Are you a smoothie lover? If so, you’re going to love these PCOS smoothies – they’re all delicious, filling, and satisfying!
Eating well for PCOS can sometimes feel overwhelming. The good news is that smoothies can be an easy way to pack in a lot of nutrition in a quick, on-the-go, and tasty drink. But don’t be fooled, there are certain nutrients you’ll definitely want to include in your PCOS smoothie to really help balance your hormones.
This article will review how to assemble a PCOS-friendly smoothie and provide you with 10 easy PCOS smoothie recipes you’ll instantly want to incorporate into your daily routine.
If you’re new here, hi! I’m Alyssa, a registered dietitian who specializes in PCOS. My goal is to make eating well for PCOS realistic and sustainable.
This post may contain affiliate links.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition that affects approximately 1 in 10 women worldwide. PCOS symptoms can vary among individuals and may include irregular menstrual cycles, weight gain, weight loss resistance, unwanted hair growth, hair loss, acne, fatigue, and mood swings (1).
Although the exact cause of PCOS is unknown, there are a few driving factors that researchers believe play a role in PCOS symptoms. These driving factors include insulin resistance, chronic inflammation, and/or adrenal dysfunction.
Insulin resistance is very prevalent in PCOS. In fact, up to 80% of those with PCOS may also have insulin resistance, or decreased insulin sensitivity (2).
Chronic low-grade inflammation is also acknowledged to be a key contributor to the development of PCOS symptoms (3). Some PCOS experts believe that everyone with PCOS has some degree of chronic inflammation contributing to their symptoms.
You can read more about the driving factors of PCOS symptoms and the different types of PCOS here: 4 Types of PCOS: Which Is Your Type & How To Treat It.
The foods you eat can have a direct impact on your blood sugar levels, insulin levels, inflammatory markers, and androgen levels (aka male hormones such as testosterone).
A healthy diet that includes foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean protein, nuts, and seeds can drastically improve your symptoms and how you feel on a daily basis. The goal is to balance blood sugar levels and include components of an anti-inflammatory diet (more on that below!).
On the other hand, a diet high in processed foods, added sugar, or saturated fats may worsen symptoms.
Need more guidance on a balanced diet for PCOS? I’ve got you covered! Don’t miss this post and PCOS meal plan: A Dietitian’s 7-Day PCOS Diet Plan (PDF Included).
They can be! Smoothies can be a great way to incorporate more whole foods into your diet and pack a lot of nutrition into a meal or snack, but it depends on how they’re made.
When it comes to smoothies, most people tend to think of fruit smoothies or smoothies made at a popular chain restaurant. There are several potential problems with these types of smoothies. They often have too much fruit making them really high in carbohydrates, have a high sugar content from added sugar, and they usually have minimal amounts of protein and fat.
This combination can rapidly increase your blood sugar levels and lead to insulin spikes as well…which is only going to leave you craving carbs, feeling hungry, and make weight loss more difficult (if that’s your goal).
A balanced smoothie for PCOS is one that has protein, high fiber carbohydrates, and fat. The combination of these three macronutrients ensures that your blood sugar level rises and falls slowly giving you a nice blood sugar curve without any insulin spikes. The great thing about having balanced blood sugar levels is that you’ll feel full and satisfied for longer periods of time.
So now that you know that not all smoothies are created equal, let’s talk about how to actually make some PCOS friendly smoothies.
A PCOS friendly smoothie is going to have a good amount of fiber, protein, and fat in it. This will help to balance blood sugar levels to keep you feeling good on a daily basis. We’ll also want to include some anti-inflammatory foods to reduce the chronic inflammation that’s seen with PCOS as well.
If that seems overwhelming, don’t worry, I have a PCOS smoothie checklist to make things really easy for you!
There’s a lot of “experts” out there saying you can only choose low glycemic index fruits if you have PCOS. I have mixed feelings about this but ultimately don’t completely agree.
While this may be helpful for someone who enjoys a wide variety of fruits, what about those who may be a little more picky? If you only enjoy fruits that have a moderate or higher glycemic index, it’s still better to enjoy that fruit. All fruit is going to have fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are so valuable for managing your PCOS symptoms.
You can read more about fruits here: PCOS Fruits Guide: PCOS-Friendly Fruit To Eat & Avoid.
You’ll want to use whole fruits here, as opposed to fruit juice, because it’s going to have fiber to slow down the blood sugar increase. You may find that more or less works best for you, but approximately 1 cup of fruit is a good amount to start with.
I prefer to use frozen fruit in smoothies because it eliminates the need to use ice cubes to get that creamy consistency and cold temperature.
Some fruits that are great in smoothies:
Approximately 1 cup of fruit is a good amount to start experimenting with if you’re going to make your own delicious smoothie concoctions.
This one can be optional in my opinion, but it’s my favorite way to sneak a lot more health benefits into your smoothie. Some vegetables, like baby spinach or cauliflower rice, have such a mild flavor that you probably wouldn’t even notice they’re there!
