hether you’re looking for a balanced breakfast, a post-workout snack, or a late-night treat, smoothies might cross your mind. And hey, we don’t blame you—depending on what you put in them, they can be both super-filling and incredibly tasty. But just because they curb your appetite and sweet tooth doesn’t necessarily mean they’re good for you.
To learn what makes a smoothie actually worth adding to your routine, keep reading for what three nutrition experts have to say on the subject.
What's the Best Time to Drink a Smoothie?
The morning is a great time to enjoy a smoothie as it provides a very easy portable breakfast option. Adding something like oats along with fruits and vegetables such as berries and baby spinach can increase your fiber and vegetable intake very quickly. Also, they're a great way to continue your body's reparative state from sleeping: "It helps me continue to cleanse from the night before while keeping me full and satisfied for hours," celebrity nutritionist Kelly LeVeque explains.
Are Smoothies Healthy?
According to NYC-based nutritionist Jennifer Maeng, a well-made smoothie can be a healthy choice at any time (so long as they contain the right ingredients—more on that below). Whether you’re running late for work, too busy to take a break for lunch, or get home late after a long day, she says nutritious smoothies are an excellent option to ensure you stay satiated—and she’ll always recommend them over skipping out on meals in a pinch.
Are Smoothies Adequate Meal Replacements?
Speaking of skipping meals, many people replace full meals with smoothies. But, is this healthy? According to naturopath, nutritionist, and founder of Edible Beauty Australia, Anna Mitsios, smoothies can definitely be meals in and of themselves. "Smoothie recipes often contain fruit, yogurt/milk, protein, fiber, and fats, so they can provide a complete source of nutrition to replace the occasional meal," she explains.
LeVeque adds to this, noting that so long as your smoothie is comprised of the "Fab Four" main components of fat, fiber, protein, and greens (and water, milk, or a milk replacement for smoothie consistency sake), it’s a perfectly healthy meal replacement. Where fats help keep your cells functioning properly, fiber feeds your gut bacteria, protein helps build and maintain muscle, and greens deliver loads of vitamins and antioxidants for optimum health.
Plus, there are so many ways to achieve that mix of nutrients, that you likely won’t get bored of it—something that can’t be said of many other meal replacements.
What Should You Put in Your Smoothie?
While you now know the mix of nutrients necessary to create the ultimate smoothie, you might not know how that breaks down into actual ingredients. To streamline the process, simply choose a mix of ingredients from the below lists until you find your favorite flavor. No matter what you choose, you can look forward to a nutritionally-balanced smoothie that will keep you full for hours on end.
- Almond butter
- Coconut oil
- MCT oil
- Chia seed
- Brown rice protein powder
- Hemp protein powder
- Pea protein powder
- Collagen protein powder
- Plant-based protein powder
- Super greens powder
Simple Smoothie Recipes
- 1 tsp Glow Inner Beauty Powder
- 1 tbsp Collagen Inner Beauty Boost
- 1/2 Cucumber
- 1/2 Papaya
- 1/4 cup raspberries
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- 2 cups coconut water
Instructions: Roughly chop cucumber and papaya before blending for best results. Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth for a loaded dose of vitamin C, zinc, prebiotics, and probiotics.