How can a smoothie be unhealthy? Well, a green smoothie will be healthy as long as you only use natural wholefoods. Though, they can quickly turn into junk food.
So, let me first set the record straight about a few unhealthy ingredients that I have spotted in some smoothie recipes which I found on the other blogs.
If you have made any of these mistakes when it comes to blending your smoothie, it is not too late to change your recipe.
You Should Never Add These Ingredients To Your Smoothies
Although many people are convinced fruit juice is good for their health, it is in fact not. Sugars that are naturally found in wholefoods such as fruit don't lead to health problems like added sugar can. Though, once you juice a fruit, it is not a wholefood anymore. So, fruit juice is about the only example where sugar that is naturally found in wholefoods are in fact bad.
Sweetened Almond Milk
When you want to add almond milk (or any other plant-based milk for that matter) to your smoothie, ensure that is it not sweetened.
Almond milk that has been sweetened can add more than 5 grams of extra sugar to your smoothie!
Contrary to popular belief, agave is neither a healthy sweetener nor a superfood. It has a high concentration of sugar and is therefore just a high-fructose syrup.
What I do to make my smoothie taste sweeter is to add sweet fruit such as kiwi, orange, berries, banana or pineapple.
It is also believed that honey can benefit your health in several ways. Though, honey also remains a concentrated sweetener. As its only purpose is to add sugar, I suggest that you rather not add honey to your green smoothie.
As I have suggested before, if you want to make your smoothie sweeter, simply add fruits that taste sweet.
Dairy Products Like Yogurt And Milk
I do not like to use dairy. In actual fact, according to some research dairy is not as healthy as we think it is.
Apart from what research has shown, there are two reasons why I do not like to use dairy. I just feel better when I do not eat dairy. Also, when you add milk or yogurt to your smoothie you add more calories. In other words dairy can change your green smoothie into something that is no longer good for your diet.
I love adding fruit like pineapple, orange and kiwi. As dairy and these acidic fruit do not mix well, it is better just to skip the dairy altogether.
In fact, you can get just as much (if not even more) calcium by drinking a green smoothie than by enjoying a glass of milk.
Traditional Nut Butters
I like to add almond butter or peanut butter to my green smoothie from time to time. A nut butter can add protein and healthy fat that will mean your green smoothie is even more filling.
Though, conventional peanut butter has a lot of additives like preservatives, sugar and palm oil. These ingredients you do not want to add to your green smoothie! Therefore, I recommend that you at all times opt for an all-natural peanut butter. Be sure to read the label. It should only have peanuts and perhaps salt.
Water Straight From the Tap
There is probably nothing wrong with your tap water. Though, I like to add filtered water to my green smoothie. It is easy – I simply add a filter to my tap.
I do not like it when people add dates to their smoothies, particularly their green smoothies.
Yes, I know dates can be nutritious, but for me they have two cons. Firstly, they are very sweet. Secondly, they do not teach your taste buds and body to enjoy food that is not as sweet. I think it is very important that that we stop thinking that everything has to be sweet.
Although, it is a wholefood, they are very similar to added sugars. The sugar found in a date might be natural, but it is very concentrated. A banana that weighs approximately 120 grams has only 14 grams of sugar. That is fine. However, a date that only weighs 24 grams can have almost 20 grams of sugar. That means if you add a few to your smoothie, you are adding close to 50 grams of sugar just to your breakfast. Because of this I do not think they are truly healthy ingredients to add to your smoothie.
Sorbet, Chocolate Syrup And Ice Cream
I am convinced that most of you do not add these ingredients to your green smoothies.
Though, if you make a smoothie for dessert using these things, I suggest you try to use healthier methods to prepare your blends. You can use most fruit to make a sorbet and you do not have to add any sugar whatsoever. Fruit is adequately sweet without having to add sugar.
When you simply can't do without your favorite chocolate, my suggestion is that you use raw cacao in your green smoothie. This is a much better form of chocolate.
Have You Made These Mistakes When Making Your Green Smoothie?
Only Adding Spinach
Spinach is good. However, there are leafy greens that boast more minerals. I suggest you try bok choy, kale or dandelion greens. Not only do these leafy greens boast more minerals, they have more iron and calcium than spinach too.
Adding Too Many Ingredients That Are Frozen
As I like it when my green smoothie is slightly cold, I like to add some frozen fruit such as a cup of frozen berries. That being said, a green smoothie should not be frozen. When you drink one that is frozen, your digestion can be affected.
Not Adding Enough Leafy Greens
I use 40% leafy greens and the rest is fruit. That means I add about two small handfuls of leafy greens when I prepare a green smoothie that is about 20 ounces. When I make a meal that is about 30 ounces or more, I add three large handfuls of leafy greens.
If you only add a few spinach leaves or kale leaves to your smoothie that is about 30 ounces, it does not help a lot.
When you're adding sweet fruit such as mango, orange, pineapple and banana, you will get more nutritional value and minerals and you will not even know about the greens that are bitter.
Using Too Much Healthy Fat
When you use some healthy fat in your green smoothie, it is more filling. Plus, your body will absorb nutrients of certain vitamins better and you will get additional nutrients such as omega 3.
Though, I always warn people that they should not add too much fat, because it can make you feel gassy or bloated. You only need a small amount. I suggest you try about an quarter of an avo or some chia seeds/flaxseed/almond butter.
Not Adding Enough Protein
When you add protein, your green smoothie becomes more filling. It helps to get the balance between healthy carbohydrates right.
That is why I recommend you add some protein powder to your smoothie. However, if protein powder is not available, you can substitute it with natural ingredients. Leafy greens, goji berries and nuts have significant amounts of protein. So, if you choose to use them, protein powder is not needed.
I hope you found this blog post useful.
If you did, feel free to share it with those you care about 🙂
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