Smoothies and Nutrition, What Does an Expert Say?
by Sylvia Ubell of Two Farm Kids Natural Foods
So many people are looking for better nutrition but are hampered by the plain fact that preparing everything from scratch can often be very time-consuming. However there are many excellent choices that do not require a person tied to the kitchen for hours, and these include protein based fruit smoothies.
Smoothies are fast and nutritious with loads of variety possible. They form a complete meal with all the basic nutrients of protein, carbohydrate and essential fatty acids present. Fun for kids to make where even the little ones can help put items into the blender and press the buttons, smoothies can be useful for any age from one to a hundred and one!
They are portable so can be poured into a travel mug to take to work, school or the gym. Traditionally used for years by body builders and athletes, the general public is beginning to sit up and note the benefits of this type of “liquid nutrition.” Ideal for recovering from illness or surgery, protein smoothies are faster more digestible nutrition. Diabetics and others who wish to control weight gain will certainly benefit.
A smoothie at breakfast will provide balanced nutrition at a busy time of the day for all family members. My family uses them at breakfast as well as other times of the day such as before and after playing sports, as a mid-day or a bedtime snack.
The importance of protein cannot be understated. Protein is required for all growth and repair - for muscles, organs, skin, hormones, enzymes, antibodies and the whole immune system. Protein creates hormones in the brain that keeps us alert and creates lasting, steady energy while straight carb foods like white bread and fruit are digested rapidly first spiking blood sugar for a quick burst of energy and then dropping sugar levels leaving us craving another quick fix. That is not to say that eating whole fruit is a bad thing – just have it with a source of protein and that will slow down the sugar reaction.
Protein is a natural diuretic so can help water retention. Many people who water retain later in the afternoon and evening often do not eat enough protein at breakfast and lunch. Women in particular often do not eat enough protein spread throughout the day to maintain a healthy body fat ratio.
A blender is the only essential appliance you will require for making up your smoothie. Most smoothies are ready in less than a few minutes depending on how many frozen items are added.
reprinted with permission