While there’s definitely a difference between refined and unrefined sugar (and how it affects your body and weight loss), at a certain point, sugar is sugar. If you’re trying to limit you intake, things like juice and smoothies aren’t always advised, because even though they’re made from natural ingredients, they can still rate highly on the glycemic index.
If you’re a smoothie aficionado, or simply want to get all your vitamins and minerals without having to resort to salad every single day, we’ve got you covered. We’ve scoured our hundreds of recipes to find a few that have 10 grams or less of sugar, which means no matter what your dietary requirements, you can enjoy them guilt free!
Currently, the Dietary Guidelines For Americans advises people to keep sugar to 10 percent of their calorie intake, so if you eat around 2,000 calories, your sugar intake should only be about 200 calories (or 50 grams) of sugar.
As with most dietary issues, it’s important to check with your doctor to make sure your meal plan fits your specific requirements, but with smoothies this delicious at under 10 grams of sugar, we think they’d fit perfectly in most diet plans!
Low Sugar Smoothies
In addition to a nice serving of antioxidants from cranberries and the anti-inflammatory power of flax seed, this low calorie smoothie includes dried hibiscus, which has been shown to be helpful in easing high blood pressure and cholesterol, and may even improve digestion. Hibiscus also creates a sweet floral taste without adding any additional sugar.
We call this one liquid gold because it’s nutritionally balanced, low in sugar, and fantastic for keeping you energized during busy days! Golden beets are a bit sweeter and less “earthy” tasting than a typical red beet, and are full of iron, potassium, and fiber. In addition to healthy Omega-3s, pumpkin seeds provide a nice serving of zinc, which has been shown to help with everything from boosting your immune system to creating clearer skin.
Kiwis, which contains a ton of vitamin C, lutein, and vitamin K, are great for the complexion. They also have antibacterial and antifungal properties, which is why a lot of people use them in homemade face masks. Cashews are a great way to get more minerals like copper, magnesium and zinc, and pear is full of fiber. Top this low sugar smoothie off with protein and Omega-3 filled chia seeds (an ancient food that was supposedly consumed by Aztec warriors before battle), and you’ve got a meal replacement that will restore any energy you may have lost after a long week.
All the heart healthy benefits of oatmeal in a cup, this low calorie smoothie will keep you satisfied for hours thanks to pumpkin seeds, which are little powerhouses of plant-based protein, fiber and healthy fats. Add in some skin-loving cinnamon and lucuma, and feel yourself glow from the inside out.
Cinnamon Carrot Cake
Every healthy diet needs a little bit of a treat — and luckily, this treat is good for you! Carrots bring a dose of sweetness, as well as beta-carotene, vitamin C and fiber. Bananas are also full of fiber, and cinnamon is a natural anti-inflammatory. Imagine walnuts as the “cake” part of this smoothie, providing a dose of nutty sweetness and Omega-3s, as well as potent cancer-fighting compounds.
Tomato Pineapple Refresher
If you’re searching for a super quick breakfast that’s also super low in sugar and fat, this refreshing smoothie has your name on it! Pineapple, lime and grape tomatoes are all bursting with complexion-loving vitamin C, while spinach provides zinc, vitamin K, folate, calcium and iron. Add in some hydration and fiber from a cucumber, and anti-inflammatory Omega-3s from flaxseed, and you have a light breakfast that will get you through even the busiest of mornings.
Related to turnips and radishes, maca root has been studied for its ability to not only increase energy and stamina, but also possibly help regulate hormones. Cacao powder (which is chocolate in its rawest form), has been shown to help amp up serotonin and endorphins, and contains fiber, iron and lots of antioxidants. Low in calories, fat, and sugar, this smoothie will have you feeling bright and bushy-tailed all day long.
