Summer is just around the corner, which means less hiding behind layers, and, for most of us, the very ominous thought of wearing a bathing suit. Luckily, there is time to prep. For starters, by being more mindful of the foods we put into our bodies—and it’s really as easy as looking at how you start off your morning breakfast. This powerhouse combo of cranberries, almonds, banana, kale and Greek yogurt blends together into a slightly tart, sweet and creamy smoothie, that, according to dietician Alexandra Vermillion, covers all the bases for banishing belly bloat. Here’s why it works and how to make it:
You may have known they were loaded with vitamin C, but cranberries have the added advantage of acting as a natural diuretic to reduce fluid retention.
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Packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats—they work to reduce hunger and keep you feeling fuller for longer—almonds also contain magnesium, which helps to regulate blood sugar and prevent cravings.
Bananas are rich in potassium, a key ingredient that helps your body reduce bloat by releasing excess sodium and retained water.
It might seem counterintuitive to include kale as a flat-belly food, but leafy greens contain fiber (another key to the feeling-fuller-for-longer equation) and help to prevent constipation. But, if you aren’t used to a high-fiber diet, raw kale can be difficult to digest and cause gas. Insider tip: Try steaming the kale before adding to your smoothie to ease into it.
Greek yogurt contains natural probiotics that help with bloating and digestion. Yogurt also contains protein, which, like almonds, reduces hunger. Make sure to select a plain variety; many flavored yogurts contain larger quantities of sugar.
Cranberry Almond Flat Belly Smoothie Recipe:
1/2 cup frozen or fresh cranberries
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 handful of kale
1 small handful of almonds
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender. Add enough water to blend and reach desired consistency. If using fresh cranberries, also add a small handful of ice. Make sure to use a ripe banana for a touch of sweetness to balance the tart cranberries. Avoid using artificial sweeteners, which actually contribute to gas and belly bloating.
Don’t have a high-powered blender? No problem. Switch out the almonds for leftover quinoa, oats or a scoop of almond butter.