ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Better Health and a Slimmer Waist With Smoothies and Science

Updated on March 16, 2017
Saarith LM profile image

Saarith has a Ph.D in physical chemistry. Being addicted to the gym, he also has a keen interest in nutritional science.

Why Smoothies for Better Health?

For the longest time I have been wondering what to eat to get healthier and a bit slimmer. There are all sorts of ideas, diets and food fads out there which are all supposed to work wonders. Most of them however tend to either be time consuming to prepare, really expensive, taste terrible or just plain hoaxes.

I found that by using my Nutribullet and preparing my own recipes with a little research I could create tasty breakfast meals with a variety of health benefits, by simply having a few basic recipes for smoothies and add special ingredients tailored to my needs. Of course this also works with any other blender, but I just happen to own a Nutribullet myself.

The recipes are laid out below, followed with an overview of several ingredients that can be added to the smoothies which are scientifically proven to have beneficial health effects. If you have a Nutribullet (or any other blender for that matter) just follow the guidelines laid out in the user guide on making smoothies, be sure that there's enough liquid and not to go over the max line.

If you want to read a short description on the health benefits from each ingredient in the boosters then continue past the recipes and list.

A tasty looking smoothie with an umbrella. A great and healthy way to start the day
A tasty looking smoothie with an umbrella. A great and healthy way to start the day | Source

Basic Smoothie Recipe 1 - Ingredients

  • 1 Banana
  • A cup of frozen strawberries
  • Handful of kale
  • 1/2 a cup of oats
  • 1 cup apple juice

A delicious smoothie to enjoy in the morning
A delicious smoothie to enjoy in the morning

Basic Smoothie Recipe 2 - Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 a cup of frozen strawberrier
  • 1/2 a cup of blueberriers
  • 1/2 a cup of oats
  • Handful of spinach
  • 1 cup of apple juice


When to Drink a Smoothie

In my opinion you should only have these smoothies for breakfasts and perhaps midday snacks. They are somewhat lacking in proteins which is essential for a healthy lifestyle and while proteins can be added from artificial food supplements I consider natural protein sources both healthier and superior.

Benefitial Ingredients to Add to a Smoothie

And now for the juicy bit. The ingredients in the list below have been scientifically shown to have beneficial health effects. The reason I love the Nutribullet is the ease in which one can add these natural remedies to the basic smoothies. Adding a bit of yoghurt, honey and some almonds into the smoothie does a lot to help with common ailments and overall health.

It's important to remember that these health benefits are mostly preventative. Should you already suffer from a serious condition you should always seek medical aid from a professional. And while eating healthy should always be a part of a medical regiment there are some medical conditions where certain foods need to be avoided.

(click column header to sort results)
Ingredient  
Health benefit  
Sage
Alzheimer, memory, mood, anxiety
Olive Oil
Cardiovascal disease
Honey
General health
Almond
Cholestrol, general health
Yoghurt, live
Gut health, immune system
Garlic
Blood pressure
Six ingredients which have been scientifically shown to have health benefits

Which of these ingredients would suit you best?

See results

What Does Science Say About These ingredients?

The ingredients in the smoothies are stuffed with healthy nutrients and they taste good. The are easy to mix in a Nutribullet and any other mixer for that matter.

Read on to see the main nutrients and health benefits for each of these ingredients.

Bananas

Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6. Bananas are also a decent source of dietary fiber, manganese and vitamin C and a wide range of other nutrients in lesser amounts.

In addition to bananas nutritional goodness they have prebiotic carbohydrates [reference]. Prebiotic carbohydrates cannot be digested by the human digestion system, but probiotics can digest them. The result of this is a beneficial effect on the micro-bacterial fauna of the intestine, thus increasing overall gut health.

Strawberries

Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C. Strawberries are also a decent source of manganese and have a wide range of nutrients in smaller amounts.

Some studies have linked strawberries to decreases cardiovascular disease in addition to having anti-inflamatory and anticancer properties.[reference1,reference2]

Blueberries

Blueberries are a decent source of vitamin K. Like strawberries and bananas they also have a wide range of other nutrients in smaller amounts.

What make blueberries stand out is their antioxidant properties, ranking highest of any fruit and making it an ideal candidate for receiving healthy natural antioxidants. This is important as some studies have shown that antioxidant supplements may in some cases be causing harm, while no studies have been able to show negative effects of antioxidants from natural sources.

Kale

Kale is an incredible source of vitamin K and a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A. Kale also contains sulforaphane, a chemical which has potent anti-cancer properties. Boiling kale reduces the amount of sulforaphane, while chopping it increases the availability making it ideal for Nutribullet.

Kale also contains a chemical which has been shown to reduce the uptake of dietary fat and reduces cholestrol.

Spinach

Spinach is a great source of iron, vitamin A, vitamin B9, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and magnesium. Spinach is also a good source of vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and dietary fiber.

Spinach has a very high nutritional value compared with the calorie content, making an ideal nutritional health booster in your food and if it's mixed into a smoothie with Nutribullet you can barely taste it.

Oats

Oats are a good source of magnesium and iron, with a little calcium as well. Oats are also a decent source of proteins.

Oats contain more soluble fiber than any other grain. Which means that they digest slower, suppressing appetite and giving a longer feeling of satiety.

Oats have also been found to help in reducing cholesterol [reference]

Sage

Sage is a great herb were studies consistently show improvement in memory and mood for people that consume it regularly. Research has also shown that sage can significant reduce anxiety. [reference]

Olive oil

Olive oil has been shown to reduce a wide variety of artery problems and reduce the chance of cardiovascular diseases [reference].

Honey

Honey has a wide range of health benefits producing numerous biological effects such as anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-mutagenic, anti-cancerous and immuno-suppresive activities. It is important to chose honey that is not pasteurized as the pasteurization process can destroy the proteins and ensymes that give it's properties. If you purchase honey that is organic and straight from the farm it is most likely unpasterized, but you should nevertheless make sure.

Almond

Almonds are a nutritionally dense food. They are a great source of vitamins B2 and B3 and vitamin E in addition to calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc. Almonds have also been shown to consistently lower "bad" cholesterol in healthy individuals. Almonds are also known to enhance metabolism.

Yoghurt, live

Live yoghurt usually contain a variety of beneficial probiotics which are known to help with gut health. There are even studies that suggest healthy gut bacteria can increase metabolism, making it easier to get a slimmer waist. Combining bananas and yoghurt makes a potent combo to restore gut bacterial health.

Garlic

Garlic is known to lower blood pressure, particularly for people with elevated blood pressure [reference]. As everyone knows garlic has a pungent taste and can cause bad breath so would recommend using only a small amount each time.

© 2015 Levictus Marcus Saarith

Have your say.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great smoothie recipes. You didn't need to reference every material in this hub by each line. You could've brought it down below as a footnote. Real helpful and useful! I hope to make my own smoothies someday this year!

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Thanks for well-written hub. Here in Australia the Nutribullet is very expensive to buy - over $200. Their advertising is false - you don't release nutrients by physically chopping with knives. The nutients are locked within the plant cells, which are broken down by cooking and then by the action of enzymes.

      I have found the Kambrook Blitz machine very good at 1/4 the price.

      For protein in the smoothie I add a raw egg (not obtained from factory reared chicken).