It’s a truth as old as time that many a model starts her day with a green smoothie. But as we previously discovered, if your liquid breakfast is jam-packed with whole fruits, it won’t do anything for your waist line.
We asked nutritionist Fiona Tuck for a few pointers on how to build the ultimate green smoothie.
TO ADD FRUIT, OR NOT TO ADD FRUIT?
Firstly, let’s address the issue of fruit. According to Tuck, “Fruit is rich in nutrients, phytochemicals and fibre so it is beneficial to eat approximately two servings a day.” That being said, some fruits are better than others. “Choose lower sugar fruit in smoothies such as berries to keep the sugar content down. Or, have half an apple with spinach and cucumber instead of a mix of apples, grapes, pineapple and pears for example,” she says.
SHOULD I GO GLUTEN-FREE?
So, fruit isn’t the enemy – phew! – but you can’t have your banana and mango and pineapple too. “If using greens such as kale, spirulina or spinach, add a sweeter fruit such as mango, banana, berries or pear to balance flavour. Then, add ice and a liquid of your choice such as filtered water, plant or regular milk.”
MIX IT UP
If you’re a creature of habit, Tuck recommends that you, well, stop that… “Try to avoid having exactly the same smoothie every day as this will limit your nutrient intake,” she says. “Mix it up. For example, have berries one day and apple the next to ensure you are getting a variety of nutrients. Choose one sweeter fruit like mango or pineapple to add sweetness and flavour to your smoothie, rather than mixing a variety of sweet fruits together. That way, you’ll avoid too much fructose in one hit.”
THINK BEFORE YOU ADD PACKAGED COCONUT WATER
Speaking of sugar, it might be time to step away from shelf-bought coconut water. “Packaged coconut water tends to be highly processed as it goes through pasteurisation and heat treatments so it does not contain many health benefits and adds sugar and calories to the smoothie,” Tuck says. “Unless you are using unprocessed fresh coconut water, my advice would be either use water or a plant milk instead.”
WHAT SHOULD WE BE AVOIDING?
As a rule, the less processed your ingredients are, the better. “Avoid synthetic, artificially flavoured and sweetened protein powder mixes, supplements and pre-prepared juices because they often have colours and sugar added to them.”
And that’s not all. “Be wary of green powders as not all are high quality,” Tuck continues. “Opt for organic green powder mixes where possible and check that the greens used – e.g. spirulina and chlorella – have gone through heavy metal contaminant testing and are contaminant free. Avoid liquid chlorophyll which tends to be synthetically made, often with inflammatory thickeners and preservatives added. Natural chlorella powder is a healthier choice.”
Time to go back to the drawing board.
Via Harper’s Bazaar AU