Discover 25 health benefits of drinking smoothies. Smoothies are increasing in popularity among clean eaters who want to enjoy a sweet yet healthy drink. These drinks might be one of the most versatile beverages as you can achieve any taste you’d like, modify them based on your diet, and take them anywhere with you.
Now that the demand for smoothies is increasing, numerous cafes and grocery stores have been filling up the shelves with different smoothie brands.
However, you have to be aware of store-bought smoothies since you don’t have as much control over the quality and quantity of the ingredients in the recipe.
In store-bought smoothies, fresh ingredients could be replaced with artificial sweeteners, sweetened dairy products, and not-so-fresh fruit juice. This almost completely eliminates all the health benefits of fresh smoothies and instead contributes to higher amounts of sugar and fat.
A tip is to avoid added sugar in premade smoothies and focus on smoothies rich with whole foods like fruits and veggies.
For making smoothies at home, all you need is a good blender and some fresh fruits. If you’re looking for a smoothie blender, check out these best blenders recommended by us.
Are smoothies healthy? Are smoothies good for you?
1. Aid weight loss
According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, a diet with an increased intake of proteins and fibers results in weight loss and even improved dietary quality.
If you use ingredients low in calories yet high in protein and fiber, there’s a high chance that a smoothie will keep you satiated until your next meal.
According to Miranda Hammer, a registered dietitian, ensuring a balance between vegetables, fruits, proteins, and fats is crucial to make a healthy smoothie.
To get the right type of fat and proteins in your smoothie, you can add unsweetened nut butter, chia seeds, or nut milk. Different yogurt types such as plain yogurt, full-fat organic yogurt, and coconut yogurt are excellent ingredients for weight loss.
However, if you’re looking for smoothies that aid with weight gain, you have to choose the right ingredients that supply your body with more nutrients and calories.
2. Boost intake of fruits and vegetables
According to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90% of all Americans don’t get the recommended daily intake of vegetables.
To make sure you’re getting the recommended daily intake of vegetables, adding vegetables like spinach and kale or making a green smoothie is an ideal way.
3. Rich with antioxidants
Based on The World Health Organization’s recommendations, adults should incorporate 5 different servings of vegetables per day. Green smoothies are an excellent way to get the nutrients found in vegetables.
Using fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables in your smoothies won’t only increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables. It will also provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and most importantly, antioxidants.
Antioxidants are substances that control the amount of free radicals found in your body. Free radicals play a significant role in the development of chronic and deadly diseases.
4. Prevents sleep disorders
Smoothies are undoubtedly rich in calcium, one of the most important molecules to keep your body healthy.
One of the reactions where calcium is used is in the body’s natural production of the sleep-inducing substance melatonin.
A strong connection between insomnia and magnesium deficiency has also been proven by a study conducted by the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota. This has made experts believe that a calcium and magnesium-rich diet could prevent sleep disorders.
5. Enhances your skin
6. Increased consumption of fiber
Fiber is the part of the plant that is left undigested because humans lack the enzyme to digest it. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any function in our body.
In fact, fiber feeds the “good” gut bacteria found in the intestines. These bacteria don’t usually get enough nutrients from proteins and fats, which is where fiber comes into the picture.
Fiber nourishes the friendly bacteria, which allows them to produce other nutrients your body needs.
7. Helps easily meet daily protein needs
Your daily protein intake can be easily met by adding protein-rich ingredients to the smoothie. You can also bump up your Protein intake significantly by adding protein powder to the smoothies.
Check out these 10 protein smoothies recipes that you can try starting today.
Protein smoothies are a great way for clean eaters to increase muscle gains. However, there are only a few protein powders in the market that taste good and are worth your money.
Check out these best protein powders available in the market.
8. Energy booster
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in ingredients like coconut and are strongly linked to increasing and strengthening brain function. One of the tasks of Omega-3 in the body is building cell membranes in your brain and body.
According to one of the health letters published by Harvard University, there is enough evidence that links together Omega-3, healthier brain cells, and a slowed down deterioration of the brain.
9. Controls growth of cancer cells
By keeping the free radicals in the body checked and making sure they don’t accumulate, antioxidants can control cancer cells’ growth, also known as carcinogens.
A UCL study has shown that people who consume more than seven portions of fruits and vegetables per day have a reduced risk of getting cancer at any point in life by 42%.
10. Improves bone health
Increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables provides your body with calcium. Bone health is strongly linked to the levels of calcium stored in your bones and teeth.
To boost the levels of calcium in your body, adding vegetables such as spinach is recommended.
11. Better heart health
According to a study published by NCBI, vitamin K, which is found in abundance in green smoothies, promotes a healthier heart by protecting the arteries and decreasing heart diseases by 16%.
