We love making smoothies! They’re a great way to get fruit, protein, fiber and anti-inflammatory benefits in one pretty glass. If you have a sweet tooth at breakfast, a fruit smoothie will satisfy – forget chocolate chip muffins. With one Avocado Blueberry Creamy Dream Smoothie from Dr. Luiza Petre, MD, director of the Medi-Weightloss Clinics, you can sip your way to a flat belly. These are the tummy-friendly ingredients to use.
The base of a healthy smoothie is fruit. “Fruit is packed with vitamins, nutrients, and fiber,” says Andrea Wise, a Chicago-based trainer and nutrition coach. But too much of the wrong fruit can sabotage your weight loss goals. Wise says to avoid calorie-heavy dried fruits, sugary mango and sneaky sugar grapes. You’re best bet is to stick with anti-inflammatory berries.
Berries are bursting with natural sweetness and you can eat way more of them without worrying about the scale. For example, one cup of sliced strawberries is only 50 calories. A half-cup of raspberries gives you 4 grams of fiber, blackberries 3.8 and blueberries or strawberries 1.7 grams. The low sugar, high fiber content helps berries regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. Having high insulin can contribute to increased belly fat and cravings. Definitely mix in some tart cherries with the berries. A recent study found they have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food.
Next is avocado. It never occurred to us that avocado would make a great addition to a healthy smoothie. But it makes total sense! Avocado is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-packed, ingredient that thickens the smoothie. Avocados are naturally high in unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vitamins A, C, E, K, and many B vitamins. The healthy fats in avocado decrease your appetite and supply your body with a healthy balance of minerals. Plus much of it is composed of water and fiber, and both help keep you feeling full.
Blend half of an avocado with fiber-filled blueberries or the berry medley of your choosing. Then add half of a banana for a potassium boost. “Excess salt leads to bloating but potassium relieves that puffy feeling by balancing and circulating body fluids,” says Dr. Petre. Finish things off with ground flax seeds. They have a high concentration of plant-based omega-3s that have been shown to increase good cholesterol and decease the bad. It also lowers inflammation and in turn reduces storage of fat. Flax doesn’t have a potent taste so it won’t compromise the flavor of your smoothie.