the do’s and don’ts of healthy smoothies
We are in an age where every other person is extremely conscious about their health and diet. These people are always on the verge of living the healthy way, and for some, this has gone on to be their routine lifestyle. And for some, getting into this lifestyle is difficult with their busy schedules. Thus, many have opted for fad diets. But something that’s been a staple for most diets is smoothies. Smoothies have been portrayed as a heath drink that can be easily made and be substituted for breakfast and can be a snack at anytime of the day.
For most people, smoothies have made it easier to go along with a hectic schedule. Oversleeping is unavoidable at times, and when it does happen, many tend to miss out on their breakfast. But it is always necessary to have a nutritious meal early in the morning to keep you energized for the day. Luckily, smoothies have you covered in such hectic situations. With easy access to smoothies, many have opted for this power house of a drink. Smoothies truly are a powerful way to fuel your body with tons of healthy nutrients when done right. It seems as though these drinks can never go wrong. But not all smoothies are created equal, and are only effective when you put in the right ingredients.
As we have mentioned earlier, smoothies aren’t exactly rocket science, yet some people tend to get them wrong. Some people just go to a local market and get themselves a ready-made smoothie. But what they don’t realize is that these drinks don’t provide the optimum nutrition as opposed to freshly made smoothies. However, there are a few pointers to keep in mind to get all the nutritional benefits out of a smoothie. Here are a few nutrition rules that we have compiled, the do’s and don’ts, to help you out on creating your next healthy smoothie:
The Do’s of Creating a Healthy Smoothie
DECIDING ON WHAT TO PUT IN YOUR SMOOTHIE:
The main purpose behind making a fresh smoothie is to consume a healthy drink. So, first of all, you need to avoid any kind of nasty ingredients such as processed sugar, flavoring and syrups. Also, you need to avoid using fruit juices and even dairy products as they can create internal inflammation and cause irritation. Instead of using fruit juices, go for fresh whole fruits and water as you will have more nutritional value from it.
Some healthy options for the base of smoothie: Coconut Water, Almond Milk, Green Tea, Herbal Tea
Some clean sweetener options: Frozen Banana, Raw Honey, Ripe Fruits, Pre-soaked Dates
PUT IN SOME PROTEIN TO FILL YOU UP LONGER:
The idea behind including some kind of protein source in a smoothie is that, both protein and fat take a longer time to digest than carbs. Therefore, it is important to put in some good source of protein in your smoothie as they will keep you satiated for a longer period of time and even improve your metabolism.
Some healthy protein options: Almonds, Walnuts, Yogurt, Avocado, Protein Powders
NOT ALL FATS ARE BAD FOR YOU:
Fats are among the three basic macronutrients, and just like protein, it keeps your hunger at bay for a longer time. Not only that, but it also signals your brain satiety and helps to keep it functioning on full throttle. With all that said, it is important to include such healthy fats into your smoothies
Some healthy fat options: Coconut Oil, Coconut Flesh, Nut Butters, Avocado, Flax Seeds
SPICE UP FOR AN EXTRA HEALING BOOST:
Spices and herbs are very beneficial to your body and help in the healing process as well. They can help in regulating blood sugar levels and even have anti-inflammatory properties. So, it wouldn’t hurt to experiment with some spices and herbs. For instance, cinnamon helps to regulate blood sugar, and turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory spice. Ginger is also great for your digestion processes and herbs like cilantro and parsley are excellent for liver detox.
The Don’ts of Creating a Healthy Smoothie
Avoid pre-bottled smoothies:
The main issue behind avoiding pre-bottled smoothies is because they are not fresh and contain preservatives. If a smoothie is stored for more than 48 hours, the whole point of having a healthy fresh nutritious drink to fuel your body will be void.
Less fruits, more veggies:
Only having fruity smoothies means that you are consuming a whole lot of fruit sugars. This also means you are depriving yourself from all the micronutrients and minerals that you can get from vegetables. Therefore, you need to have a balance between both and include vegetables such as leafy greens like celery, spinach, or anything that is high on fiber to keep you full.
Avoid anything with dairy or fruit juice as base:
Dairy products tend have inflammatory properties and be heavy on your digestive system. It is better to avoid dairy products in your smoothies. Also, anything with fruit juice should be avoided as well. Instead, opt for fresh fruits and water for the base. This is because fruit juices contain a lot of unwanted sugars and preservatives. Therefore, it’s best to avoid them.
Hidden sugars are the enemy:
Many smoothies sold in the stores contain a lot of hidden sugars in the form of syrups and sweeteners. It’s always better to ask for the ingredients before purchasing a smoothie. These hidden sugars can have a toll on all the other benefits of a healthy smoothie and might even ruin it. Instead, go for naturally sweetened smoothies with ripe fruits or raw honey.
WORDS : PRASHANT MANANDHAR