Who doesn’t love a good smoothie? You take some fruit, leafy greens, nut butters, some type of liquid and maybe some protein powder and you add it to your blender and you have a super healthy smoothie, to get you going for the day. Right?! Well not exactly. Smoothies can be very beneficial for our health and a great jumpstart to getting the nutrients we need in our bodies all in one tall glass of goodness, but what you add and how you add that goodness, can make a difference, in our blood sugar levels, digestion and how it effects our caloric intake, as well. So here’s a a simple guide you can use to make sure you are getting the most out of your smoothie each day.
Here’s the facts, every time you consume any carbohydrate and sugary food, it will cause your blood glucose to spike. Now, how much it spikes or increases depends upon the individual. If you are diabetic or have any health concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new nutritional regimen. Okay back to the facts, when our blood glucose levels increase, the pancreas release hormone insulin. Insulin increases the uptake of glucose by our muscle and fat cells. also increasing the amount of glycogen in our muscle and liver and the fatty acid synthesis from excessive carbohydrates and in turn decreases fat breakdown. So having this increase in blood sugar and the release of insulin, we are headed for a major crash, which leaves you feeling hungry, craving more sugar, lightheadedness, feeling stressed, over eating and the exposure of pre diabetes. The other big thing here is also digestion, we want to be able to digest the ingredients of our smoothies, so we can reap the most benefit from them. So when we “smoothie” makes a difference in our overall health.
Now let’s just dive into a what you need to make a Smarter Smoothie:
A Smart Smoothie will contain all three of your Maconutrients ( fat, protein and carbs). Let’s talk Fat.
Fat in a smoothie will help slow down the absorption of proteins and carbs, this will help avoid massive spikes in your sugar. Fat will also help keep you feeling full longer, so you don’t have that craving crash in the middle of the day. When we make smoothies that are loaded with high carb ingredients, we feel hungry quicker.
You would want to add to your smoothie about 1 to 2 tablespoon of high quality fat: coconut meat, mct oil, avocado, olive oil, nut butter, nuts and tahini.
Protein has the same affect as fat, it will help you feel fuller longer and keep your blood sugar levels regulated. It will also help maintain muscle mass and help with recovery after a workout. When adding protein to your smoothie, opt for a complete protein, ones that have all 9 amino acids. I am more on the side of eating plant based proteins, like Spirulina , Hemp seeds, Buckwheat and Quinoa to name just a few, but there’s also, oats, tofu, chia seeds, nut butters and nuts.
You would want to add about 21 to 35 grams of protein to your smoothie and you can alway use a Protein Smoothie Mix. I would suggest a plant based and organic, if possible.
Fiber helps slow down the process of sugar absorption in the body. It also promotes a healthy gut, detoxification and it helps keep you “moving”. I like to call it my “Gut Sweeper”. Use up to 1 tablespoon, especially if you are any fibrous veggies to your smoothies). Great sources, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flax seeds.
Leafy Greens is another way to get fiber in your smoothie, your antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The greener the smoothie I believe the better. I love using kale, spinach, collard greens, dandelion greens, beet greens, chard and different types of lettuces. HERE YOU CAN USE AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE.
Fruit should be added in moderate to smaller amounts, because they are so high in carbohydrates. I know, the fruit makes it taste so good sweet and yummy. Yes it does and you can add the fruit, but to get the greatest nutritional benefit from you smoothies, you want to keep this particular ingredient at a minimum. There are tons of lower sugar fruits you can add to your smoothie. I enjoy all the berries, also kiwi, cranberries cantaloupe, green apples, and pears. You can also add vegetables that also lend some sweetness, like pumpkin, squash, carrots and beets. I actually buy these vegetables frozen and add them to my smoothies, it gives the smoothie sweetness and creaminess. I like to add here about 1/4 cup- to 1/2 cup.
Liquid is essential for a smoothie and what kind you use is even more. I try to use only unsweetened non dairy liquids to my smoothie. I use about 1 cup or more, if needed. Great sources; distilled water, coconut water, non dairy milk and cooled green tea.
Solids for Digestion is highly suggested and here’s why; Adding an ingredient that you have to chew causes our digestive system to turn on. Chewing releases enzymes in the mouth that initiates pre-digestion. This release sends signals to the rest of the digestive tract to get to work, producing stomach acid and gastrointestinal hormones to break down and maximize nutrient absorption. So add to the top of your smoothie those yummy crunches like chia seeds, cacao nibs, granola, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, crushed almonds and goji berries.
Boosters are great way to get those extra superfood nutrients; Add turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, clove and other anti inflammatory spices into your smoothie. I love adding a bit of cayenne pepper for the digestive juices to get a nice jumpstart and helps with burning fat. Adding matcha is great to help boost energy and burn fat as well. The bottom line, if you are going to do something , do it where it will benefit you the most and be satisfying. Remember to always Set the Table with Love.
Here’s one of my favorite;
Green High Alkaline Smoothie for good gut health. This smoothie is loaded with lots of veggie fiber that is great to support the protective bacteria in your body and cleanse toxins from your system. Drink up.
2 handfuls of greens, I used kale and spinach
1 hothouse English cucumber
1/2 lemon, peeled
1 fresh ginger, thumb size
2 stalks celery
1 large avocado
1 cup distilled water
1 tbsp olive oil
Put everything in a blender. Blend until everything is smooth. Enjoy, talk a brisk walk and let the detoxing begin. Lol 💕