4. Dark Chocolate Banana Smoothie
This great recipe is perfect for people with a sweet tooth. It’s also vegan and gluten-free while remaining under 400 calories.
Plus, it’s packed with fiber, copper, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin E.
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup raw spinach
- 1 cup almond milk
- 3 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. organic vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. honey, if needed to sweeten (optional)
Key Ingredients: Cocoa and Banana
Neuroscientist Will Clower, Ph.D. told Women’s Health Magazine that eating chocolate 20 minutes before a meal and five minutes after can suppress your appetite by up to 50 percent (12).
The rich flavonoids in cocoa boost insulin sensitivity to prevent sugar from being stored as fat. It also protects neurons from damage, improves mood, and fights fight bacterial overgrowth in the intestines to improve nutrient absorption (13).
On the other hand, banana contains resistant starch that supports weight loss as it slows digestion, boosts the feeling of fullness and lowers cholesterol. The fruit also feeds good bacteria which in turn metabolize fats (14).