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Reasons Why You Should Drink Smoothies

Confession: I used to hate smoothies (still do sometimes). Too much prep (sometimes your girl can be lazy). Too much to clean up (Who else hates cleaning the kitchen after smoothie making?) And I like to chew my food, not sip it. But then my sister bought a Vitamix when my old blender bit the dust, and it changed everything. I wanted to get my money’s worth.

It was an interesting experiment. For one, the smoothies replaced those sugary cereals I was eating. No, they weren’t as sweet as Honey Bunches of Oats, but they were rich and filling. I wasn’t hungry at 10:30 in the morning like most people I honestly don’t wake up until afternoon time I’m a night owl at it’s finest where my night owls at? The smoothie recipes were fun to make.

I started making protein shakes with chocolate-flavored pea protein powder for an afternoon snack.  It’s not a Yoo-hoo by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s still delicious and gives you the chocolate taste you crave. You get used to the taste of plant-based protein and quickly learn how to sweeten it up a bit with a frozen banana or vanilla almond milk. With a protein smoothie in the afternoon, I didn’t need a Philly-style pretzel from Wawa or a Cliff Bar to chase the hunger away.

And if you want to lose pounds, drinking smoothies as meal replacements can be a convenient and delicious way to significantly slash processed carbohydrates and the calories that come with them. A study in Current Nutrition & Food Science found that people who replaced breakfast and dinner with a high-protein smoothie lost over 18 pounds in 12 weeks.

Made right, smoothies are full of water, fiber, and protein, all of which promote “satiety,” or feeling full, and can help us avoid overeating and cut calories, according to Penn State researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Weight-Control Program.

But smoothies boast a tumbler full of other health benefits beyond weight loss, depending on the ingredients you toss in the blender before the blades start spinning. Try the smoothie recipes below, and see 10 surprising reasons to drink smoothies. Get ready to whip up a delicious shake that’ll do your body good.

Boost Metabolism

Woman with water bottleStudies have shown that adding spicy ingredients like ginger and cayenne pepper to a shake can rev up your calorie-burning metabolism. In one study at Purdue University, people who consumed about a half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in their food burned about 10 more calories in the hours afterward, compared to people who ate the same meal but without the spice. Researchers call capsaicin, the compound in peppers that makes them hot, a thermogenic chemical that not only heats the body but decreases hunger signals in the brain.

Recipe: Tropical Spice Smoothie
½ cup coconut water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ ripe avocado
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne
2” knob of fresh ginger
1 cup frozen mango.

Makes 2 servings.

Ease Arthritis Pain

Woman with arthritis

Aching from osteoarthritis-related knee pain? Muscles sore after a strength-training workout? Try a smoothie made with tart cherry juice, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and joint pain.

Recipe: Almond Cherry Bomb Smoothie
½ cup frozen bing cherries
½ cup tart cherry juice
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons almond butter

Makes 2 servings.

Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk

woman working during daySeveral studies have suggested a possible link between eating blueberries and improved memory and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists believe the anthocyanin antioxidants in blueberries may protect neurons, improve brain cell communication, and enhance blood circulation to the brain. This smoothie recipe contains other ingredients (spinach and turmeric) known to support cognitive function, making it a smart choice for boosting brainpower.

Recipe: The Einstein Smoothie
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup water
½ cup spinach
½ cup Greek yogurt, plain
1 teaspoon matcha powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ cup coconut milk
ice as needed

Makes 2 servings.

Rebuild Your Gut After Taking Antibiotics

Flat absAntibiotics create a lot of collateral damage at the same time they’re eradicating the bacterium they are prescribed to kill. They destroy much of our helpful gut microbiota, which in turn causes mild diarrhea. But sometimes the widespread reduction in microbiota by antibiotics allows a more harmful bug–Clostridium difficile—to take over. C-diff can cause severe diarrhea and even a life-threatening inflammation of the colon. It’s especially dangerous in the elderly. There’s clinical evidence that repopulating the gut with “good bugs” by taking probiotics could help prevent C-diff in people taking antibiotics. Kefir, used in the good-gut-bug-building smoothie below, is one of the best probiotics (yogurt is another) and perfect for smoothie blends.

