Smoothies/ Smoothie bowls are fairly trendy but they might not always be as healthy as you think. Having a smoothie within a balanced diet is 100% okay but we don’t recommend that you regularly replace a meal with a smoothie, even if its made with super nutritious stuff.
Why you ask? Imagine this; you and another person live in the same apartment building on the top floor. You never take the elevator and always opt to take the stairs, whereas your neighbor exclusively takes the elevator. After a period of time, who is likely to be more fit?
In this scenario, the elevator is your blender, making your life easier and quicker. One downside to letting your blender do the majority of the work, is that the food moves through your GI tract much faster. This may leave you feeling hungry shortly after consuming.
Conversely, the stairs in this scenario represent your GI tract getting a “workout” from consuming whole, fibrous foods. Your intestines that do all the digesting of your food are made up of tons of muscles that to be worked out, just like other muscles in your body. If you consistently consume liquidized foods, your GI tract can become lazy and actually cause you more GI upset when you eat more whole/ fibrous foods. Moreover, by eating more whole foods, it takes your body longer to break things down and digest, meaning you feel fuller for longer.
It is important to note that while some people with specific medical conditions require a liquidized diet, the average healthy person should not continuously rely on liquidized meals.
Don’t worry, a smoothie once every few days is not going to give you a lazy GI tract! Here are our tips for building a better smoothie!
Include a complex carbohydrate (i.e. oats, spelt flakes, quinoa flakes etc.), a healthy fat (hemp hearts, nut butters, avocado etc.), a protein source (greek yogurt, pasteurized egg whites etc.), fruits/ veggies and limit excess amounts of fruit juices. Pair your smoothie with a piece of toast or a bowl of oatmeal for extra satiation. Great creative and enjoy!
Yield: One Smoothie
- ½ cup sliced beets ( I used frozen beets)
- ½ cup mixed berries
- ¼ cup large flake oats
- 2 tbsp hemp hearts
- 2 tbsp vanilla whey protein
- 1 cup milk (or milk substitute)
Directions: Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth!
Recipe and Photo By: Brittaney Berendsen RD, P.H.Ec.