Apricot Lemon Energy
Extremely high in potassium and antioxidants, apricots are a luscious summer fruit that are only in season for a few short months. Grapes are full of immune-strengthening polyphenols, zucchini is full of vitamin A, magnesium, and even a small serving of Omega-3s, and lemon adds an alkalizing kick. Almonds, one of the healthiest snacks around, not only add more good fat and protein, but have been labeled literal “brain food” by researchers. Low in calories and fat, this smoothie is perfect for starting your day on a high note.
This smoothie is low in calories and sugar, but has a healthy serving of the good kind of fat our bodies need to sustain energy and even lose weight. This combination is excellent for warding off mid-afternoon blood sugar crashes, Even though this drink is light, hemp seed and applesauce help give it volume (thanks to a type of fiber called pectin), and swiss chard provides a nice serving of vitamins K, A, and C, as well as iron. Your skin, immune system and digestion will all be saying “thank you!” after you give this one a sip!
Low in sugar, calories and fat, this smoothie may be light, but it’s filled with enough vitamins and fiber to help wake you up and get you going! Zucchini, apple, lime and strawberries all have a healthy serving of fiber and vitamin C, and maqui berries are jam-packed with antioxidants. If you’re looking for a refreshing, hydrating drink, this smoothie is perfect! It’s also a great one to pour into popsicle molds and enjoy on a hot afternoon.
Banana Kale Protein
If you’re looking for a snack that will keep you full without that “full feeling,” this low calorie smoothie is perfect! Nectarines provide ample amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene (two amazing vitamins for the complexion), banana adds potassium and fiber, red Russian kale contributes vitamin A and iron, hemp seeds bring the healthy Omega-3s, and vegan pea protein helps to build lean muscles. Power through your day with this energizing drink!
Avocado Blueberry Bliss
Native to the Amazon rainforest, Camu camu is practically glowing with vitamin C -- it has 60 times more vitamin C per serving than an orange! Blueberries are extremely high in antioxidants, as is swiss chard (also from Brooklyn Grange), and avocados are full of beneficial fats. If you’re looking for midday recharge, this smoothie will not only amp up your energy, but will make you feel stronger, thanks to those healthy avocado fats and almond protein.
Feeling a little dry? Is your daily skincare routine not doing quite the job you’d like it too when it comes to moisturizing during the hot weather? Cool down with refreshing cucumber and lime, both of which are extremely good for your skin. Cashews are high in the mineral copper, which helps rebuild collagen and elastin. What we put in our bodies is just as important as what we put on them when it comes to radiating health, so drink this smoothie and do your skin some good!
Green Apple Coconut Cantaloup
Coconut is full of the good fat that your body needs, and may actually help you lose weight by increasing energy expenditure. Hemp is one of the healthiest proteins you can ingest, and lacinato kale will give you almost a full day’s worth of vitamins K, A and C. We wouldn’t presume you’ve been looking for the perfect Mojito hangover cure, but just in case...
Green Pepper Twist
Camu Camu is another Peruvian superfood that people are just beginning to notice. Packed with more vitamin C than any other recorded food source on the planet, Camu Camu also has beta-carotene, potassium, calcium and iron, and may even help elevate mood. Though most people wouldn’t classify it a superfood, good old dill is full of calcium and iron, and has even been shown to help with digestion. We use flaxseed in our smoothies often, not just because they’re another great alternative source of Omega-3s, but because they add the kind of fiber that keeps you feeling satisfied and full for hours.
Radiant Sweet Potato
Low in sugar and calories, this sweet smoothie is a perfect part of a healthy skin routine. In addition to having a nnice amount of fiber per serving, sweet potatoes may help ease uneven blood sugar (which can sometimes lead to breakouts or other skin irritations). They’re also bursting with vitamins A and C, which are wonderful vitamins for the complexion. Pineapple, lime and pear are also full of vitamin C, and maqui berry powder contains a healthy serving of antioxidants. If you’re looking for a way to help your skin look radiant and supple, try this satisfying breakfast!
