Why I Start Every Morning Off With A Blood Sugar Balancing Smoothie
How smoothies have transformed my mornings and my health.
Every morning I start my day off with a blood sugar balancing smoothie. Not only have these smoothies completely transformed my mornings, but they have had a positive impact on my health! I could go on and on about the benefits of them but first I should probably explain what exactly a blood sugar balancing smoothie is.
A blood sugar balancing smoothie is a smoothie that contains these three macronutrients: protein, fiber, and healthy fat. These three ingredients are the secret sauce to keeping you full and satisfied. When you combine protein, fiber, and fat with a meal this combination balances your blood sugar and calms your hunger hormones so you stay full and satiated for a long time.
Hormones That Control Our Hunger
Our body is regulated by various hormones that control our hunger and tell our bodies if we need to eat. A few of these hormones are leptin, ghrelin, and insulin. According to the Society for Endocrinology, leptin is released from our fat cells and tells our brain that we are full. This hormone acts as our “off” switch when it comes to eating.
Ghrelin does quite the opposite as it acts as our “on” switch and is known as the “hunger hormone.” Ghrelin is produced in our stomach and tells our brain that we are hungry and stimulates our appetite.
Insulin is made by the pancreas and is released into the bloodstream in response to glucose, or sugar in the blood. So when you eat carbohydrates, insulin is released to help the body use it as fuel or store it later for use. When you consume too much sugar, your body is often flooded with glucose that it can’t convert to fuel fast enough. Therefore, your body will crave more carbohydrates because it needs more energy and you will feel hungry faster.
How The Macronutrients Effect Our Hunger Hormones
The macronutrients each have a different effect on these hunger hormones causing you to either feel full and satisfied or hungry. Protein takes the longest to digest of all the macronutrients and keeps you full the longest. It has also been proven in this study to decrease the hormone ghrelin in your body which tells your body it is hungry.
Fiber is a crucial component of a blood sugar balancing smoothie because it reduces ghrelin levels in the body as shown by this study. In addition, fiber adds bulk to our food causing our stomach to physically stretch. Our stomach is lined with stretch receptors so when it feels that bulk it will reduce ghrelin levels in the body leading to a feeling of fullness.
Healthy fats have also been shown to have a positive effect on our satiety as shown by this study. The consumption of fat decreases ghrelin in our bodies. Fat also slows down the digestion time of our food leading us to feel full longer.
Blood Sugar Balancing Smoothie Formula
Combine at least one ingredient from each category, add liquid (unsweetened nut milk), and enjoy!
Protein – hemp hearts, hemp protein powder, collagen protein powder, bone broth protein, whey protein, pea protein
Fat – Walnuts, almonds, cashews, nut butters, avocado, MCT oil, coconut oil
Fiber – Spinach, arugula, romaine, cauliflower, flax seed meal, acacia fiber, chia seeds
Fruit – Optional to include some fruit for added flavor but try to stick to around 1/4 - 1/2 a cup
Here is an example of one of my favorite blood sugar balancing smoothies: spinach, green apple, hemp hearts, flax seed meal, almond butter, and almond milk.
Benefits Of Starting My Day With A Blood Sugar Balancing Smoothie
1. I set myself up for success for lunch – since my blood sugar stays stable and my hunger hormones have been turned off, I avoid that “hangry” feeling that causes me to make spur-of-the-moment unhealthy lunch choices.
2. I minimize snacking – I do not feel the urge to snack at all before lunch. I avoid the temptation to snack on sugary protein bars and other carbohydrate-filled snacks.
3. I start my day off on a positive note – Right away first thing in the morning I have done something positive by feeding myself a nutritious breakfast. This sets the tone for the day and makes me more likely to continue accomplishing other things.
4. I keep my energy levels stable – By keeping my blood sugar stable, my energy levels stay consistent as well. I am able to stay focused and productive and am less likely to reach for that cup of coffee.
I encourage you to commit to one full week of making a blood sugar balancing smoothie every morning to see what positive effect it can have on your health and life!