Recipe: Gut Punch Smoothie
½ cup plain full-fat kefir
1 cup frozen raspberries, peaches, strawberries
½ tablespoon flaxseeds

Makes 1 serving.

Crush Cravings

Pastry shop

Apple cider vinegar and cinnamon have been shown to stabilize blood sugar and keep cravings for carbs at bay.

Recipe: Cinnamon ‘n’ Cider Smoothie
1/3 cup coconut water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ apple, chopped
four ice cubes

Makes 2 servings.

Lower Blood Pressure

Woman checking her blood pressureEating foods rich in potassium is a natural way to lower blood pressure because the mineral tempers the effects of sodium on the body and also eases tension on blood vessel walls. Among the best high-potassium ingredients for smoothies are bananas. One study found that eating two bananas a day can drop blood pressure by 10 percent. But before you go ape with bananas, check with your doctor. Potassium can be harmful to people with kidney problems, and it may interact with certain medications. Then try this blood pressure-lowering smoothie, which also contains vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and relaxes the walls of your blood vessels.

Recipe: Berries and Banana Smoothie
½ cup almond milk

½ cup strawberries, sliced

½ medium frozen banana

1 kiwi, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds

Makes 2 servings.

Beat Diabetes

DiabetesIf you are worried about prediabetes, this is an ideal breakfast smoothie to replace a bowl of sugary cereal or sweetened yogurt. It tastes like an apple pie, but it keeps blood sugar levels stable with cinnamon, eight grams of fiber, and muscle-building protein. What’s more, it contains EGCG, a catechin from matcha powder that stimulates cells to release fat.

Recipe: Apple Cobbler Smoothie
1 apple, cored and chopped

1 cup kale, deveined

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon matcha powder

1 scoop plain plant-based protein powder

cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Makes 1 serving.

Look Younger

Woman looking in mirrorThis smoothie is a dermatologists’ favorite because it’s loaded with beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. This vitamin protects the skin from UV ray damage, potentially keeping skin supple and youthful-looking. The beta-carotene in The Young Bunny smoothie comes from two ingredients, carrots and apricot. We’ve added honey and cinnamon, which have also been shown to help with skin repair.

Recipe: The Young Bunny Smoothie
½ cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
½ cup grated carrot
1 dried apricot half, diced
1 fresh apricot, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon local honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Makes 2 servings.

Stay Awake

A smoothie made with chilled coffee or cold-brew coffee, banana, and protein powder will not only give you an energy boost at 10 a.m., but it’ll also keep your belly satisfied until lunchtime.

Recipe: The Cold Snap Smoothie
½ cup coffee, cooled or cold brew coffee
½ cup 2% milk
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter
1 medium frozen banana
1 scoop whey protein powder
4 ice cubes

Makes 2 servings.

Go to Sleep

Sleeping woman

Cherries and tart cherry juice are concentrated sources of melatonin, a popular natural sleep aid. Try this simple concoction as a late evening snack, and you’ll drift off easily.

Recipe: The Snoozie Smoothie
¾ cup tart cherry juice
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
4 ice cubes

Makes 2 servings.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed today’s post? If you have any questions, comments or concerns please feel free in reaching out and I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. If you have general questions you can find my email in the “Thank You” section and you can find all of my social media links in the “Where You Can Follow Me” section.

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Hello, my name Is Amanda and I'm the woman behind AmandaExplainsIt. I'm a Free Spirit, coffee sipping blogger and I embrace all of the messy parts of life.I'm a mommy of two precious doggies and an advocate for food allergies, animals, and nutrition In real life. I've always loved writing and writing a blog fulfills that. I'm all about spirituality and going with the flow of things. I'm new to the beauty world and I'm excited to share what I learn along the way. Come back often because I post often and I post things related to but not limited to Beauty Reviews, Product Reviews, Spirituality, Nutrition and Food Allergies, and Gluten-Free Recipes. If you like what you read let's be friends. ~XOXO A.

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