All smoothies are NOT created equal. In fact, some are so loaded with sugar and fat that they're very similar to McDonald's milkshakes, nutritionally. Other recipes are so horribly combined that you're likely to experience bloating.
Here is a quick introductory guide to belly-friendly smoothies:
Stick to high quality vegan protein. Highly-processed whey or soy protein are not that great for your body or your digestion for that matter! Think about it: what had to be done to that poor cow’s milk to extract the protein out of it and then turn it into powder? Do you think your body knows how to digest it? Stick to vegan, less processed types like Sun Warrior, Vega, Nutiva, or raw hemp seeds.
Don't mix dairy and fruit. Dairy is difficult to digest on its own, but if you add in fruit you are asking for trouble. Read up on food combining basics and watch out for bad food combinations. If your stomach is sensitive or you have a tendency to bloat, ditch dairy, milk and yogurt! Use almond milk, rice milk, coconut water or coconut milk instead. Add just a few cashews into your smoothie to make it extra creamy.
Don't mix dairy and protein powders. This doesn't make for great digestion. Substitute dairy for nut-based or grain-based milks or add a bit more protein powder for thickness.
Add spices to help digestion. Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and cayenne are more favorites. These spices help regulate blood sugar levels and increase agni, which is your digestive fire. This translates into less bloating and better nutrient assimilation.
Don't overload on sugar. Choose the source of your sugars wisely. Fresh fruits and berries are always best. If you need something extra, try a couple of drops of stevia or honey.
Add good fats. Fats help balance leptin, which is your satiation and energy regulating hormone. They can also be a good source of Omega 3’s, if you choose hemp and flax seeds. In my own experience, good fats help to soothe my stomach and make me less hungry. Try avocados, almond butter, coconut oil, flax, or chia seeds. Sprouted seeds are always best.
Add something green. Our bodies need chlorophyll! It helps to reduce inflammation and completely nourishes our system. If you don't love greens start with a soft green like spinach before you move on to kale. For an extra chlorophyll-loaded protein and amino acids boost, go for spirulina tablets or chlorella powder.
Boost it up. Optionally, you can always add your favorite superfoods and powders. Maca, matcha, carob, cacao nibs, reishi, camu camu, bee pollen, and ginseng are all great but choose whatever you like!
Keep it simple. Yes, more ingredients doesn't necessarily make for a better smoothie. With fewer ingredients you're less likely to accidentally create a food combining mess. Simplicity is good for the taste and amazing for your digestion.
Super Simple Smoothie Formula: Follow this formula and you will always make delicious balanced and tasty blended meals:
- nut milk
- stevia and/or fruit
Optional: superfoods and boosters
Absolute Best Vegan Smoothie
- Almond milk
- Raw protein (1-2 scoops)
- Spinach (small handful but can skip it if you are new to smoothies)
- 2 tbs almond butter
- Ginger and cardamom (tip of the knife)
- Raspberries and blueberries
- 1 Banana (frozen, if you want thicker consistency)
- 1tbs Cacao
Tropical Paradise Green Smoothie
- Coconut Milk
- Hemp protein (1-2 scoops)
- Spirulina (5 tablets or 1 full tbsp)
- Coconut meat (frozen)
- 1 mango or frozen mango chunks
- 1 tbs Maca powder
Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.