Native to Mexico, tomatillos are a staple in South American cuisine, and are a key ingredient in those famous Mexican green sauces. After you husk this little guy, he’ll look a whole lot like a tomato, and will have a similar taste as well. Tomatillos also come with a lot of fiber, vitamin C and beta carotene. A few nutrient-dense kiwis, full of potassium, and big handful of baby kale, full of protein and vitamins A, C and K, round out this intensely green drink, while chia seeds add a satisfying volume and a dose of Omega-3s. If you’re not a fan of fish oil, chia seeds may be exactly what you need to get the benefits of Omega-3s without the fishy aftertaste!
Ginger Beet Detox with Wheatgrass
Why are beets so great? The actual red vegetable contains betalains, which are phytonutrients that provide strong support for both organ detoxification and anti-inflammatory responses. In some studies, betalains have even been shown to lessen the growth of tumor cells. Wheatgrass is another gentle detoxifier that is also one of the best forms of chlorophyll you can ingest. Chlorophyll acts as a natural antibacterial healer, and can help to purify your skin from the inside out.
Chamomile Ginger Calm
If a food could be classified as “wise,” chamomile would be it. Used during the Roman Empire and in ancient Greece, chamomile has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and antibacterial properties (which makes it the perfect drink if you’re trying to heal up from a cold or infection), and is very soothing to the stomach. Ginger is also a fantastic anti-inflammatory, while lemon packs a high dose of vitamin C. If you’re looking to give your insides a burst of health and wellness, this is your smoothie!
Ginger Cantaloupe Cleanse
Flaxseed is a great vegan source of Omega-3s, helps to reduce cholesterol levels, and is a good way to keep your digestion regular. Ginger is another digestion aid and stomach soother, and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Combine these two superfoods with the delicate flavors of both pear and cantaloupe, and you have the perfect remedy for a tummy that’s seen one too many early Halloween treats.
Spicy Tomato Juice
Think you don’t like “savory” smoothies? This one will change your mind! Because of its sweet, hydrating base of a lime, cucumber and tomatoes, this is the perfect snack for in between meals because it will fill you up with very few calories. Cayenne is great for improving circulation, and himalayan salt is much more mineral rich than regular iodized salt. If you’re a fan of gazpacho, or cold soups in general, this smoothie is perfect!
Lime Green Spice
The original superfood, kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. It’s full of vitamins A, K and C, as well as antioxidants. Tarragon has been used to enhance dishes for centuries, with some reports saying it was cultivated as early as 500 B.C. It has a history of being used to ease toothaches and as a digestive aid, and has a hefty serving of antioxidants. Hempseeds are an excellent source of Omega-3s, Omega-6, protein and fiber, and keep you feeling full long after you eat them. Even though this smoothie is low calorie, it has enough nutrients to feel like a full blown meal.
Pumpkin Spiced Matcha Latte
Matcha is different than the bagged tea most of us drink because instead of just steeping the leaves, you’re actually ingesting powder made from the leaves. In addition to a combination of natural caffeine and L-Theanine (a naturally occurring amino acid that helps induce calmness), matcha is also full of anti-inflammatory catechins, antioxidants that have been shown to help fight against cancer. If you’re a fan of anything pumpkin spiced, this low calorie, low sugar smoothie is the perfect, Fall-inspired way to start your day!
If you love Almond Joy candies, you’ll love this smoothie -- and the best part is, it’s low in sugar! Fiber-filled zucchini and vitamin-infused collard greens virtually disappear in a rich, sweet smoothie base made from banana (magnesium and potassium) and cacao (fiber, iron, and anti-inflammatory properties). Add in some coconut flakes and almond milk (both of which contain healthy fat), and you have a sweet treat you can feel good about drinking first thing in the morning.
Apple Ginger Lemonade
Ginger is an incredibly warming spice (making it excellent for flavoring coffees, teas and oatmeal during colder months), and in addition to being an anti-inflammatory powerhouse, researchers have concluded that regular consumption of ginger may help burn fat and steady glucose. An apple, cucumber and collard greens keep this low fat meal high in fiber, while sunflower seeds add healthy fats, vitamin E, copper and magnesium.