Along with vitamin K, it has been proven that dietary nitrates reduce blood pressure, decrease stiffness in arteries, and strengthen the cells lining the blood vessels.
12. Helps with stress relief
According to a study, large doses of vitamin C will help your body fight stress by reducing the amount of stress-related hormones in your bloodstream.
One of the fruits that contain some of the highest levels of vitamin C is acerola cherries.
13. Fixes hormonal imbalance
Adding vegetables such as avocados into your smoothies will increase the amount of healthy fats in your smoothie.
According to research, healthy fats block estrogen absorption into the body. This increases progesterone in women and testosterone in men.
14. Body detoxifier
The human body has its own resources such as the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal system to detox and cleanse itself from toxins. Smoothies are excellent as diet food to help detox the body more efficiently.
To get the most out of your smoothie, using 1-2 tablespoons of fat, a handful of greens, 2 cups of fruit, and 1 cup of protein as a standard smoothie recipe will help you maintain a healthy body.
15. Reduces Alzheimer's risk
Studies have suggested a link between the antioxidant anthocyanin and strong memory. The studies have led scientists to believe that anthocyanin found in fruits such as blueberries facilitates cell communication and may protect neurons.
This helps with reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.
16. Meal replacements
According to nutrition and dietetic professor Clare Collins, meal replacements aim to cover the body’s protein need in as few calories as possible.
Even though smoothies are liquid, they’re actually seen as meal replacements by many. Smoothies might leave you feeling bloated, but they also have a lot of healthy calories that will stay in your stomach longer than any other drink.
17. Easily absorbed nutrients
Nutrients are better absorbed by the intestinal wall when the food is adequately broken down before reaching the stomach. Chewing each bite could be very difficult with solid foods but much more manageable with smoothies.
According to the National Library of Medicine, the fiber found in vegetables and fruits aids with digestion.
Most of the fiber we consume doesn’t enter the bloodstream. Instead, it solidifies stool and normalizes your bowel movement. This is especially useful for those suffering from constant constipation.
19. Lower cholesterol levels
5-10 grams of fiber daily decreases the amount of LDL cholesterol (bad type of cholesterol) absorbed into the bloodstream.
When soluble fiber reaches the small intestine, it attaches to cholesterol particles, and instead of traveling into the bloodstream, they exit your body.
Ingredients such as green leafy vegetables contain vitamin B3 (niacin), which, according to studies, reduces LDL cholesterol and increases levels of HDL cholesterol (good type of cholesterol).
20. Less prone to depression
Folic acid is a water-soluble type of vitamin B, and studies have shown that daily consumption of folic acid combined with vitamin B12 is suggested to improve depression treatment results.
Depression treatment with folic acid has further shown to be extremely responsive when combined with antidepressants.
Some vegetables and fruits that contain folic acid are citrus fruits, spinach, bananas, and papaya.
21. Increased calcium intake
Almost every cell in our body needs calcium. However, as we age, our body’s ability to absorb calcium from food decreases. This is one of the reasons why health complications increase as we age.
Ensuring that your body is getting the recommended daily intake of calcium at a young age, you’re also decreasing the risk of health diseases linked with calcium deficiency in the future. Smoothies can definitely help with daily calcium needs.
22. Reduced risk of diabetes
A study published by BMJ has shown that green leafy vegetables reduced the risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 14 %.
Out of the 34 million people suffering from diabetes in the US, around 90% of the cases are related to type 2 diabetes. One of the reasons for the development of type 2 diabetes is an unhealthy lifestyle and obesity.
23. Boosts immunity
The ability to add anything into your smoothie can be used to boost your immunity, especially during winter.
Some ingredients that could strengthen your immune system are sweet potatoes and ginger.
Beta-carotene is an organic molecule found in vegetables such as sweet potatoes. According to a National Library of Medicine study, they effectively enhance cell-mediated responses in the body.
Our immune system is awakened by cell-mediated responses, which means that a boost in immunity is seen when your Beta-carotene intake is increased.
As we all know, water is essential to maintain a healthy body and keep our organs, especially the liver, clean. However, not many drink the recommended amount of water per day, which is 2.7 L for women and 3.7 L for men.
Considering the busy lifestyle of many, trying to drink that much water is almost impossible, and that’s where smoothies come into the picture. In this case, Smoothies could be the second-best way to increase the daily amount of water you consume.
25. Fewer cravings
Meals rich with nutrients and especially proteins such as kale, are essential to consume when trying to control cravings and hunger and keep blood sugar in check.
That’s because your body takes a longer time to digest them, making you feel full for an extended period. And smoothies are an excellent choice here as they can be very versatile.