Green smoothies are all the rage these days, but if you’re not careful, you could be turning your morning juice into a calorie bomb. Use these tips to make sure your creations in the blender are as healthy as possible.
1. Limit sugary ingredients
“Don’t turn your smoothie into an adult milkshake,” warns JJ Virgin, celebrity fitness and nutrition advisor. “Adding ingredients like dried fruit, sweetened nut milks, and sugar-added almond butter can easily turn a potentially healthy shake into a sugar-loaded, fat-storing disaster.”
Instead, include low-sugar fruits and vegetables. “I blend protein powder with unsweetened coconut milk, frozen raspberries, avocado, kale, and freshly ground flax seeds.”
2. Stick with just one fruit per smoothie
Fruit is sweet and healthy, right? So why not add one or two different kinds to your smoothie? Well, some fruit is high in sugar, so creating a smoothie that contains two to three different fruits might exceed the amount of sugar you should be eating in a day.
To get your smoothie back on the healthy track, try to include just one piece of fruit, or mix it up with half of a banana and half of an apple, or a combo of strawberries and blueberries, but be careful not to overdo it.
3. Choose the right powder
“I suggest using a non-soy, non-dairy protein powder. My favorite plant proteins include rice, pea, chia, chlorella, or cranberry protein,” advises Virgin. “Another smart option is de-fatted beef protein powder (look for one that comes from Swedish grass-fed cows), which provides whey’s creaminess without dairy’s reactivity.”
4. Be on the lookout for harmful ingredients
“Manufacturers make powders palatable and pretty with preservatives, maltodextrin (corn), fructose and other sugars, excessive sugar alcohols, and artificial sweeteners,” explains Virgin. “Those are red flags to put that powder back! Read labels carefully, buy professional brands, and opt for protein powders with fewer ingredients that are low-sugar impact.”
5. Add greens when you can!
Let’s face it, most of us don’t eat enough veggies. A simple way to add more vegetables to your diet is by including them in your morning smoothie. Kale and spinach are great greens to throw in the blender—one cup of spinach contains four grams of dietary fiber (which helps to keep you regular), while kale is full of many beneficial vitamins.
Put these five tips in action by creating a healthy smoothie every morning! It will keep you full, regular, and satisfied.