Spiced Apple Cider
A cup of collard greens has five grams of protein, which is a lot for a leafy green. Collards are also an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C. An anti-inflammatory spice, cloves are also natural painkillers. Like ginger, cloves may help treat motion sickness and nausea. Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries to treat all sorts of ailments, but it’s particularly good at treating infections as well as aiding in weight loss by suppressing appetite and giving the metabolism a little boost. Let this healing drink calm your mind and body while keeping you satisfied for hours. Pro Tip: Save half the lemon for the You Make My Heart Ginseng smoothie.
Looking for a low-sugar way to feel alert and awake? Cayenne contains capsaicin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and possibly even give the libido a kick. The vitamin C from tomatoes and lime, and hydration from cucumber and celery, is a fantastic combination for your body first thing in the morning. (Your digestion will thank you!) Try replacing your orange juice and coffee combination for this natural version of a V8, and watch your energy stay buoyant all day!
Turmeric is becoming famous in the health word, and for good reason. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and is a natural treatment for chronic issues such as arthritis all the way down to achy muscles from a long workout. Native to the Amazon, camu camu has more vitamin C than any other food on record, is itself an impressive anti-inflammatory, and may even boost your mood. After you finish this smoothie, your mind and body will be so energized and in sync, you might just spring clean your entire house!
Dill’s natural oils make it a “chemoprotective,” which means that it can help neutralize certain carcinogens like cigarette smoke. In addition to being full of antioxidants, regular consumption of pomegranates and pomegranate powder has been shown to lower the rate of heart disease and blood pressure. This low-calorie, hydrating detox drink won’t just make your immune system happy; your skin look fabulous too, thanks to the vitamin C from the lime, pear and spinach, and the water-infused cucumbers. If you prefer your smoothies on the “greener” side, this one is sure to satisfy.
Green Almond Zest
With a soft, fuzzy outer shell, green almonds are what the nut looks like before its shell hardens. Tart and alkalizing, green almonds have all the health benefits that regular almonds do (protein, fiber, vitamin E and calcium), and don’t need to be peeled. Just toss them in your blender! While the leaves of rhubarb contain high amounts of oxalic acid (which isn’t safe for consumption), the stalks are completely fine, and contain vitamins C and K, fiber, and beta-carotene. Rhubarb is also one of the lowest caloric vegetables you can buy, which means it’s excellent for weight loss. This low calorie smoothie will not only give your immune system a boost, it’ll keep you satisfied ‘till lunch.
Baobab Kiwi Kick
Used for centuries in Africa to treat many illnesses like fever and malaria, baobab contains “six times” more vitamin C than oranges per serving, as well as other beneficial nutrients like calcium, copper, magnesium, and iron. When you combine it with kiwis (lutein and even more vitamin C), pear (fiber), rolled oats (manganese) and spinach (vitamins A and K), you get a low calorie smoothie that will turn your regular morning routine into a sweet, low calorie treat for both your complexion and digestion.
Lavender Apple Spice Cake
The fragrant herb lavender isn’t just for your aromatherapy bath! Edible-grade lavender (don’t use the sachets from your drawer!) adds an elegant flavor to a sweet or savory recipe. Apple and red butter leaf lettuce add fiber and nutrients including vitamins A and K. To provide that baked good element, you’ll blend in some gluten free oats, cinnamon (may help regulate blood sugar), and vanilla almond milk. This is a cake with health benefits!
Rhubarb: it’s not just for pies! Though the cinnamon, apple, and hemp protein make this smoothie rich and filling. The plant contains stilbenoid compounds which may help lower blood glucose levels. Swiss chard could pass for rhubarb’s twin—and both contain high amounts of B vitamins, choline, and vitamins C, E, and K. Orange and apple partner up to help boost your immune system, and add plenty of fiber. Yum!
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