A smoothies can serve as anything from the perfect breakfast, to the healthiest meal on the go, to a filling, energizing pick-me-up whenever you need it. If your goal is to find smoothie ingredients that can promote healthy weight loss while nourishing your body, look no further. We asked registered dietitians, nutritionists and other health professionals for suggestions. Read on for tips and insights from Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, Registered Nutritionist at Balance One Supplements, Lisa Richards, Registered Nutritionist and Creator of The Candida Diet, and Dr. Ben Schuff, ND, LDN, Director of Naturopathy & Nutrition BIÂN.
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High-fiber fruits can improve your digestion, Top Notes, and if your goal is to lose fat, it’s important to “get more of the nutrients that bananas also have to offer,” like potassium and vitamin C. The fiber in bananas, she explains, “feel fuller longer after meals,” which reduces snacking. The fiber in bananas also improves digestion by “giving bulk to your stool and keeping your bowel movements regular,” she adds. These properties prevent bloating and extra weight on the scale. “This nutrient also acts as a prebiotic to feed the good gut bacteria and keep the gut healthy and balanced,” she continues. Ultimately, Best recommends this ingredient because bananas are a “high-fiber fruit to add to your morning smoothie that improves both flavor and nutritional quality.”
Richards says her go-to smoothie would contain “chia seeds, preferably ground.” She says chia seeds are “often overlooked, but are an exceptionally healthy ingredient to add to your smoothie to make it healthier and give you more benefits than just a meal replacement.” This superfood is versatile, she notes, and packs a punch many nutrients in a small package. “They’re packed with plant-based protein and healthy omegas,” she points out, which is great for those on a plant-based diet. “Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve immune system health, particularly when needed to balance omega-6 fatty acid intake,” she notes. Richards says that omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory and need to be kept in a similar balance with omega-3 to prevent harmful inflammation from occurring. “This inflammatory fatty acid is found in many processed convenience foods and refined oils,” she says, and chia seeds can bring harmony and well-being to your digestive system.
According to Schuff, a pinch of cinnamon can not only improve the taste of a smoothie, but also promote a healthy metabolism and digestion. “Cinnamon is a versatile ingredient that has been used successfully as an adjunct treatment for type 2 diabetes and metabolic diseases by improving blood sugar management,” he explains. Richards agrees, saying that adding cinnamon to your smoothie doesn’t have to be a seasonal tradition (although it sounds so good for fall right now!) and the “benefits may lead you to make it a frequent occurrence.” Cinnamon, she says, promotes “thermogenesis in the body,” which in turn leads to “more calories burned.”