Why Drinking Daily Smoothies Helps Balance Hormones and Manage Weight
Smoothies are the chosen beverage of card-carrying health food advocates and are often one of the first things incorporated into the diets of those who are trying to improve their health, but why? What is it that’s so great about what just sounds like a glorified milkshake? In fact, smoothies, when made correctly, are a wonderful addition to a healthy diet. Drinking a daily smoothie can assist you in weight management, boost energy levels, and help to balance your hormones. Before you run out to the smoothie bar to order a 24oz chocolate protein shake and consider yourself on the right track, you need to know that not all smoothies are created equally and that the benefits of drinking smoothies come from what goes into them. Here is a crash course in smoothie formulation and how to put the right ingredients in them to maximize your health benefits.
Homemade Smoothies vs. Store-bought
One of the first things you should consider is that any time you buy a smoothie from a juice bar or coffee shop you don’t really know what’s in it. Some establishments are honest enough to provide nutritional information, but even this can be misleading. Often, store-bought smoothies are laden with fat, calories, and massive amounts of sugar to make them taste good and then are sold in gigantic sizes that can be quadruple a normal serving size. They can contain little to no actual fruit and cafés or other shops that don’t put an emphasis on offering healthy options may use powders or concentrates to save on time and cost. The sugar and unhealthy fats in these kinds of smoothies wreak havoc on your weight and your hormonal health so avoid them if that’s your goal. Instead, save yourself the money and the 700 calories and become a self-made smoothie artisan; all you need is a blender and a basic formula to get started.
The Smoothie Formula
If going to the smoothie bar is likely a caloric and nutritional catastrophe, you need to know what the right ingredients are to put in a smoothie and how they benefit your health. If you are just starting out with making smoothies at home, it’s a good idea to consult a basic smoothie formula like this one that you can print out and keep near your blender for quick reference so that your smoothies don’t come out looking congealed, lumpy, and wholly unappetizing. Once you get the hang of it, you can get more creative and make your own recipes.
Making Smoothies that Benefit Your Weight and Your Hormones
Once you have a basic idea of what goes into a smoothie: liquid, fruit, something to thicken it, a superfood supplement, and maybe some ice, you can explore specific ingredients for weight management and hormone health.
Smoothies are excellent for weight management provided you pack them with plenty of protein, healthy fats, and practice good portion control. You don’t need that 32oz beast they serve up at the local juice bar– an 8-12oz protein-packed smoothie will satiate you for hours and keep you from reaching for sugary snacks without overloading you with calories. Starting the morning with a smoothie may even help you kick your caffeine habit– the nutrients in smoothies are what your body needs to get going and won’t give you the punishing mid-morning crash that leaves you begging for a latte and accompanying pastry before noon.
As for hormonal health, smoothies are a convenient way to add in foods that are rich in phytoestrogens like dark leafy greens and supplements like chlorophyll, spirulina, and blue-green algae that oxygenate the blood and cleanse it of carcinogens. Include a spoonful of nutrient-rich seeds like chia or flax that have tons of clean protein, minerals, and omega-3s to provide your body with the necessary building blocks for proper hormone production. A handful of fresh or frozen fruit like strawberries adds natural sweetness, antioxidants, and is a great source of Vitamin C. Healthy fats thicken the texture of the smoothie so you can add a spoonful of coconut oil which contains lauric acid to aid in hormone production. Avocado gives a smooth and creamy texture while providing plenty of vitamin E, B vitamins, and folic acid so add a quarter or a half and save the rest to slice over a salad later in the day.
Avoid putting any added sugar into your smoothie as sugar creates an acidic environment and contributes to chronic inflammation, unstable blood sugar levels, and can trigger menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats. Opt for alkalizing foods like a leaf of fresh kale or spinach and the fresh fruit you include will give you plenty of fiber and offer enough sweetness that you won’t miss the sugar.
By consuming a daily smoothie that is filled with fruits, greens, proteins, and fats, you are ensuring that your body has the necessary building blocks for healthy hormone production while starting your morning with a nutritious and filling meal that is quick and convenient. Making this one inclusion to your diet is a great starting point for making wider changes to improve your health. If you are interested in learning more about how Dr. Allie can help you regain your health and vitality through the Hormone Success System, contact her today.