Smoothies are so versatile you can replace just about any meal with them, so choosing what kind of smoothie you are going to enjoy when can help you get the best nourishment for your body’s needs at the time.
If you are going to add any kind of foods that have a stimulatory effect, this would be the time to do it, sending you off into the day with that added oompf. Adaptogens are wonderful for creating balance and supporting emotional stress, and can also stimulate your energy, starting your day off on a good note. They make a great replacement short term stimulants such as coffee as they build up your strength over time, creating a more sustained balance of energy by helping your body adapt.
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Apart from a fruit base, things like matcha powder, goji berries, maca or medicinal mushrooms are adaptogens (matcha does contain caffeine though so don’t go overboard with it and monitor your response). You can even use cooled Tulsi tea, which is a marvelous adaptogen, as a base for your smoothie.
Fibre promotes sustained release of energy and will also keep you going until your next snack or meal. Some oats, flax or chia seeds can provides some sustained energy release, along with healthy fat such as TMC-rich coconut oil that releases some easy energy to get you going.
Don’t get too complicated for a breakfast smoothie, you want good clean nourishment to last you into your day that also eases your digestion into motion as you break your fast.
Snacking in between meals can really help keep you on an even keel throughout the day, and even help you lose weight and balance your body chemistry if you snack on the right food. Smoothie snacks should be sure not to spike your blood sugar.
Don’t have a massive serving and go for low glycemic fruits such as berries, apples and apricots, goji berries and some blood-sugar stabilising fibre and fats, perhaps rather nut and dairy milks or fats and oils rather than the butters. Keep it simple so that your snack supplies you with sustained energy but not loads of digestive work. Mesquite powder is a superfood great for balancing blood sugar levels.
The best time to have more carb-rich foods such as bananas, dates and raisins in your smoothie is when you have been exercising or active and your metabolism is at its peak, you’ll use up the extra sugar more efficiently.
According to Ayurveda, your digestion is at its peak at midday, so this is when you can really have a smoothie that is nutrient dense and more complex. This is a good time to use superfoods that will help you beat that midday slump too.
A green smoothie really works for lunch time – ingredients such as kale, seaweeds, sprouts, spinach as well as protein-rich hempseed or nut butters. Adding herbs or spices that promote digestion such as ginger is also an option. This may also be a good time to try smoothies with some veggies added, perhaps even do a savoury smoothie.
Nighttime is the time to for your digestion to wind down and let your body prepare to rest and rejuvenate, not spend energy digesting complex, heavy foods. A smoothie that helps your body release relaxing hormones and that is easy on the digestion makes sense for your night time health tot, if you are going to be smoothing your way towards bedtime.
Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts and almonds are high in tryptophan and pumpkin seeds and cherries are high in melatonin, an important sleep hormone. Almonds are high in magnesium to help your muscles relax and promote sleep, as well as tryptophan. The bedtime treat of a cup of cacao has some validity to it too – cacao is packed with magnesium and promotes feel-good neurotransmitters such as serotonin in your brain.
Your evening smoothie should be high in protein and lower in carbs that could cause a sugar crash and then a spike in cortisol, which would lead to insomnia.
A smoothie with high protein nuts, nut or dairy milks or yoghurts and some berries, should do the trick. Try not to eat 2 hours before you go to sleep. Ayurvedic wisdom holds that you shouldn’t eat after 8 pm if you can help it. Drift off to sleep knowing your body has the nourishmenent it needs and the downtime to rejuvenate.
Smoothies are an easy and delicious way to make a once-off meal that can provide you with just the right fix at the right time. Use your discerment and blend up the perfect smoothie for the right time.