Smoothies made with fresh fruits and vegetables, soy, almond or coconut milk, nuts, seeds and grains are a great and nutritious way to start your day. The right shakes contain fiber, protein, vitamins, water, minerals, and antioxidants, but a smoothie isn’t always the healthiest breakfast option.
A homemade smoothie is one of the easiest ways to add fruits, berries, vegetables, herbs, and other healthy foods to your diet. This is very good for those who find it difficult to consume fresh fruits during the day. Nutritionists advise eating about 5 fruits a day, just one glass of a smoothie containing these 5 fruits is a great way out.
Many studies have shown that a diet that includes fresh fruit reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. They are a good and natural source of many heart-protective nutrients such as vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium. There is also evidence that fruits containing flavonoids (pigments that give fruits their color), such as red apples, oranges, grapefruits, and blueberries, may also protect against cardiovascular disease and various types of cancer.
Vegetable smoothies also have beneficial properties. Most of these smoothies contain calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and proteins. The quantity and quality of nutrients depends entirely on what ingredients you add to your drink. Fiber can be obtained by adding cabbage, carrots, omega-3 fatty acids – flax seeds, hemp and chia seeds, protein – nuts, seeds, natural yogurt or vegetable protein to smoothies.
However, smoothies have a number of drawbacks.
Grinding whole fruits and vegetables in a high-powered blender (like the popular Vitamix) changes the fiber structure, which can reduce the nutrient content of the drink.
– A 2009 study published in the journal Appetite found that eating an apple before dinner improved digestion and reduced calorie intake at meal times than crushed apple, applesauce, puree or juice.
– Drinking a fruit smoothie does not saturate the body in the same way as whole fruits. Liquid food leaves the stomach faster than solid foods, so you may start to feel hungry more quickly. What’s more, a breakfast smoothie can lower your concentration and energy levels by mid-morning.
The psychological factor is also important. Usually we drink a cocktail faster than we eat the same yogurt or a cup of berries sprinkled with chia seeds. The brain needs time to notice satiety and signal that it’s time to stop eating, but this trick sometimes doesn’t work with smoothies.
– If your morning smoothie contains only fruits, this can provoke overeating during lunch, so nutritionists advise adding nuts, seeds and sprouted grains to the drink.
– The other extreme is the abundance of nutrients and, importantly, sugars. Some smoothie recipes contain large amounts of maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey. Although these sugars do not carry the same harm as industrial sugar, their excessive consumption adversely affects health and increases the calorie content of the diet.
“Sometimes we don’t have time to make smoothies at home, and then ready-made “healthy” cocktails from a store or cafe come to the rescue. But the manufacturer does not always put only good products in your cocktail. They often add white sugar, sugar syrup, packaged juice, and other ingredients that you try to avoid.
– And, of course, it is worth mentioning contraindications. Smoothies are not recommended to be consumed on an empty stomach by people with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract at the acute stage, ulcerative lesions of the digestive system and diseases and various disorders of the kidneys and liver.
What to do?
If your breakfast is a smoothie of fruits or vegetables, you should definitely add snacks before lunch to keep hunger at bay. Avoid snacking on sweets or cookies at the office, replacing them with healthy fruit and nut bars, crispbread and fresh fruit.
If you don’t have time to make a smoothie at home and buy it at a smoothie bar or coffee shop, ask them to cut sugar and other ingredients that you don’t consume from your drink.
Observe how you feel after drinking the cocktail. If you feel bloated, drowsy, hungry and low in energy levels, then this drink is either not good for you, or you are making it too light. Then it is worth adding more satisfying foods to it.
Smoothies made from whole fruits and vegetables are a healthy product, which, however, must be approached wisely and know the measure. Watch how your stomach reacts to it and do not forget about snacks to avoid feeling hungry.