Is your smoothie healthy? 3 ways to make sure your smoothie is as nourishing as you think it is

3 ways to make sure your smoothie is as nourishing as you think it is

While we’re enjoying the last of the hot weather, long days and cold drinks, it’s a good time as any to make sure we are enjoying them to the fullest. There’s something about summer that just makes smoothies taste more refreshing, so here at Healthy Planet, we will be making them as much as we can before the warm weather ends. However, not all smoothies are healthy, despite what their advertising and claims may tell you. With these simple tips, you can rest assured that your smoothies will taste delicious and while nourishing your body with essential vitamins and minerals.  

3 simple rules to make a healthy smoothie

 Use coconut water or water instead of concentrated juice

Many smoothie makers add concentrated juices to their smoothies to make up the bulk of the flavour. But the concentrated juices they add may contain added sugars and preservatives that you may not be aware of. The safest bet is to ask for or use coconut water (no sugar added, it should be slightly sweet naturally) or just plain water. If it is a good combo of fruits and vegetables, you shouldn’t taste much of a difference. Rather than relying on concentrated juice, opt for smoothies with frozen fruit as the main flavour.

Unsweetened coconut water option: Blue Monkey Organic Coconut Water 1L

 

Add at least one source of fat in your smoothie

Having lots of fruits in your smoothie isn’t the end of the world, but if your smoothie is only made up of fruits, your blood sugar may quickly spike and drop. If you’ve ever felt hungry or tired right after drinking a “healthy” smoothie, you may have experienced a blood sugar roller coaster. In order for a smoothie to have some sustenance, you need to add a little source of healthy fat. This helps slow the absorption of sugar into the body, so you stay full longer and still get that yummy flavour.

Healthy fat options to add to your smoothies:

Do not replace a whole meal with a smoothie unless absolutely necessary

Ideally, your meals involve some chewing action. Your digestion thrives when you take the time to chew your food properly, and even though you might not feel it, a smoothie containing lots of fruits and vegetables still requires optimal digestion so that you absorb all the nutrients. The process of chewing helps your digestive system release digestive juices and enzymes, which are needed to break down the foods in the smoothie.

You can eat a little snack with your smoothie, or take the time to chew your smoothie, at least in the first few bites. It makes a big difference in how you digest it!

How to keep smoothies a part of your healthy routine

Even though smoothies should not replace meals, if you’re on the go and a smoothie is the only thing you have time to drink or eat, it’s better to have a smoothie than skipping a meal! Make sure you are adding in a source of healthy fat and protein to get the same optimal nutrition you would get in a regular meal. With strategic planning, you can up-level your smoothies and make them work for you!

Author

Grace Tien is a women’s health holistic nutritionist. She helps her clients optimize their nutrition habits so that they can get rid of afternoon slumps and live each day full of energy. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram. 

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