Veggie Smoothies Willmar MN
St. Paul, MN
507 457 3281
By Jennifer Lang
How familiar does this smoothie scenario sound: one overripe banana, a few frozen strawberries, a splash of apple juice, and ice cubes? Not a bad concoction—but you can do better. By adding more exotic fruits and vegetables as well as nut butters, different proteins, and even spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, you can tailor smoothies to fit your mood and health goal. Whether you want to lower cholesterol or boost bone health, strengthen immunity or build muscle, smoothies can meet your needs beautifully.
These versatile elixirs, however, can hide a surprising number of calories. “Too much fruit can translate to too many carbohydrates, which, in turn, translates to too many calories,” says Dave Grotto, RD, a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association in Chicago. The excess sugar also spikes your blood glucose and insulin levels, which, over time, raises the risk for diabetes and weight gain. Large quantities of fat, protein, or other extra ingredients in the drink further inflate the calorie count. To keep sugar and overall calories in check, limit snack-time or side-dish smoothies to about a cup of fresh or frozen fruit (roughly 120 calories). If the smoothie serves as an entree, balance calories by shooting for about 1 cup fruit (or 4 ounces of 100 percent natural juice), 2 tablespoons protein powder, 6 to 8 ounces yogurt or milk (soy, rice, and nut milks work, too), and 1 tablespoon nut butter (or 1 to 2 teaspoons of flax, hemp, or walnut oil). All told, this comes out to around 450 calories.
The combination of carbs, fat, protein, and fiber helps regulate blood sugar and satiate hunger for longer periods of time. If you’re watching your blood sugar, select fruits low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index ranks foods based on how quickly they raise blood glucose levels; pure glucose scores 100 and foods lacking carbohydrates score zero. Typically, fiber-rich, unprocessed foods fall lower on the chart than sugary or refined ones. (For the glycemic rating of common foods, go to Web Exclusives at www. alternativemedicine. com.) While all fruits are healthy, “not all fruits are created equal when it comes to the glycemic index,” says Grotto. Bananas, for example, have a higher GI rating than berries and will spike glucose levels faster. That doesn’t mean bananas are off-limits, but people prone to insulin resistance or insulin deficiency may want to avoid going ape over them.
Keeping these caloric and glycemic guidelines in mind, you can then adjust the smoothie’s ingredients to match your health needs. “It all depends on your goals,” says Grotto. “You can design smoothies to be low-fat, heart-healthy, digestive-friendly, and so on. The possibilities are endless.”
Consider these suggestions for making your own functional smoothies:
• For weight loss, experiment with veggie smoothies, using a carrot or butternut squash base and adding broccoli, spinach, kale, cucumber, or other greens. href="http://www.naturalsolutionsmag.com/articles-display/14254/Healing-Foods-Not-Your-Ordinary-Smoothies" target="_blank">Click here to read more from Natural Solutions