Smoothies are a great meal replacement or snack when you're on the go or short on time. But did you know adding a handful of berries to your smoothie recipe can help your body fight inflammation?
"Berries are rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that help fight free radicals and may help slow down the aging process," says Mia Syn, RDN of Nutrition by Mia. "They're also a good source of fiber, which helps with digestion, elimination, satiety and weight management."
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Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries contain antioxidants that may have anti-inflammatory effects. These antioxidants — called anthocyanins — are linked to lower risks of chronic diseases like Alzheimer's, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, per a March 2014 Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry study.
And because berries are naturally sweet, there's really no reason not to add them to your next batch of smoothies.
1. Mixed Berry and Yogurt Smoothie
"This recipe is naturally sweetened with just fruit," Syn says. "And including yogurt adds a source of protein, which adds staying power to this smoothie to help fuel your morning or afternoon."
Get the Mixed Berry and Yogurt Smoothie recipe and nutrition info from The Simple Veganista.
2. Blueberry Smoothie With Spinach and Walnuts
This smoothie is an antioxidant powerhouse, Syn says. "Instead of sweetening with apple juice, consider adding natural sweetness and filling fiber to this smoothie by including a chopped apple."
Get the Blueberry Smoothie With Spinach and Walnuts recipe and nutrition info from Five Heart Home.
3. Blueberry Ginger Peach Smoothie
If you're looking for a smoothie that will make you fuller for longer, this fruity ginger smoothie fits the bill. "This smoothie is balanced with energizing carbohydrates and fiber from peaches, blueberries and banana, protein from protein powder and fiber and fats from flaxseed meal," Syn says.
Get the Blueberry Ginger Peach Smoothie recipe and nutrition info from The Lemon Bowl.
4. Strawberry Pomegranate Smoothie
The combination of strawberries and pomegranate juice makes this smoothie packed with free-radical fighting antioxidants. "Some studies suggest that 100 percent pomegranate juice has more antioxidant potency than red wine and green tea, on average," Syn says.
Get the Strawberry Pomegranate Smoothie recipe and nutrition info from Nourish and Fete.
5. Strawberry Chia Watermelon Smoothie
This smoothie is refreshing and hydrating, but it does lack protein. Chia seeds and almond milk only add a bit of plant protein, so this smoothie is best enjoyed alongside a balanced meal, Syn suggests.
Get the Strawberry Chia Watermelon Smoothie recipe and nutrition info from Minimalist Baker.
6. Berry Orange Smoothie
"This recipe packs nearly four servings of fruit to easily meet your recommended servings per day," Syn says. If you'd like to make this sip lower in sugar, replace half the amount of orange juice called for with water or your milk of choice.
Get the Berry Orange Smoothie recipe and nutrition info from Cotter Crunch.
7. Acai Banana Berry Smoothie
Acai berries are nutrient-dense and a great option for smoothies if you buy them unsweetened. This recipe calls for vanilla protein powder, which will help you stay fuller for longer.
Get the Acai Banana Berry Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
8. Blueberry Protein Power Smoothie
Adding flaxseed and walnuts adds amazing flavor and healthy fats to this smoothie, says Kelsey Lorencz, RDN. "And it gives a boost of fiber."
Get the Blueberry Protein Power Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
9. Berry-Morning Breakfast Smoothie
This recipe is made of fruit and yogurt, so adding more fat to this smoothie will make it more satisfying and filling. "Light coconut milk would be a great milk option to increase the tropical flavor and boost the fat content in this smoothie," Lorencz says.
Get the Berry-Morning Breakfast Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
10. Blueberry, Cucumber and Green Tea Smoothie
Green tea and blueberries are an antioxidant power team, Lorencz says. "Save your leftover green tea by freezing it in an ice cube tray for quick access anytime you want to make this smoothie."
Get the Blueberry, Cucumber and Green Tea Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
11. Red, White and Blue Smoothie
"The protein and fat from the yogurt and coconut milk make this smoothie great for a snack or meal replacement," Lorencz says. It's also a festive way to celebrate holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day or the Fourth of July.
Get the Red, White and Blue smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
12. Almond Butter and Blueberry Smash Smoothie
"If you want to skip the raspberry fruit spread, add 1/3 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries with a teaspoon of honey," Lorencz suggests. You'll get fiber, antioxidants and flavor from the fresh berries.
Get the Almond Butter and Blueberry Smash Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.
13. Dandelion Green Smoothie
In addition to berries, this smoothie calls for nutrient-rich dandelion greens. "These greens contain nutrients that can help to cut down on oxidative stress that may lead to chronic diseases — and they provide a great source of vitamins K, C, A and E," Lorencz says.
Get the Dandelion Green Smoothie recipe and nutrition info from Wholesomelicious.
14. Red Velvet Cake Smoothie
This berry smoothie may taste like cake, but it's much better for your body. "Raw beets provide a great source of antioxidants and they're also rich in nitrates, which reduce inflammation by removing toxins from your bloodstream," Andrea Mathis, RDN, says.
Get the Red Velvet Cake Smoothie recipe and nutrition info from Minimalist Baker.
15. Berry Protein Smoothie
Enjoying a protein smoothie, like this one, as a meal replacement can be a great option for weight loss or cutting calories. "This smoothie also contains a hefty serving of spinach, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and prevent oxidative damage," Mathis says.
Get the Berry Protein Smoothie recipe and nutrition info from Minimalist Baker.
16. Berries and Oats Green Smoothie
Carb-rich oats are the star of this filling smoothie. "Oats contain avenanthramides, which is an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory effects," Mathis says. "Research shows that this compound has been linked to improving function in the blood vessels, which can help to lower blood pressure."
Get the Berries and Oats Green Smoothie recipe and nutrition info from Six Sisters Stuff.
17. Beet and Berry Smoothie
"Although almond butter is high in calories, it's rich in vitamins and minerals," Mathis says. "Almonds also help to reduce inflammation of blood vessels, which is linked to a reduced risk of chronic heart disease."
Get the Beet and Berry Smoothie recipe and nutrition info from Salt and Lavender.
18. Hot Pink Chia Berry Smoothie
Though chia seeds are tiny, they're filled with nutritional goodness. "These seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and arthritis," Mathis says.
Get the Hot Pink Chia Berry Smoothie recipe and nutrition info from The Endless Meal.
19. Basic Blueberry Smoothie
Add this blueberry and banana smoothie to your breakfast rotation. "Studies show that a diet rich in blueberries can help to reduce inflammation," Mathis says. "The polyphenols in blueberries help to protect the body against the effects of aging and oxidative stress.
Get the Basic Blueberry Smoothie recipe and nutrition info from Cookie and Kate.
20. Berry Banana Breakfast Smoothie
While almond milk is suggested in this recipe, swapping it for unsweetened vanilla soy milk adds extra protein and healthy fats, Lorencz says.
Get the Berry Banana Breakfast Smoothie recipe and nutrition info here.