrates added to it in the form of sugar, honey, and other sweeteners, and smoothies that are made with natural ingredients like fruits and vegetables without any sweeteners. In general, you should avoid adding any sugar or extra sweetening to your smoothies at all if you are trying to lose weight. These ingredients will help you come up with some delicious smoothie recipes that can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, along with sticking to a healthy diet plan.

Blueberries are great for smoothies

Blueberries are one of the best smoothie ingredients because they are high in fiber, they are a superfood with numerous health benefits and protections, and they are great to add into your smoothies in their frozen form. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants which help to protect against cancer and other long term illnesses. Their high fiber content helps you feel full and suppresses your appetite throughout the day. Blueberries have been shown to be beneficial for targeting belly fat in particular, and they can help you control your blood sugar. They are a perfect smoothie addition for diabetics and pre-diabetic patients, as well as those who are trying to lose weight. You can also be generous with them because they have a very low sugar content.

Strawberries are another great smoothie ingredient

Strawberries are also great for weight loss smoothies just like blueberries because they contain many beneficial compounds that can help with weight loss. Strawberries are very low in calories, which is one of the main reasons why they are approved for the HCG diet. One cup of strawberries has just 50 calories and provides you with a substantial 3 grams of fiber. Like blueberries, strawberries help to control your appetite, and you can also be generous with them in your smoothies. They go great with blueberries, bananas, blackberries, and many other fruits, and they are also just as healthy for you when they are frozen as they are when fresh.

Try adding grapefruit to your smoothie recipes

Look for some smoothie recipes that contain grapefruit; it is by far one of the best weight loss fruits out there, which is one of the main reasons why it is used on the HCG diet. Grapefruit actually helps your body burn more calories, which is why it is considered to be a metabolism booster. Grapefruit is rich in water and fiber, both of which help to increase your feelings of fullness. Adding a half or two halves of grapefruit to your daily diet can make a major difference in reducing your daily calorie consumption, and there are plenty of great smoothie recipes that use grapefruit as an ingredient. Look for a few favorite recipes to get your own ideas.

Avocados are another great weight loss ingredient

Avocados are rich in healthy fats and they are another excellent weight loss ingredient for your smoothies. Many people who restrict their carbohydrate intake for their diets neglect to add healthy fats as they are often overlooked. But, it's crucial to have healthy fats (once your off the HCG diet or any low fat diet), as you do need some fat in your diet, and the vast majority of it if not all of it, should come from sources like coconuts, avocados, extra virgin olive oil, and fish oils. Avocados have been shown to be effective at reducing belly fat, reducing hunger levels, and like many other fruits it is packed with vitamins and nutrients which help to prevent long term diseases.

Greek yogurt is the perfect smoothie ingredient

Greek yogurt is rich in protein and it should be low in sugar, with no extra added sugar if you plan on adding it into your smoothies. Be extremely careful which Greek yogurt brand that you purchase because they are all certainly not the same. Many brands have added sugar in them, but if you find high quality organic and plain Greek yogurt, it's the perfect choice for your smoothie recipes. It is rich in protein with 17 grams per 6 ounce serving, and there are several different low fat versions available. Find a good brand that you like and add it to your smoothie recipes for a quick protein boost that can reduce your hunger significantly.

Kale has become a popular smoothie ingredient

There is a good reason why kale has become one of the most popular smoothie ingredients. It's just an overall fantastic vegetable with several health benefits and properties that make it very good to add into your regular diet. It can protect you from diabetes, autoimmune issues, heart disease and many other health problems. It's rich in fiber and protein which helps you control your appetite. The taste can be something that is a bit of challenge for some people to overcome, but a great way to get around this is to just add it to your smoothie recipes. Kale works very well with many different fruits, and you can find plenty of great recipes online that take just a few minutes to prepare and are very convenient to make.

Try to add green tea into your smoothies

Green tea is one of the best healthy ingredients for your smoothies. We've discussed the many health benefits of green tea in the past and why you should get more of it in your regular diet. It's rich in compounds that can fight cancer called catechins, and the EGCG in green tea is proven to cause weight loss and is associated with many other health benefits. It goes great with several different fruits and vegetables, but you should be careful to look for a brand that is high quality. Also, like any smoothie ingredient, be sure to avoid adding any sugar to it, which negates its fat burning properties.

Apples can work very well in your smoothies

Some people don't like eating raw apples, but they can taste great and they are easy to consume in smoothies. Apples work perfectly with berries, kale, and plenty of other smoothie ingredients, and they are high in fiber which helps reduce hunger levels significantly. Apples have been proven to lead to weight loss for several reasons, including a compound that helps to promote healthy bacteria in the digestive tract, which in turn reduce inflammation levels and helps your body maintain a healthy immune system and hormone balance. Apples help to inhibit the development of bad bacteria which can result in immune system problems, and tart Granny Smith apples have been shown to have some of the best effects when it comes to this.

Flaxseed is a great smoothie ingredient

Ground flaxseeds can add a nuttier flavor to your smoothies, but they are a great choice along with some of the other ingredients mentioned above. Flaxseeds are satisfying because they are high in fiber and healthy omega-3 fats, and they are one of the best sources of these important protective fats, along with fish and a few other foods. They help to prevent weight gain with their hunger suppressing effects, and they have an anti-inflammatory effect which helps to protect against diabetes and heart disease. Although flaxseeds have phytoestrogens called lignans, there is no evidence to suggest that they cause hormone imbalances or related issues. However, you should not consume them when you are on a round of the HCG diet.

About the author

Dr. Constance Odom, MD

6 min read