Smoothies: Everything You Need For Getting Started
Smoothies are a popular wellness trend and frequently marketed as health foods. These versatile beverages are portable, family-friendly and easily modifiable to your taste or dietary preferences.
They can purchased pre-produced from specialty cafés and most major grocery stores. While some types contain lots of vegetables or fruit, others pack sugar or other unhealthy ingredients, so you may wonder whether they are a healthy choice for you! But by preparing and mixing the smoothie yourself, you always have full control over it’s ingredients and therefore it’s taste and nutrient richness.
This article points on everything you need to know about smoothies and their potential benefits (including weight loss) but also what might make them less than optimal if not paired with the right macronutrients.
Topics in this Guide
What are Smoothies?
Most commonly the result of mixing and blending yogurt, fruit, nut or seeds and/or dairy or nondairy milk together will be called smoothie; which will also be thicker than a fruit juice. They can be made with any combination of the aforementioned ingredients as well as vegetables. Smoothies have become popular in recent years because they pack so many nutrients from fruits and veggies into one drink which is outstandingly refreshing!
Smoothies are made from two essential parts: a mix of different fruits and/or vegetables and a liquid (sometimes called the base). A third part might be (crushed) ice to get a cool refreshing beverage. From there, you can add the ingredients you like; also including whey, sweeteners like honey and many more.
Your result will vary in flavor, depending on the ingredients. Some smoothies include frozen produce or other green vegetables to move in direction of a “Green Smoothie”. But also increasing the ratio of ice cubes, while reducing the liquid base, to give it that cool and icy consistency of a milkshake is a way to go.
- Green smoothies: Green smoothies are made of leafy green vegetables and fruit blended with water, juice, or milk. They tend to be heavier in veggies than regular smoothies, but they often include a some fruit for better taste and sweetness.
- Fruit smoothies: This type of smoothie often features one or more types of fruit blended with juice, water, milk or ice cream.
- Protein smoothies: They are made of one to two fruits or vegetables (e.g. soy) and a liquid, as well as the protein source. These could be yogurt, cottage cheese, silken tofu or protein powder for instance.
Commonly used Ingredients
- Liquid: water, fruit juice, vegetable juice, milk, nondairy milk, coconut water, iced tea, cold brew coffee
- Fruits: banana, apple, berries, peach, mango, pineapple
- Vegetables: spinach, arugula, kale, avocado, cucumber, beetroot, cauliflower, carrots
- Nuts and seeds: almond, peanut, walnut, sunflower seed, chia seeds
- Herbs and spices: ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cocoa powder, cacao nibs, parsley, basil
- Supplements: spirulina, bee pollen, matcha powder, protein powder, and powdered vitamin or mineral supplements
- Sweetener: sugar, honey, dates, syrup, fruit juice concentrates, ice cream, sorbet, stevia
- Other: cream cheese, vanilla extract, oats, cooked white beans, tofu, yogurt, whey
Are you exited to give it a go?
Green Smoothie: Apple Promise
- 2 Apples
- 1 Banana
- 1 hand full of spinach ( 100g / 3.5oz.)
- 1 cup ( ~250ml ) of water
Protein Smoothie: Banana Spinach
- 4.5oz. ( ~ 125g ) baby spinach ( equals 4.5g protein )
- 3 middle sized bananas ( at 13.5oz. / 275g will equal 5.6g protein )
- 1 cup ( ~250ml ) of water
- 2 cups of protein powder
Exotic Fruit Smoothie: Vacation Vibes
- 1 peeled and cubed mango
- 1 sliced peach
- 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
- 1/4 cup lime
Do you have a blender? It’s the most important tool for preparing smoothies.
Read further to find out more or ->click here to skip to our blender recommendations<-
Increased Vitamin Intake
Smoothies are often consumed for breakfast or as a mid-afternoon snack. They can be a great way to incorporate more healthy foods into your diet, while satisfying a small craving for food in between. Because they are made with fresh or frozen fruit, smoothies will provide you with all their essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. These nutrients in combination may reduce inflammation, improve digestion and lower your risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, osteoporosis or obesity. Having a drink like this on a regular basis also lowers the risks of age-related mental decline. Adults should eat at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables a day. Most people don’t. If you feel addressed, don’t worry because a smoothie is an excellent way to fill the gap.
Fiber is important for your body. It promotes bowel movements and prevents constipation by preventing harmful bacteria from growing in your digestive tract, which can also contribute to stress relief. Early research suggests that a healthy community of gut microbes could promote immune function, reduce inflammation and supporting mental health as well.
Eating an adequate amount of fiber is linked to a reduced risk of chronic illnesses, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. At the same time, many people are not meeting their daily fiber needs…especially those who follow Western diets. Fiber-rich foods can often be found in smoothies, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains (such as soaked oats), nuts and seeds or legumes.
To find our more about the importance of fiber, please check out or in-depth article which provides you with the important information.
A tasty weight loss aid
A smoothie can be mixed together quickly, but considering a few things will yield a more satisfying result; along with yummy taste.
