Portable, easy to make and endlessly adaptable to your taste, smoothies are one of the easiest ways to get more fruits and veggies. That can make a big difference in your health, since people who get more fruits and vegetables tend to maintain a healthier weight, face a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and might even maintain healthier bones as they age.
Not all smoothies offer the same health benefits, and that fast food-type smoothie you pick up at the mall might have more sugar and calories than a scoop of ice cream — definitely not what you want to lose weight! To stay healthy, you’re better off making your own smoothies at home, where you can control the ingredients.
Here’s what to look for in a metabolism-boosting smoothie
- Healthy protein: You burn up to 10 times more calories digesting protein than you do fat, and more than four times what you burn digesting carbohydrates. So a high-protein smoothie gives you a brief metabolism burst to help you burn fat.
- Very little sugar: The best weight loss smoothies forego sugar and artificial sweeteners entirely, and instead get their sweetness from a half-cup to a cup of fruit.
- Loads with greens: Leafy greens offer tons of nutritional value for very few calories, and they’re also full of fiber that boosts metabolism and increases feelings of fullness to help you shed weight.
- Filling fats: A hint of healthy fat in your smoothie makes it taste more rich (aka more satisfying!) and helps you feel full.
- A little spice: You can get a nifty metabolism boost if you don’t mind adding a little heat to your smoothie. Spiciness increases your body temperature, temporarily increasing your calorie burn.
Ready to get your metabolism revving? Try one of these smoothies!
Spicy Peach-Mango Protein Shake
This metabolism booster has plenty of zip, thanks to fresh grated ginger; perfect for a healthy wake-up call!
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Add the almond milk, yogurt or kefir, almond butter and leafy greens to your blender. Blend on medium speed until just combined. Add the frozen fruit, grated ginger and cinnamon, then blend until it reaches the desired consistency. Serve immediately, garnished with additional cinnamon, if desired.
Cacao-Cherry Metabolism Booster
Packed with antioxidants, and just a hint of heat, this smoothie tastes just like dessert (minus the sugar and calories)
Combine the almond milk, cacao powder, cayenne, kale and coconut butter in your blender and blend at medium speed until just combined. Add the cherries and blend on high speed until smooth. Serve immediately, garnished with cacao nibs.
Not all smoothies need to be creamy! Try this subtly sweet version that's lower in sugar and calories than a traditional smoothie.
Blend the coconut water, protein powder and cucumber on medium speed until combined, then add the pineapple and jalapeño and blend on high speed until smooth. Add the cilantro and pulse 2 to 3 times, until roughly chopped within the smoothie. Serve immediately, garnished with additional jalapeño.
Sylvie Tremblay holds a Master of Science in molecular and cellular biology and has years of experience as a cancer researcher and neuroscientist. Based in Ontario, Canada, Tremblay is an experienced journalist and blogger specializing in nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, health and biotechnology, as well as real estate, agriculture and clean tech.