A smoothie can be an integral part of your eating protocols!
A smoothie should be made with the best ingredients available. Choosing the best protein, fruit or vegetable, and fat source is important in making your next smoothie the best it can be.
Protein—When purchasing protein powder, look for a high-protein yielding protein source that is low in sugar and free of soy products. It should have less than 4g of sugar per scoop. The protein should be sourced from whey, chickpea, goat’s milk, egg whites, and/or hemp. Never use soy protein, as this highly processed protein source has estrogen-mimicking properties that can slow muscle growth and decrease thyroid function.
Fruit/Vegetables—Choose dark, low-glycemic fruits and vegetables that have high fiber content. Some of the best are blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, kale, spinach, mint, watercress, and cucumbers.
Fat—Fat is a very important in a smoothie as it helps improve fat burning and satisfies your appetite. Coconut oil, flax oil, and/or fish oil are great sources of fat for your next smoothie.
Stabilize Blood Sugar
Protein shakes can be an important tool in stabilizing blood sugar levels, an important part in optimizing body composition. Ingestion of protein at regular intervals during the day should be your target. Smoothies can be used as a meal substitute, but are perhaps best when used between meals as a snack and before/after a hard workout.
Anti-oxidants are found in the highest concentrations in dark green vegetables and dark fruits. Anti-oxidants are measured and assigned an ORAC rating. The higher the ORAC rating, the healthier the food. Some of the highest ORAC-rated foods are prunes, berries, kale, spinach, and Brussels sprouts. Anti-oxidants are important for decreasing inflammation and slowing aging. They have also been linked to decreasing cancer risk.
Muscle is protein, and we are what we eat. Muscle growth is dependant upon protein intake, and a smoothie is a great vehicle to get protein into the body. 25-50g of protein per smoothie is optimal for those trying to build muscle. A shake consumed within 30 minutes after a workout can be key to repairing muscles after exercise. It has the ability to reduce soreness and improve muscle gains.
Burn Body Fat
Coconut oil added to a smoothie can aid anyone trying to burn more body fat. Coconut oil is an MCT oil that has the ability to stimulate the thyroid gland and therefore enhance metabolism. Fish and flax oils can also have a similar effect. A smoothie is a great way to get these oils into the body. When combining these ingredients with an intense workout, a thermogenic response occurs, causing body fat to liquefy and be available for the body to burn as fuel.
In our next blog post, we’ll give you some recipes for your next smoothie.
Free Smoothology Class
Want to learn more? Join us for our FREE Smoothology 101 class on February 20th at 6:00pm at our Downtown Roanoke chiropractic office. We’ll demonstrate and teach some of the finer points to making your next smoothie the healthiest and tastiest thing you have done for your body this year. Of course there will be taste tests! Contact us to reserve your spot!
Dr. Daryl Rich, DC, CSCS