1) Pay attention to the ratio of fruit and liquid
To prevent your smoothie from becoming too runny, start with a small amount of liquid and increase it as needed.
2) Bananas, mango or avocado make your smoothie smoother
To make your drink really soft and smooth, add a few slices of banana, mango, avocado or papaya. Almond butter, nuts, seeds or coconut fat also provide a certain creaminess.
3) Pay attention to the ratio of fruit and vegetables in green smoothies
Especially as a beginner, you should consider the ratio of fruit and vegetables when making green smoothies (recommended: 70/30). Otherwise you will overwhelm your body, which has to slowly get used to the increased fiber intake and the bitter substances in vegetables.
4) Vary with the ingredients
With green smoothies in particular, there can be side effects (e.g. accumulation of alkaloids) if you only use green leafy vegetables such as spinach or kale.
5) Use ripe fruits
Ripe fruits are better for your daily vitamin drink because they contain more vital substances and are also sweeter.
6) Enjoy smoothies slowly
Always keep in mind that a smoothie is a full meal and should therefore be enjoyed slowly. In addition, by consuming it slowly, you give your digestive tract a certain lead time so that it can optimally prepare for the juice mixture. Also small portions are extremely helpful because the body has to get used to the daily portion of raw food.
Beware of (adding) too much sugar
Tools & Accessories
Of course a knife and a cutting board are the most basic helpers. And a nice glass to present and enjoy the result will help a great way.
But the single most important tool is a reliable blender.
The Vitamix 5200 is a commercial-grade blender that is powerful enough to handle the toughest ingredients. It features a sturdy, stainless steel design, dependable controls with high/low switch and speed adjustment. It's main feature is the durable high-performance motor. Also included are an extra-large capacity 64 ounce BPA-free container with textured non-slip grip for easy handling and tamper for thick mixtures. On top you'll get 7 year full warranty.
The Nutri Bullet is a solid second choice. The 1200-watt motor can handle any task you throw at it with ease. Price-wise, it's a good deal and you get a lot of bang for the buck. The downside? It's a little loud when in use and you get only 1 year of limited warranty. But if you can live with this trade-off, the Nutribullet (ZNBF30500Z) is a good affordable option.
Ninja Professional Plus
Another good budget option is the Ninja BN701, which has a 1400 watt motor that is more than capable of handling the challenge. This blender offers a decent performance while delivering very good results.
With its extra large 72 oz. pitcher, this blender is perfect for larger amounts. The Ninja BN701 comes with 3 preset Auto-iQ programs which will simplify the process.
Warranty is not mentioned at all.
The OMMO blender is a high-performance kitchen blender with an incredibly powerful motor. With 1,400 watts and 1,800 watts peak power, pulses of high-speed blending can complete fruits, vegetables and ice in just seconds. The multifunctional kitchen mixer has 9 speeds to meet your multifunctional mixing needs. This blender has the lowest price-point but is to be considered for casual use.
You’ve gotten your feet wet. Now it’s time to ride the wave. Smoothies are a popular snack and meal and can suit almost any taste or dietary preference. Their healthiness is largely determined by their ingredients. The most nutritious smoothies include whole foods like fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and healthy fats while those with lots of added sugars tend to be less nutrient-dense and may lend negative effects over time.
Smoothies high in protein or fiber might even aid weight loss by keeping you full longer than sugary drinks would! If you’re looking for a creative way to boost your fruit intake but don’t want the hassle of juicing it yourself every day, adding them into about a cup or two worth at a time before running the blender could be one option!
Tailor your smoothie
Drinking a smoothie is usually a good idea. But it’s best to be aware if your smoothie matches the desired outcome. If your goal is fitness or body composition-related, it’s important to keep an eye on calories, sugars and size. There are misconceptions about calorie intake with smoothies – some can contain over 1000 calories!
A 200–300-calorie smoothie with 10 grams of protein is a good snack, whereas a 400–800-calorie smoothie should provide at least 20 grams of protein and is better suited to replace an entire meal. It’s best to assess your goals and calorie needs to determine what you need on any given day or during the week. The difference needed might be as simple as adjusting the size per serving.
When making smoothies at home maintain balance takes time and some effort. Starting with smaller sizes and varying between them will help. Fats like nuts, seeds, nut butters or avocado will provide more but different calories without the being “high sugar content” like syrups for example. The nutrients are also worth considering when deciding what ingredients can improve your health and waistline!
Experiment yourself 😉
Add more banana, mix with kiwi or change banana to berries? There are a lot of options. And it’s best to experiment a bit on your quest to flavor.
Have you tried peanuts or almonds? What about cornflakes or granola bar pieces? Did you flavor in Oreo or Kit-Kat? Let us know what your results were.
Until then happy experimenting.
Fast-tracking your diet
If you want to get in shape fast, the best way to do it is with a diet. “The Smoothie Diet” provides you with a full custom meal plan and recipes that will help you get started on your new healthy lifestyle. It also includes a guide on how to make smoothies and some great tasting recipes. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!
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Published by Daily Health, Now! Last update: March 5th 2022