3 Healthy Smoothies to Kickstart Your Day

I may not be the poster child for good health and fitness, but I can at least say that I’m eating enough fruits and veggies each day. That may not sound like an incredible feat, but you’d be surprised. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 1 in 10 adults get the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Yiiikes.

The actual amount of fruits and veg you should be eating varies with age and gender, but it’s typically at least 1 ½ cups of fruits and 2 cups of vegetables daily. And if you’re an active person, you’ll need extra servings to fuel your body. You can find more specific serving suggestions, along with some health benefits (because let’s face it – we’d never get to the recipes if I were to list them out), on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate website.

Now, I’m not saying that adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet should be the only health goal you make this year, but it’s certainly one of the biggest favors you can do for your body. Whether you want to lose weight or get healthy, eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables will put you on the right track. Besides, “I’ll have an extra cup of fresh fruits for breakfast every morning” sounds less daunting than “I need to lose xx pounds before the summer” and more specific than “I’m gonna be healthier this year.”

And this is where smoothies (finally) come in.

 
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I’ve found that one of the quickest and easiest ways to increase my intake of fruits and veggies is to blend them all up in a nutrient-rich smoothie. It’s effortless, delicious (hopefully) and perfect for busy schedules and lazy days. Best of all, some smoothies can cover half of the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables!

There are plenty of recipes online to choose from, but smoothies are also versatile enough for you to create your own concoctions. I usually toss in whatever ingredients I have on hand and hope for the best, but I do have three go-to recipes that I’m excited to share with you all. So grab your blender, and let’s get started!

Just a couple of notes about the recipes:

  • Each recipe makes one large serving, but you can easily make more by doubling the ingredients.

  • Depending on the fruits, you can end up with something pretty sour. If you prefer things on the sweeter side, add one teaspoon of honey or a pitted date to naturally sweeten the smoothie. You can also use an entire banana, instead of half.

  • For a thicker consistency, use frozen fruits.

  • The amount of liquids you add to the blender will vary, but make sure it’s enough so that your blender doesn’t overwork itself. Start with one cup and gradually add more, especially if you’re using frozen fruits.

  • I like adding chia or flax seeds to my smoothies because they’re rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. They don’t really change the texture or flavor of the smoothie, but feel free to omit them if you don’t have any on hand or if you just don’t like them.

Peachy Green and Ginger Smoothie

 
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This smoothie is basically a copycat version of Jamba Juice’s Greens n’ Ginger but without the lemonade, which most likely contains added sugars. It’s sweet, tangy and oh so refreshing! You’ll hardly taste the kale, thanks to the combination of ginger and lime that’ll wake you up.

 
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Ingredients

  • 1 ½ - 2 cups of baby kale

  • ½ lime, juiced

  • ½ cup of mango

  • ½ cup of peaches

  • 1 inch of ginger

  • 1 teaspoon of honey

  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds

  • 1 cups of water, more if needed

 

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend until completely smooth. Add natural sweeteners or more water if necessary.

  2. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

Notes + Benefits

  • This smoothie contains roughly 1 cup of vegetables (2 cups raw leafy greens = 1 cup of veggies) and 1 cup of fruits.

  • Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory food that can help relieve nausea and stomach pain.

  • Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which promote heart health and protect against heart attacks and strokes. Chias are also rich in protein, fiber, and antioxidants!

Berry Breakfast Smoothie

 
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This one’s excellent for breakfast because it has the key nutrients that’ll help you power through your morning. The smoothie tastes a lot like those portable yogurts we had as kids, but more tart and a lot more nutritious.

If you need a photo for Instagram, this recipe also makes the perfect base for a berry smoothie bowl. Simply use frozen fruits to get a thicker consistency, blend up the ingredients, pour into a bowl and top with fresh fruits, sliced almonds, shredded coconut or whatever you like.

 

Ingredients

  • ½ banana

  • ½ cup of baby spinach

  • 1 cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt

  • 1 cup of mixed berries

  • 1 teaspoon of goji berries

  • 1 tablespoon of flax seeds

  • 1 tablespoon of rolled oats

  • 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

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Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend until completely smooth. Add natural sweeteners, like the entire banana, or more almond milk if necessary. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

  2. If you're making a smoothie bowl, use frozen fruits and a tad less almond milk (maybe 3/4 cups).

  3. Pour into a bowl and top with fresh berries, granola, shredded coconut, etc. Enjoy!

Notes + Benefits

  • This smoothie contains 1/4 cup of vegetables and almost 1 1/2 cups of fruits.

  • Like chia seeds, flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. They can also help improve the health of your skin and hair.

  • Goji berries are insanely rich in antioxidants that help support your immune system and protect you from free-radical damage. They also contain beta-carotene, a plant pigment that your skin loves!

  • On top of keeping you full and energized, oats are rich in fiber and antioxidants.

Tropical Turmeric Smoothie

 
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Growing up, I firmly believed that turmeric belongs in curries and banh xeo – but smoothies? I guess it works, too! With an impressive list of health benefits, from fighting inflammation to promoting brain health, turmeric has become super popular among health nuts. A little goes a long way, as it has a bold flavor that’ll punch you right in the face.

But don’t worry – the banana, mango, pineapple and coconut water in this tropical smoothie help to balance the flavors out. Don’t be alarmed by the pinch of pepper either. Black pepper increases the effectiveness of turmeric by 2000 percent according to science.  

 
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Ingredients

  • 1 ½ - 2 cups of baby spinach

  • ½ cup of pineapple

  • ½ cup of mango

  • ½ banana

  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds

  • ¼ teaspoon of turmeric

  • 1 tiny pinch of black pepper

  • 1 cup of coconut water

 

Instructions

  1. In a blender, combine all the ingredients and blend until completely smooth. Add natural sweeteners, like the entire banana, or more coconut water if necessary.

  2. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

Notes + Benefits

  • This smoothie contains roughly 1 cup of vegetables and almost 1 1/2 cups of fruits.

  • Turmeric is known for its powerful medicinal properties, thanks to a substance called curcumin.

  • Coconut water is super refreshing and hydrating since it can help replenish electrolytes.

Of course, these recipes won’t cover all the servings of fruits and vegetables you need in a day, but they make getting your 5-a-day a heck of a lot easier. And your body will certainly thank you for it.

What do you like to put in your smoothies?