Smoothies are one of the simplest and quickest ways to get in a high dose of nutrients for the day. Unlike juicing, where fiber and pulp is removed, smoothies utilize the whole of the ingredients. Fiber is critical for maintaining blood sugar, helping you to feel full, and keeping a stable weight. For those without hampered digestion, a combination of juicing and smoothies can be very effective.
How do you make the perfect smoothie? What should be included? How do you know if you are getting enough nutrients? Certainly you can blend anything you like, but there are guidelines to follow to make sure what you are eating both satiates you and is nutrient-dense.
How To Build The Perfect Smoothie?
Start With Your Base
A base is important as this is the meat of the smoothie. For a creamy smoothie choose a banana or an avocado. For a thinner smoothie omit the base and simply opt for ice.
TIP: if you are trying to lose weight skip the banana. It has too much sugar.
Choose Fresh or Frozen Fruit
Next up is adding a half a cup
Choose Your Protein
Protein helps you to maintain muscle mass while burning fat. Many people do not get enough protein in their daily diet, so making sure to sneak it in a smoothie is a great idea. You can simply use a teaspoon of your favorite nut butter or opt for a protein powder. Protein powders come in many different varieties – pea protein, hemp protein, whey protein, and more. I personally use a whey protein powder as this is a complete protein, is gluten free, and helps to fight sarcopenia – muscle loss due to age. Whey contains high amounts of leucine, an amino acid, that stimulates muscle growth. This is the whey protein powder that I use.
Add A Green
Even if you are not trying to make a green
TIP: If you have a thyroid issue make sure to lightly blanch or steam your greens first.
Add A Healthy Fat
You’ve already got this covered if you added in a nut butter for your protein or an avocado for your base. If not, throw in a handful of almonds, a teaspoon of coconut butter (oil) or some flax oil. Contrary to popular belief, fat does not make you fat. In fact, fat is needed for healthy joints, brain, heart, metabolism, and more. It also makes your smoothie more delicious.
Choose Your Liquid
Plain filtered water makes for a fine base, but you can mix it up with any of these choices: coconut water, almond milk, coconut milk, cashew or hemp milk. Avoid adding a pre-made liquid yogurt as your liquid. Unless
Add a Booster
Want to take your smoothie to the next level? Add in a superfood. A superfood is any food where the nutrient content far exceeds the density of the item. Some superfoods that are great to add to smoothies are: raw cacao powder, flax seeds, maca powder, bee pollen, and coconut oil.
If you find that you need to add a little sweetness to your smoothie, raw dates are a great choice or one of these healthier sweeteners. Skip it if you can, though! Often the fruit you use provides all of the sweetness that you need.