A Metabolism Boosting Smoothie, packed with ingredients that have been proven to have a positive effect on a healthy metabolism. Smoothies are often packed with sugar from using juices, too much fruit, or added sweeteners. This grapefruit smoothie is a metabolism boosting breakfast idea, full of whole foods.
This post was originally published in July of 2014. Because of it’s continued popularity, it was republished in 2018, with new images and updated recipe instructions. The recipe is still the original!
Metabolism Booster Ingredients
Many of us need help with our metabolisms! Understanding how your metabolism works, and what things we can do to help our bodies to burn fat (like how smoothies help you lose weight) can help jump start weight loss.
Some foods have a negative impact on our metabolisms. Processed foods, sugars, and hydrogenated oils, and foods with chemical residue (think produce that isn’t organic, or chicken treated with growth hormones), clog up our metabolisms. These foods do not have the nutrients our bodies need and crave, and slow metabolic function.
Many whole foods have a positive impacts on metabolisms and can boost fat burning and weight loss. Staying properly hydrated also aids in a healthy metabolism. This smoothie combines foods that have been proven to have a positive impact on a healthy metabolism, into a creamy shake that is a great meal replacement or supplement to increase your fiber, protein, and water intake.
Studies have shown eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice, without any other dietary changes, results in weight loss. However, people who eat fresh grapefruit lose more weight than juice drinkers. In this smoothie, the whole grapefruit is eaten, rather than just extracted juice.
Pineapple is high in vitamin C, a compound important for a healthy metabolism. A vitamin C deficiency lowers your body’s ability to oxidize fat. This leads to fatigue, and retention of body fat. One cup of pineapple has 131% of the RDA of vitamin C! This metabolism booster smoothie recipe has over 200%.
I freeze bananas for smoothies and to add to my yogurt while they are still green (they are less sweet this way, but once you get used to eating them, you’ll enjoy them this way too). The reason for this is green bananas are higher in resistant starch, and lower in simple sugars. Our bodies can’t break down resistant starches, but they help the body absorb vitamins and minerals (especially calcium, ladies!), and inhibit the growth of disease-causing bacteria. Those are great benefits alone, but the other great benefit is that your body can only extract half the amount of calories from resistant starch than from other types of starches (this doesn’t mean your green banana has half the calories of a ripe one- because the whole banana isn’t made entirely of resistant starch or sugar). Lowering sugar intake is one of the best ways to lose weight.
Anyone who has drank a smoothie with a scoop of whey protein powder knows the belly-filling effect of protein. However, the benefits of protein to weight loss go beyond satiety. Our bodies have a more difficult time holding on to calories from protein, meaning we burn more calories digesting it than calories from carbohydrates or fats. One high protein smoothie isn’t going to have a huge effect on weight loss, but studies show that increasing protein intake over long periods of time has a significant impact on weight loss. Studies suggest that a protein shake with about 160 calories, and 25 grams of protein, can increase metabolism by 25%!
Green smoothies are a great way to start your day. There are lots of greens that can be added to smoothies, but spinach is a favorite of mine.
Spinach is actually more nutrient dense than kale. Calorie for calorie, spinach has 50% more protein, almost 350% more iron, and 30% more calcium (Kale does win the “nutrient battle” for Vitamin C!- so I wouldn’t say give up on kale just yet. It’s still super nutritious).
All the time, we hear that green tea is good for our metabolism, but why exactly? Caffeine does have a positive effect on our metabolisms, but the powerful component of green tea is a compound called ECGCs. ECGS have a thermogenic effect that increase fat burn in the liver, and also inhibit lipase, an enzyme that absorbs fat in the digestive tract. In addition to all of that, green tea has been proven to increase satiety, making you feel less hungry. If you’re looking for a great green tea, I love Organic Sencha.
Tips for a Metabolism Boosting Breakfast Smoothie
- I keep bananas, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, and berries in my freezer at all times so I can always make a delicious smoothie. I also like to freeze greens like spinach, so I can always have them on hand. Remember to buy your bananas green and freeze them before they ripen for the lowest sugar content and highest resistant starch content.
- I love Biochem Natural Whey Protein Powder. It’s grass-fed whey, and it’s unflavored, meaning to artificial flavors or sweeteners. Keeping chemicals OUT of your diet is as important to your metabolism as what you keep IN your diet! Sub this whey with any vegan or paleo protein supplement if you have those dietary needs.
- Other ideas to boost the protein, if you’d prefer not to use a protein supplement, are hemp seeds and chia seeds. Both are great vegan sources of protein, are easily digested, and add protein and fiber, in addition to omega 3s.
Metabolism Boosting Smoothie
- 1/2 cup strongly brewed green tea
- 1/4 cup coconut milk canned, full fat
- 2 cups spinach fresh or frozen
- 1 banana green, peeled and frozen
- 1 grapefruit peeled, frozen
- 1 cup pineapple chopped, frozen
- 4-5 pieces of ice
- 10 grams whey protein isolate
- Add all ingredients to a blender, starting with liquids and greens, and adding frozen fruit, ice, and protein powder to the top.
- Blend until ultra creamy. Add extra green tea or water if you like a thinner smoothie.
- This recipe makes 2 smoothies, because I have found it is easier to blend 2 portions rather than just one in my blender. If you don't have someone to share it with, freeze half and drink it the next day. I find the texture is still great if I let it sit out for about an hour before I drink it, and stir well.
Other Fat Burning Smoothie Recipes:
- Mint Detox Smoothie, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Blueberry Metabolism Smoothie, by Sunkissed Kitchen
- Healthy Orange Julius Smoothie, by Sunkissed Kitchen
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The Effects of Grapefruit on Weight and Insulin Response, US National Library of Medicine
Vegetables and Fruits, Harvard School of Public Health
Pineapple Nutrition Facts, Nutrition Data
All About Resistant Starch, Precision Nutrition
Ripe vs. Unripe Bananas, One Green Planet
How to Raise Metabolism, eMed Expert