Why Are Smoothies Healthy?

Smoothies are a great way to get in a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables, increase your fiber intake, and diversify your diet.  It is also a great way to get healthy foods into our kids, as we can easily use berries and other fruits to mask the taste of vegetables that
they might not otherwise eat.

Blending fruits and vegetables is a much better idea than juicing, as the fiber content in the foods will slow the way in which the sugars are absorbed, and therefore prevent huge spikes in blood sugar.  There is so much information about diabetes in the news now, pointing to the fact that our diets are way too heavy in high glycemic foods.  Adult onset diabetes is now called Type 2, because we are seeing it in children!  And now there is a Type 3 diabetes, which is what they are calling conditions whereby high blood sugar levels are affecting cognitive function and leading to dementia and alzheimer’s disease.  I don’t know about you, but I would really like to avoid that!

So, sit down and come up with lists of your favorite fruits and vegetables, and a list of favorite milks-almond, coconut, rice, hemp, or oat.  Than see if you can find a few different combinations that appeal to you and give them a try.   Be sure to try things like chard, beet greens, kale, celery, avocado, and spinach.  If possible, minimize the really sweet fruits like bananas and pineapples, or make sure that you rotate them so you are not having them daily.  Consider adding chia, flax or hemp seeds which are high in Omega 3 fatty acids and are anti-inflammatory, in addition to adding even more fiber!

Another great way to make this a meal is to add some healthy fat, like full fat coconut milk (canned) or medium chain triglyceride oil (this is derived from coconut and has a more neutral flavor) which boosts your metabolism and doesn’t store as fat, but keeps you satisfied longer.   Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory, great for your skin and hair and supports brain function-how can you beat that!  Another great addition is almond butter which give the drink a rich smooth taste and added protein.  You can consider adding cinnamon, ginger or cloves as well.

So, shake it up, mix it up, blend it up, and enjoy!

Eileen DePaula, Lic.Ac.

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