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How to Make a Balanced Smoothie Bowl

By Joy McCarthy

 

My go-to breakfast for myself and my family is a smoothie. I love smoothies because you can pack a lot of nutrition into one tasty and super portable meal. Lately I’ve been enjoying smoothie bowls. The difference between a smoothie and smoothie bowl is one item – a spoon!

I love smoothie bowls because they are like a blank canvas! And you get to be the artist to beautify it with nourishing toppings. It’s a fun activity for kids and for adults alike.

Before we get to my smoothie bowl recipe, I must tell you that not all smoothie bowl recipes are created equal. Tossing some fruit and yogurt into your blender just isn’t enough to fill the nutritional gaps that exist in our modern day diets. Even if you eat 100% organic food, there could still be missing nutrients from your diet. This is why it’s important to make sure your smoothie bowl is well-balanced.

A well-balanced smoothie bowl contains protein, phytonutrients, good fat and fiber!

 

Protein:

You’ve probably heard the old saying “you are what you eat” but more accurate is this: “you are what you absorb”. This is why it’s important to choose the right protein powder for your smoothies and smoothie bowls. I love Genuine Health’s fermented line of protein powders.

The fermenting process unlocks the full nutritional potential of plant- or animal-based proteins. In fact, fermented vegan proteins+ is up to 40% more absorbable than other proteins! This means that you will literally absorb more protein. It is easier on your digestive system too and won’t cause bloating like so many other protein powders cause. This happens because the anti-nutrients haven’t been removed in non-fermented protein powders.

Protein is key for a well-balanced smoothie because it’s essential for metabolic rate, muscle recovery and growth, a strong immune system, a healthy brain, beautiful skin and hair.

 

Phytonutrients:

There are over 23,000 known phytonutrients in food and there are likely thousands more that scientists haven’t even yet discovered. “Phyto” simply means “plant” so phytonutrients are the healing chemical components in plant foods. Every smoothie or smoothie bowl you make is an awesome opportunity to ensure it’s packed with nourishing plant ingredients.

You’re probably wondering just what do phytonutrients do?

They are tiny molecules that pack a powerful nourishing punch. They give plant foods their colour, taste and texture but in humans, they can influence both our short term health (our mood) and our long term healthy (help reduce the risk of many diseases of modern civilization). Many phytonutrients act as antioxidants that protect our cells from damage that free radicals can cause. This damage to our DNA is where cancer begins, but this is only one area they can help us thrive. These miniscule molecules assist every system in the body from gut health to brain health and everything in between. In fact, in the gut they can aid in shifting microbes to a healthier state and they can even influence the expression of genes that influence insulin and our body’s ability to control blood sugar. It’s exciting and amazing and the research is ongoing.

Where are you going to get your phytonutrients? Your smoothie bowl is a great start! Add fresh fruit and veggies but also consider superfood products like whole foods based greens+O to your smoothie as it will increase the phytonutrient astronomically as you can see from this handy dandy chart. http://www.genuinehealth.com/phytonutrient-comparison-chart/#.WNk2SnTytR4

 

Good Fat:

I eat fat with every single snack and meal. Many people still have the misconception that fat is bad for you. Just like protein, not all fats are created equal. There are definitely good fats and bad fats.

Good fat has numerous roles in the body from building healthy cells as they are the structural component of the brain and also the myelin sheath which is the fatty insulating sheath that surrounds each nerve. It helps the body absorb fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K which means they will be more readily absorbed into the body via the small intestine. Fat makes hormones and regulates the production of sex hormones and skin health. One of the most obvious signs of a lack of fat is dry, flaky skin.

Get good fats from a variety of options: coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds (that includes milks and butters).

 

Fiber:

You likely know fiber is essential for good poops but it goes beyond this! Both soluble and insoluble fiber are needed for a healthy gut and detoxification. Fiber helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut and the more good bacteria you have the better job you do starving out the bad bacteria. Good bacteria aids the body in detoxification as it helps break down waste and toxins while the fiber acts as a transport truck to move the junk out of your body. Fiber also helps to slow down the release of sugars into your blood stream.

My favourite ways to get more fiber into my smoothie bowls include ground flax, chia, fruits and veggies and of course greens+!
Let’s get to this amazing smoothie bowl, shall we? You can find the recipe here.

 

Have a joyous day!

Joy

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