Smoothies are a favorite drink for all four seasons, especially summer. Whether you want to start a diet or you are simply looking for something healthy, smoothies are the right choice but only if you do it right. Here is what makes smoothies good for you and how to prepare them.
Why smoothies are healthy
Recipes for such a drink vary so much depending on your cravings and needs. Smoothies are usually made with fruits or vegetables, but you can often find inside nuts, sweeteners, herbs and whatever the consumer wants.
The reason smoothies are so popular is that they are filling and can serve as breakfast or snack in the afternoon. They can also help you increase the fiber and vitamin intake. It is a sad fact that despite the obvious benefits of fruits and veggies, the majority of the population does not consume the daily needs.
The benefits really show after you start to take the needed daily nutrition. Not only does it improve your digestion, but it also lowers the risk of heart disease, obesity, age-related mental decline and many other.
It is proven that nutrients help the digestive track which too improves the immune system as well as mental health. However, everything should be consumed with measures. It is important you put the right amount.
Smoothies: Right and Wrong
The ingredient list is entirely your choice. Base and liquid, it is up to you. You can put in mango, berries, spinach, avocado, cucumber, milk, and brewed coffee, though, perhaps, not all at once.
You have three types of smoothies to choose from: fruit, green and protein. The names are self-explanatory. Fruit consists of fruit; green consists of veggies; protein consists of protein. However, you may often find yourself mixing two types as they overlap most of the time.
Even though there is no specific rulebook when making a smoothie, there are certainly some things you need to know beforehand. With these little tips you will find yourself to be a smoothie expert in no time.
So, How Do You Choose A Smoothie Recipe?
For recipes first comes the ingredient list. As you need a liquid as a main ingredient, it is preferable not to use juice for it consists of too much sugar already and you will put in a lot more with the other ingredients. Thus, it is better to use coconut milk or simply water.
If you choose to make a green smoothie it is preferable to leave the kale for latter if you have little experience with bitter. Instead, for starters, you can try spinach and then move on to other greens once you are used to the taste.
Should you look for something to make the drink sweeter, do not run for sugar or other types of sweeteners. Extra sugar brings you nothing else but extra calories and unhealthy habits.
Now, to make things even healthier, consider mixing in a source of protein. The processed protein powders we find on the shelves are only to be considered if you are trying to gain muscle mass. But if you want a proper way to keep your battery running throughout the day, tofu is a wonderful choice.
Many things are healthy but make sure you got the proportions right. Larger quantity does not necessarily mean it is better. Rather than double servings add something that will keep you full for longer.
Smoothies and Workout
You are craving a smoothie but are not sure when to drink it because you exercise? Well, you can drink it both, before and after. Nevertheless, there a few things you need to consider.
Drinking a smoothie is good for your body but only if you consume it at least an hour prior to workout. The glycogen provided by fruits is food for our muscles and it is vital to sustain them.
In addition, this meal hydrates you and is an excellent sugar source which guarantees better performance during exercise. Fruit smoothies also are full of vitamins and antioxidants which work together to become the perfect energy booster.
As much as fruits do good to our body, we must be careful when we eat them because they take time to digest, and you would not want to jump around on a full stomach. Numerous ingredients into your drink need even more time. Hence, it is best if you stuck to two-to-three-ingredient smoothies for when you will be physically active in the next few hours.
If you want your smoothie to keep you going for longer you can add some nuts. Just remember that the nuts need more time to be absorbed. So again, drink the beverage no earlier than one to two hours before workout.
Should you choose to drink a green smoothie instead of a fruit one, include greens that are high in nitrates. From spinach, lettuce, beetroot, and many others, you are free to take your pick.
On the other hand, there are some foods you better stay away from before going active. Foods like beans, seeds and ones rich in fiber take longer to break down in our stomachs.
What Should You Avoid In Smoothies?
Fructose is also not the wisest choice as it too is not easily digestible. Refined sugar should not even be an option. Most foods need about two hours. But whatever you want to eat look it up to see how long your body will need to digest it.
For when your battery has run out, you can drink a post workout smoothie. In this case, carbs are what recharge you. Once again you will need antioxidants, protein, vitamins, and minerals to recover your muscles.
This time you have no reason to hold back, throw in the blender whatever. The richer in carbs, the better. Banana, seeds, herbs, and veggies can all be mixed together.
Salt, refined sugar, and fried food should be avoided after a workout. Low-carb foods are also not a suitable alternative for when you are wasting a lot of energy throughout the day.
If you work out to stay fit, note that the excessive quantity of smoothies will be too many calories for you to process and it might result in weight gain. Smoothies are healthy and plat-based but can do you harm if you go over the daily limit.
When are smoothies bad for you
It is true that smoothies are organic and healthy, however, you should be beware of ‘overdosing‘. You can easily exceed the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables when in liquid form. And taking in more sugar than you need is not good for your body. Besides, the blended fruit has already released its sugar which is quicker to absorb but not necessarily better.
There is also another problem that comes up when you drink smoothies often. Your teeth. Smoothies are high in acids and sugars which oftentimes leads to tooth decay. The solution is as simple as using a straw to dodge the teeth or washing your mouth after you drink.
If you think you are not qualified enough to make your own smoothie and need to buy it from a licensed smoothie shop, you are wrong. In fact, it is better to make it yourself. This way you know what you put inside as cliché as it may sound.
The smoothies you buy at the shop are made with fruit juice and thus are even higher in sugar. When you make one at home, you can choose to use water instead of juice and as a whole you can put inside what is the best choice for you.
Smoothies are nutritious, refreshing and a delicious source of minerals, vitamins, nitrogen, and instant energy. Not only do they take little time to prepare but they can also be as filling as a meal. Whether you are working out or not you cannot go wrong with a smoothie.