We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us. And most of us – especially if you’re an active adult – should be getting at least five servings of these fruits and veggies on a daily basis.
Just one large, 32 oz. cup of delicious smoothie gives you just that. But that’s not all – read on to find out what other health benefits are included in that daily smoothie! Here’s our list of 10 health benefits of smoothies.
Remember the difference between juicing and smoothies? Read up here.
Smoothie Benefits #1. Promotes Weight Loss
Replacing one meal every day with a delicious, freshly prepared smoothie is the perfect way to assist the weight loss process. By using a creamy fruit (banana) or veggie (avocado) as a base and topping up with more of your favorite fruits veggies, you’re providing your body with beneficial fats, essential vitamins, and minerals, all without the high calorie content of many typical meals.
Not only will replacing a meal a day with a smoothie cut back on your calorie intake, it will increase your energy levels (since there’s less energy used up for digestion) and help you keep bowel movements regular – another plus for weight loss.
Smoothie Benefits #2. Reduces Cholesterol
Having one smoothie a day instead of a meal helps you to reduce cholesterol in two ways. The first is by replacing whatever bad cholesterol you’ve been ingesting. For example, if you’re used to pancakes and bacon for breakfast, having a smoothie instead will cut that cholesterol out of your diet.
And secondly, many fruits and vegetables have cholesterol reducing properties. Blueberries, avocados, carrots and grapes are included in this category, but they by no means form a complete list. Consider adding avocado into your smoothie as part of a base, or carrot juice as a liquid.
Smoothie Benefits #3. Fights the Signs of Aging
Many fruits and vegetables that you can use in a smoothie also boast anti-aging benefits. All fresh fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that can help to slow down the aging process, but some have higher quantities of these vitamins and minerals than others.
Oranges, broccoli, blueberries and spinach are among the top anti-aging fruits and vegetables available. Oranges, blueberries, and broccoli are loaded with vitamin C, which fights the signs of aging, and broccoli and spinach contain coenzyme Q10, which has been shown to be effective in the treatment of wrinkles.
Smoothie Benefits #4. Boosts Immunity
Using fruits and vegetables in your smoothies that are high in vitamin C will help you maintain a healthy and responsive immune system. This will help you fight off colds, flus and various viruses. Grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, and lemons contain very high levels of vitamin C.
Using these citrus juices as a liquid is a great way of packing in a super dose of vitamin C into your next smoothie while helping to slow down the oxidation process of your fruit and vegetables – two birds with one orange!
Smoothie Benefits #5. Happy, Healthy Heart
We’ve already discussed how fruit and vegetable smoothies can assist in weight loss or the reduction of bad cholesterol in your body. However, those are not the only ways that they help to support a happy, healthy heart.
Citrus fruits, such as limes, grapefruits, and oranges, are high in potassium and folates. Potassium is an essential mineral that helps keep your blood pressure within healthy levels by supporting typical heart function, while folates support the production of healthy blood cells. Ensuring a constant supply of both of these minerals in your diet is a great way to help yourself stay heart healthy. Berries in particular have proven to reduce blood pressure, according to this study.
Smoothie Benefits #6. Soothes Inflammation
A diet rich in foods that have anti-inflammatory effects are another great way to boost your heart’s overall condition and health. By keeping existing problems in check, anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables, such as blackberries, raspberries and cranberries, can ease the burden on your heart and increase triglycerides in the blood.
These fruits and vegetables also have the benefit of reducing the symptoms of arthritis and other diseases which are caused by inflammation. Furthermore, anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables reduce skin puffiness, which can help us to keep looking more youthful longer.
Smoothie Benefits #7. Healthy Bones and Muscles
Throughout our lives, many of us develop problems in our musculoskeletal system – our muscles and bones. Bone weakness can be experienced by people as we age, and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t sprained or strained something at some point in their lives.
Almost all fruits and vegetables that are good for bone strength can be used in smoothies, they contain potassium, folates, and manganese. A regular intake of these essential vitamins and minerals help to maintain bone strength, keep blood sugar levels healthy, and our nervous system working the way it should. Tropical fruits such as kiwi, pineapple, and papaya tend to contain the highest levels of these nutrients.
Smoothie Benefits #8. Has Ample Digestive Benefits
Everyone knows the importance of maintaining a healthy digestive system. Regular waste elimination can help us lose weight and detoxify. By supplying between two and seven grams of fiber per serving, fruits and vegetable smoothies are a great way to help us maximize a regular intake of fiber.
As if that wasn’t enough, adding a spoonful of soluble ispaghula husk to your smoothie will give you all of your fiber for the day – a perfect solution if you’re having problems with regular bowel movements. Don’t worry, isphaghula husk has no taste and won’t affect the deliciousness of your smoothie.
Smoothies also provide a great way for people with digestion problems to get more fresh, raw vegetables in their diets. You see, vegetables are high in fiber – some of which is insoluble – and can cause indigestion, bloating, and gas in those whose digestive systems are not in great working condition. Smoothies help the digestive process by “breaking down” these veggies in advance, making it easier on your stomach to digest them.
Smoothie Benefits #9. Energy, Energy, Energy
Fruits and vegetables contain healthy carbohydrates, which, when coupled with a slower digestive process, will release energy as your body needs it. This will help you maintain your energy levels throughout the day, so you won’t have any mid-afternoon ‘crashes’. A smoothie rich with fruit and yogurt for your breakfast will help you feel alert all day long.
Bonus tip: Using yogurt as a base for your smoothie is a great way to slow down the digestive process. This will help keep you feeling fuller longer, and regulate the release of energy into your body.
Smoothie Benefits #10. Improves Your Mood
Consuming a smoothie that’s packed with anitioxidants, folates, and flavonols, which are all naturally occurring vitamins in minerals that are contained in fruits and vegetables, has been shown in clinical trials to boost your mood.
The same studies showed that these nutrients are tied closely to your brain’s production of serotonin, which is key in maintaining your mental health. Drinking a smoothie not only a great way to curb your cravings for sweets foods like candy, which have a detrimental impact on overall mental health, but it also packs a good quantity of mood-improving vitamins and minerals into your diet.