Some vegetables that are great in smoothies:
I’d start with anywhere from ½ cup to 1 cup fresh or frozen vegetables if you’re adding them to your smoothie.
Your liquid base will make your smoothie, well, a liquid. There’s several different options you can choose from here and it will come down to personal preference and the type of smoothie you’re going for.
There’s a lot of debate around whether those with PCOS can have dairy or if they need to use non-dairy milk. The truth is that there currently isn’t any evidence that everyone with PCOS should or needs to avoid dairy. If you have an allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity to dairy, then you should definitely choose a dairy free milk option.
Some of my go-to liquid options include:
As a general rule of thumb, I’d start with about 1 cup of liquid for your smoothie.
This one is sometimes overlooked, but you’ll want to include a source of protein in your smoothie. Protein is incredibly important for several reasons. It can keep you feeling satiated until your next meal, but it also significantly improves blood sugar control. You may find that you need more or less, but I generally recommend aiming for at least 20 grams of protein in your smoothie.
Some great protein sources for your smoothie:
For protein powders, whey protein powders are a great option if you tolerate dairy. For plant-based protein powders, I recommend pea protein powder or hemp protein powder for PCOS.
To learn more about the differences in protein powders for PCOS and which brands I like, check out this blog post: The Best Protein Powders For PCOS (And Which To Avoid).
Fat is a macro that was demonized in the past but we now know how important it is for hormone health. Our meals need to contain fat for blood sugar balance, hormone production, and the absorption of certain fat-soluble vitamins.
Putting an emphasis on including healthy fats is recommended since it can help to reduce inflammation levels and improve cardiovascular health. One to two tablespoons of a healthy fat source is usually a good starting point for your smoothie.
Some great healthy fat sources for your smoothie:
If you do seed cycling to improve your hormone levels, these can be thrown right into your smoothie as your healthy fat source. Learn more what it is and how to do it here: Seed Cycling For PCOS: Does It Actually Work?
The last thing you want to consider is fun extras! These can be a great addition to boost the flavor of your smoothie and give you additional health benefits for your PCOS!
Some fun extras that improve your smoothie’s flavor may include:
If you take any supplements for PCOS, your smoothie can be an excellent way to get some of them in also!
These may include:
Ok, now that we’ve talked about the components that are needed to make a healthy smoothie recipe, let me show you 10 of the best smoothies for PCOS that are tried and true recipes by yours truly.
These are some of my personal favorite PCOS smoothie recipes. Most of them are all great sources of fiber, protein, and fat and can be used as a meal replacement shake.
If any of these recipes aren’t balanced with all the components we’d want, I’ve made clear notes on what to add. Simply click on the smoothie title to get the full recipe.
A Tropical Smoothie Cafe copycat recipe, this Triple Berry Oat Smoothie has a high fiber content with 15 grams of fiber and 37 grams of protein to give you some real staying power until your next meal!
This smoothie relies on the natural sugar of the mango to provide natural sweetness – and it does not disappoint!
Where are my pumpkin spice lovers at?! This one is thick, creamy, and tastes just like pumpkin pie filling. This one would also be good as a smoothie bowl too.
This is a great recipe that uses cottage cheese as the protein source but don’t let that scare you off if you’re not a cottage cheese lover. This smoothie tastes like strawberry cheesecake and definitely changed my mind on cottage cheese!
If green smoothies make you nervous, this Tropical Smoothie Cafe copycat recipe is a great beginner one to try! It doesn’t have a source of protein or fat so you’ll want to add that in! I’d add some collagen peptides and chia seeds but there’s tons of great combos that will work!
This is a perfect PCOS smoothie designed with fertility in mind. It includes loads of nutrients that can improve ovulation and egg quality – two necessary ingredients to getting pregnant! But don’t worry, you can still enjoy it even if reproductive health and fertility isn’t on your mind!
This smoothie is great if you have a sweet tooth! It’s so simple to make and will be giving you tropical vibes all day long!
Do peanut butter and avocado go well together? YEP! This smoothie is so creamy and combines flavors that you probably wouldn’t have considered to pair together.
This smoothie uses frozen banana and fresh carrots – another combo that you may not have thought to pair together. This is my take on a healthy, drinkable carrot cake!
If you want to improve your gut health, this is a great smoothie! Kefir, which is like a drinkable yogurt, doubles as the protein source and the liquid base. Kefir is packed with gut healthy probiotics (aka good bacteria) that may help relieve digestive issues.
If you want more information on how to put meals together to manage your PCOS symptoms, The PCOS Playbook is your downloadable e-book that includes everything you need to know about PCOS nutrition. It covers everything from macronutrients to label reading to creating balanced, delicious meals. It also includes over 30 balanced recipes for you to try! Learn more and grab your copy of The PCOS Playbook here (Code: PCOS20 saves you 20%)!
Learn the most common nutrition mistakes I see women with PCOS making and what to do instead!