Smoothies are pretty simple- toss in some fruit, greens, liquid, and source of protein and voila! They are such a simple concept that many people actually end up doing themselves more harm than good without even knowing it.

Here are a few tips to making a healthy smoothie:

Try to incorporate both carbohydrates and protein. If not using as a post-workout, adding a healthy fat is a great choice as well. Many people just add a variety of fruits and juice to their smoothies which causes our blood sugar to spike and our energy levels crash soon after. To avoid the sugar roller coasted, make sure you are adding a component from each category.

  1. Start with a liquid.
  • Water
  • Nut milk (coconut or almond are good choices)
  • Coconut water (great in the summer or if you expect to sweat a lot)

      2. Add a protein.

  • Pasteurized Egg Whites (I used this on Whole30)
  • Clean Protein Powder of choice
  • Peanut or Almond Butter (could also count as your fat)

     3. Add Your Veggies:

  • Greens: Spinach or Kale work great, but most greens will work!
  • You can also play around with carrots, beets, etc.

     4. Add a fruit or a combination (this adds sweetness to your smoothie):

  • Berries (preferred due to fiber content)
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Peaches

     5. Healthy Fats:

*Tip: If you are making a smoothie as part of your post-workout recovery, I wouldn’t recommend adding fat because it will slow the absorption of carbohydrates and protein to your muscles (where you need it!). Any other time such as breakfast or pre-workout snack (at least an hour before), the healthy fats are a great addition. 
  • Ground flax
  • Avocado (makes a great texture!)
  • Almond or peanut butter

      6. Get creative!

  • Try adding anti-inflammatory foods and spices such as a pinch of ginger, turmeric, or cinnamon!

Published by Functionally Simple Nutrition

Ariana Cucuzza, RDN, LD is the founder of functionallysimplenutrition.com. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist specializing in Functional Medicine Nutrition and sports nutrition. Ariana holds a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition sciences from Ohio University and went on to complete her dietetic internship at The Cleveland Clinic. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Cleveland chapter of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She also is an active member of the Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN) and Dietitians in Functional Medicine (DIFM) Practice Groups of the national Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She has been featured in Health Magazine, Live Science, Rally Health, YouBeauty, US News & World Report and Cleveland Clinic's Health Essentials as well as live appearances with WKYC news. In her previous role as a public health and community-based dietitian, she led “food as medicine” initiatives in coordination with health care providers to provide nutritious food to low-income patients with diet-related health challenges. She also led nutrition workshops, cooking demonstrations, and assisted with menu planning for afterschool programs and senior meals. Ariana enjoys cooking, trying new things, and staying active with yoga and Crossfit!

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