Green juices are the hottest trend in food right now, and the NutriBullet seems to have taken the world by storm. But can smoothies and juices actually improve your health?
I think it’s important to remember that human beings were designed to chew. Chewing your food and allowing it to be processed naturally requires more energy. And when you chew, you give your body the chance to create the right cocktail of digestive enzymes – and this helps you to break down your food into small enough components to be absorbed properly. It also provides you with a greater sense of satisfaction from the food you’re eating, because your brain and digestive system have had time to connect.
So, when you turn your fruit and vegetables into a smoothie, you skip the first step of digestion, which takes less energy and could leave you feeling hungry soon afterwards. It also means that the natural sugars will hit your bloodstream much more quickly, which might not be ideal if you’re struggling to fit into your clothes.
And, when you juice your fruit and vegetables, you remove the fibre which affects how satisfied you feel after eating, and is important for bowel health. In my opinion, replacing meals with a green juice can affect your relationship with food and isn’t a sustainable way of managing your weight in the longer term.
So is there any point to smoothies or juices, or are they just an expensive fad?
Green juices can be useful if you’re trying to cut back on your intake of caffeine or improving your energy levels. They are a quick way of releasing micronutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C and folic acid into your bloodstream which could help to give you a boost. They could also be useful when you’re poorly, particularly if your digestion is upset. But it’s best to make them yourself and to drink fresh instead of buying them from a shop.
Smoothies are also helpful if you’re trying to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Ideally you want at least 7 cupped handfuls worth of vegetables and no more than 2 cupped handfuls of fruit per day, which might feel like a tall order to chew through! So, if you’re not eating enough fruit and vegetables, or you’re tight on time and want to get into eating breakfast, you might want to invest in a NutriBullet (or a hand blender will do).
Here’s my top breakfast recipe – it serves as a good post-training recovery drink too:
Berry Protein Blast
2 tablespoons of Pulsin Pea Protein or Whey Protein Isolate (get a 10% discount on orders placed online – use Apple10 at the checkout)
1 cupped handful of fresh or frozen berries
2 tbsps of low fat plain organic yoghurt or coconut yoghurt
1 tbsp honey
Top up with fresh water or unsweetened almond milk to the “max” line
Whiz, drink slowly, or screw on a cap and pop it into your bag.
Got a favourite recipe that you’d like to share below? Or any questions? I’d love to hear from you.
Wishing you all the best in health and happiness,