Done the right way smoothies and juices can be a nutritionally savvy addition to a well-balanced diet. Why do I love smoothies? They’re easy to make, portable and make a great breakfast, snack or post-workout refuel source. With the right ingredients, they’re a nutritional powerhouse to support gut health, weight loss/gain, skin and general well-being. You might see beautiful displays of breakfast smoothie bowls, juices and perfectly decorated smoothie glasses fill your Instagram or Facebook feed. Unfortunately, about 80% of these well put together smoothies are jam-packed with sugar – not necessarily doing your waistline, gut health or energy levels any favours. Check out the tips below to optimise your smoothie making skills.
Why you need to avoid store bought juices and smoothies
Conventional and commercial juicers can strip valuable fibre needed to keep your bowels regular, absorb toxins, moderate blood sugar levels (by slowing the absorption of glucose or sugar) and encourage that lovely feeling of fullness. The downside that arises from having fibre stripped is that sugar is absorbed much, much faster – leading to a blood sugar spike. This can be avoided by knowing how to make a better balanced smoothie to avoid an unnecessary large rise in blood sugar. What’s more, the centrifugal force of the blades and heat generated from many commercial manufacturing processes can reduce the quality of the nutrients found in the juice.
Our liver and small intestine are the major sites of fructose metabolism. Both sites don’t cope well with a big hit of fructose – impacting our gut health and predisposing us to excess fat storage when inundated with fructose. Another reason to go home-made! If you opt for store bought try to locate varieties that are unpasteurized, free from preservatives, artificial sugars and additives.
7 ways to make a healthier smoothie:
Berry smoothie recipe
1/2 cup frozen or fresh berries (I always recommend organic berries if you can)
1 handful of spinach or silver beet
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup filtered water
Add a handful of ice
1 teaspoon soaked chia seeds (optional)
1 scoop of vanilla or chocolate protein powder OR, try an LSA mix of two teaspoons of (linseed, sunflower seed, almond meal).
Add all ingredients to a high speed blender – enjoy!
Written by Clinical Nutritionist, Marina Martic.