Healthier Juices and Smoothies

 

Juices and smoothies are a great way to pack more nutrients into your diet, but they can also bring a lot of calories and sugars along with them. The good news is that with a little knowledge about ingredients, you can include these healthy, refreshing beverages in your daily meal plan. Whether you’re juicing or making smoothies at home or ordering from our organic juice and smoothie menus, here’s what you need to know about healthy choices.

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Choose fruits carefully: There’s a long list of great reasons to have fruit every day, including their high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals and other essential nutrients. Some of them can be calorie-dense, however, so go easy on fruits with a lot of natural sugars, such as pineapple, mango, and other tropical fruits. Lower-calorie, lower-sugar choices include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, kiwi, watermelon, peaches, cantaloupe, green apples, and most citrus.

Watch portions: When your juice or smoothie contains ingredients higher on the list of sugar or calorie content, consider staying with smaller portions or dividing it into two servings, saving one for the next day.

Read labels on non-produce ingredients: Protein powders, non-dairy milks, yogurt and other smoothie ingredients add richness, but they may contain added sugars. Taken together with the natural sweeteners in some produce, your smoothie could be causing a spike in blood sugar. Keep total sugars to a minimum with alternative choices, such as unsweetened soy, almond, or coconut milk.

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Think outside the glass: Berries, leafy greens, carrots, and cucumbers are great smoothie essentials, but there are plenty of other additions you may not have considered. To add creaminess, low-sugar, high-fiber pulses can replace other choices, such as bananas. Try canned white beans and chickpeas (drained and rinsed), which deliver bulk without strong flavors of their own. You can also up the protein content of your smoothie with nuts and hemp, flax, and chia seeds, which help slow digestion and hold down spikes in blood sugar.

Buy (and save) in season: For the maximum nutritional value, select fruits and vegetables that are in season. They’ll be tastier and often less expensive.

Stop by Native Sun: All of the produce we use in at our Juice + Bar is 100-percent organic, and our menus include vegan and vegetarian options. Create your own juice or smoothie, or order one of our popular specialties.