14 Best Smoothie Ingredients for a Flat Belly
When the time comes to tone your core and lose weight, one of the easiest, tastiest ways that can shape up your midsection comes in the form of a smoothie. Even though diet smoothies do exist in store-bought bottles, nothing compares to blending up your perfect combo of flavors and ingredients at home. While smoothies can make dieting exciting—and keep you feeling full for hours—finding the best ingredients that encourage a flat belly seems daunting. With so many products on the shelves that tout their weight-loss abilities, what are the best smoothie ingredients to choose?
To cut through the mystery of what ingredients make for the ultimate belly toning smoothie, we asked a variety of registered dietitians and medical doctors to help us choose the healthiest, best smoothie ingredients that help you reach and maintain a toned midsection.
Whether these ingredients cut cravings, provide a boost of fiber, or speed up your metabolism, you can feel secure knowing your next smoothie keeps your stomach toned and flat. Once you master using these ingredients, take a look at our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
"These tiny nutritional gems will add amazing flavor to your smoothies," says Katherine Brooking MS, RD. "And research suggests that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of wild blueberries may contribute to better brain health, gut health, heart health, cancer prevention, reduced risk of diabetes, and increased urinary tract health."
For a healthy, tart punch that makes any smoothie great, the addition of blueberries can do the trick. In addition to its wide range of health benefits, each berry has massive amounts of fiber that keeps you full for long periods of time, cutting the urge to overeat. If you need to slim down, these berries help anyone trim down their figure. Here's What Happens to Your Body When You Eat a Cup of Blueberries Every Day.
For a quick burst of energy and a surefire way to cut down on cravings, throw a handful of pistachios into your next smoothie and you won't get let down.
"They are rich in flavor and nutrition," says Brooking. "A serving of pistachios has as much protein as an egg. and they are a complete protein and perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Eating pistachios may also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure."
When you switch out carbs for a protein, you reduce your hunger-causing hormones. So by supercharging your drink with some of these nuts, you automatically trick your body into craving carbs—a win all around for anyone wanting to shape up their stomach.
Also, did you know Pistachio Milk Is Now a Thing?
"Bananas are a good source of potassium, as well as manganese, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6," says Jinan Banna, PhD, RD.
If you haven't given bananas a shot, you might be missing the secret weapon your body needs to maintain a tight core. According to Medical News Today, the fruit reduces bloat, controls appetite, and serves to replace processed sugar, making it a fine addition to any smoothie. Next time you need a sweet pick-me-up in your drink, reach for a banana to keep the pounds off. And make sure to try this Simple Trick That Keeps Bananas Fresh.
Milk gets a bad rap from dieters. While some believe the drink only serves to weigh you down with calories, the opposite holds true when you drink milk in moderation.
"Milk contains nutrients that are important for the body, such as protein and calcium," says Banna.
The dairy product contains a ton of healthy fats and only adds to your overall calorie count if you overindulge. Milk serves as a solid basis for any diet and can supply some much-needed nutrients to anyone looking to build the perfect stomach-smoothing smoothie. Have no fear next time you feel the urge to round out your drink with this beverage
For an extra boost of texture in a smoothie that can make your weight loss goals that much more attainable, try a scoop of chia seeds. According to Medical News Today, the seeds get loaded with filling fiber to keep cravings down and you feel full longer, making them an excellent way to start your day.
For a full list on how chia seeds can complete your weight loss journey, check out 24 Ways to Use Chia Seeds for Weight Loss.
"Frozen cherries… are packed with antioxidants like vitamin C," says Kayla Girgen, RD, LD. Frozen produce is picked and processed at peak freshness, so it can be equally (if not more) nutritious compared to fresh fruits."
Next time you want a tart treat during any season, consider some cherries in your next smoothie for a healthy blast of weight loss power! According to Fox, cherries not only pack in a world of vitamins and minerals into each serving, but the extra fiber keeps you from overeating. For anyone looking to slim down, give cherries a chance next time you whip up a smoothie.
