Is your protein shake really that good for you?

Smoothies seem like a quick and easy way to get in your daily fruits, veggies, and protein in, but some may not be as beneficial as you think. A large handful of people who are drinking smoothies are consuming a much larger amount of fruit than if they would have had eaten the fruits whole. The fiber contained in fruit can help you stay fuller for a longer; when you eat them whole, that fiber helps the body to slow down the fruit sugar from being turned into blood sugar. Blending all your fruits and veggies causes the fiber to be pulverized, which can result in you feeling that hunger urge soon after drinking the smoothie. Also, be aware of store bought smoothies as there is often added sugars and other ingredients that can pack in the unwanted calories. Smoothies made in coffee shops or restaurants are also often loaded with sugar, poor protein, and include artificial and processed ingredients. 

There are ways to avoid these loaded sugar shakes, and improve your smoothie. First, it’s important to make sure you are picking a liquid base that is beneficial. Water, unsweetened almond milk, soy milk, or even green tea are some good options. Next, picking the right protein for your health goals is key. Whey protein, casein and pea protein are a few examples of good protein sources. Using a few handfuls of fruits and veggies is the next step. Try and use options that are packed with nutrients and can provide volume to your shake. Spinach is a great choice for a veggie because it is packed with micronutrients and does not have an overpowering taste. Adding a healthy source of fat to your shake can also be beneficial, keeping you fuller for longer; nut butters, walnuts, and flax seeds are a few options. 

Here's how to make sure your protein shake packs the healthy punch you want it to...