Smoothies can be a fantastic way to incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into your diet on a regular basis ... if it's a smart smoothie. You see, too often smoothies have way too many carbohydrates and too few proteins and fats. These are the smoothies that are sweet (and delicious) but leave us feeling hungry 30-minutes later. That's because all that fruit, fruit juice, and sweetened nut milk is digested and absorbed ... as sugar ... very quickly. This causes our blood sugar to briefly spike (during which we feel great) and then abruptly drop (which causes us to feel irritable and hungry). In addition, large fluctuations in blood sugar cause another problem ... inflammation.
On the other hand, smart smoothies (as I like to call them) have a balance of fat, fiber, and protein which slows digestion, keeps blood sugar stable, and provides the body with all the macronutrients, and many micronutrients, that it needs. You can also add things like flax oil, chia seeds, walnuts, and matcha green tea to create a super anti-inflammatory smoothie.
This is the smoothie I made for my Dad when he came home. He continues to make this daily and as a result his rehab is going really well, he is losing weight, and his blood sugar is stabilizing.
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 small handful walnuts
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon flax seed oil
- 2-3 leaves romaine lettuce
- 1 cup water or unsweetened nut/seed milk (almond, coconut, cashew, hemp, etc)
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add more liquid if you like a thinner smoothie. Please note, the chia seeds will absorb liquid and thus make the smoothie thicker. So, if you make the smoothie at home and take it to work, don't be surprised if you have to eat it with a spoon.