Spinach has become a healthy staple for generations for a good reason—this high-nutrient vegetable can speed up the weight loss process and keeps you full with a ton of fiber for every cup that you can add to a smoothie.
"Frozen spinach… [is] packed with antioxidants," says Girgen. "Plus, you don't have to feel guilty every time you open the fridge and see your sad wilty spinach!"
"If I need a little sweetness in my smoothies, I like to use 100% pure maple syrup from Canada to give my smoothies a boost of nutrition along with that satisfying flavor," says Lauren Manaker MS, RDN. "Pure maple syrup naturally contains antioxidants, including quebecol, a specific antioxidant that has been shown to play a positive role in inflammation."
For anyone looking to sweeten up their smoothie, maple syrup can do wonders if you need a healthy alternative to processed white sugar. Even using a little bit can brighten the flavors of your drink and keep your health excellent as you keep striving for a tight stomach.
"I like to include some Greek yogurt to my smoothies for some creaminess, protein, calcium, and probiotics," says Manaker. "Greek yogurt is a simple way to pack nutrition into my yummy drink."
Nothing can help cut cravings like yogurt, and protein-rich Greek yogurt cuts out all the unnecessary sugars seen in many traditional varieties that can hamper your weight loss journey. According to Healthline, the dairy product contains healthy doses of iodine that prevent thyroid issues, a potential cause of belly bloat. It boosts metabolism and keeps you in great shape.
To discover the best Greek yogurt brand for you, check out The 20 Best and Worst Greek Yogurts, According to Nutritionists.
"I like to add SunGold kiwis to my smoothies for a boost of vitamin c and a unique flavor," says Manaker.
According to the India Times, kiwis have a long history of helping out anyone looking to shave down a few pounds. The fruit helps boost metabolism, resulting in a tighter figure and tasting great in the process. Not only do kiwis contain loads of vitamins C, E, and K, they also contain an enzyme that helps fat break down in your digestive tract, leaving you feeling in top shape.
"One of my secret ingredients to boost the nutritional value of a smoothie is by adding extra virgin olive oil, which is rich in healthy omega 3 fatty acids and boasts in antioxidants," says Rebecca Stib, RD and Founder of Nutritious Gifts. "It's completely unconventional, but adds a ton of additional nutrients."
For a healthy fat boost that can keep your midsection in great shape, olive oil provides the weight loss answer you have searched high and low for. In one study published by the British Journal of Nutrition, participants replaced their regular fat content with olive oil lost significant amounts of weight, and as any dieter knows, weight loss has to move in baby steps. Take a few by adding this healthy oil in to keep your diet moving forward.
Plus, did you know olive oil is The #1 Thing To Cook With For Weight Loss?
"[Green tea] has catechins that can improve your circulation, lower inflammation, and fine-tune your metabolism," says William W. Li, MD, physician, scientist, and author of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself.
The antioxidant properties of green tea and caffeine levels both help anyone burn extra fat and the delightful, light flavors of the drink can brighten up any smoothie. If you particularly want to burn fat to get your stomach to a new level of health, this ingredient can make your smoothie shine.
"[Pomegranate juice] contains natural bioactives called ellagitannins which improve your gut health," says Dr. Li.
By adding in a serving of this tart juice to your next smoothie, you can guarantee to not only get a blast of flavor, but a serving helps reduce your appetite, making it ideal for those of us looking to flatten their belly. A little of this juice goes a long way, so make sure to experiment with it to find the perfect flavor balance!
Chocolate makes anyone's day better, and when it can help you cut some pounds, you have no excuse but to indulge a bit. Cacao powder doesn't contain the unhealthy fat solids found in cocoa powder and has high levels of iron, magnesium, and flavonoids to get your weight loss journey moving forward.
"Go for 80% or higher cacao, which has been shown to jump-start your body's stem cells that regenerate you from the inside out," says Dr. Li.
Now take your smoothie game to the next level with the 53 Best-Ever Breakfast Smoothies For Weight Loss and keep your diet journey on track!