How to Make A Healthy Smoothie

Smoothies can be a convenient way to pack a whole lot of nutrients into a single glass (or bowl). But they can also quickly turn into a sugar-packed treat that spikes blood sugar and creates more hunger than it satisfies. 

At Needed, we love a good nourishing smoothie to start the day, so we wanted to put together six tips on how to make it as balanced and healthy as possible.

1. Use low sugar fruit

Fruits like berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries) have less sugar and more fiber and antioxidants than fruits like banana, mango, and pineapple. They still provide a nice sweetness but don’t spike your blood sugar quite as much.

We do want to note that our bodies generally do require more carbohydrate in pregnancy and adding some fruit alongside healthy fat and protein is a great way to balance out the carbohydrates they provide. Even if higher in natural sugars, fiber containing fruit, especially alongside fat and protein, is a more balanced option than refined carbohydrates and sugar. (Although, if refined carbs are all you can handle in the First Trimester, just get through it and know it is temporary!)

It's also worth noting that if you tend to avoid fruit for its sugar content, you’re missing out on some potent antioxidant benefits. Antioxidants are highly supportive, particularly for fertility, in pregnancy, and postpartum. The Vitamin C content of fruit also supports Collagen production.

2. Always add protein

Protein not only digests more slowly and helps you stay more full, it provides much needed amino acids for a healthy mama and growing baby. We prefer Collagen Protein as it is clean and ethically sourced from the hides of grass-fed, pasture-raised, hormone-free bovines from New Zealand.

Watch out for plant-based protein powders, which tend to test high for heavy metals. Aim for at least 10-15 grams of protein in your smoothie. 

3. Don’t fear fat (but don’t overdo it either)

Fat helps slow the digestion of your meal. This helps keep you full between meals and also slows the introduction of glucose into your bloodstream. This helps prevent the blood sugar spike and crash you can get from carb-only or carb-heavy meals and snacks.

Try nut or seed butter, full fat coconut milk or full-fat yogurt, flax or chia seeds (bonus added fiber!), or even avocado That said, things like nut butters can be pretty easy to overdo, so measuring a tablespoon or two can help keep proportions in check.

4. Add in the veggies

Smoothies are a great way to pack in the veggies that you may not quite get to later in the day. They also add fiber which can support blood sugar balance, satiety, and bowel regularity. They also act as prebiotics which feed the good bacteria in your microbiome - your gut craves this food!

We love micronutrient-packed leafy greens and microgreens which blend in seamlessly with other ingredients. Certain veggies can even stand in for fruit quite well. We love zucchini and cauliflower for adding similar creaminess and bulk as banana does. 

5. Consider frozen ingredients

Frozen fruits and veggies add thickness to your smoothie and also make added veggies taste a tad less... earthy. They can also be more practical, as they last longer (you can buy and prep in bulk to have ready-made smoothie kits made for a week or 2 in advance) and can also be cheaper if bought frozen when not in season - especially for organic varieties.

6. Multitask with your Prenatal Multi

Get your smoothie nutrients plus your prenatal by adding in our Prenatal Multi. It adds a bit of sweetness and vanilla flavor and a whole lot of nutrients that are critical to a healthy pregnancy and postpartum.

Get Blending!

Now that you’ve got all the tips you need to blend up a balanced smoothie, head over to our blog for some delicious recipes that incorporate these very tips!

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