Smoothies are nothing novel in today’s wellness world, but while they can be a great way to pack in nutrients, they can just as easily be a sneaky vehicle for gut and hormone-disrupting added sugars, chemicals, and processed ingredients.
As a nutrition + hormone health practitioner, I take my smoothies seriously. Meaning they have to follow the criteria below in order to be something I’d consume, make for my family, or advise to my clients and community:
+ A hormone balancing smoothie must be packed with a variety of nutrients to balance blood sugar, optimize hormone function and promote fullness between meals
+ A hormone balancing smoothie must be void of added sugars, chemicals or inflammatory ingredients that disrupt hormone health
+ A hormone balancing smoothie must be creamy and delicious (otherwise what’s the point?)
So, how do you get your smoothie to deliver on all of the above, every time?
You simply follow my Foolproof Hormone Balancing Smoothie Formula below. This formula allows you to get flexible (i.e. you’re encouraged to switch it up and not eat the same thing all of the time) while still upholding the basic principles that make a hormone-balancing smoothie work for your body, instead of against it.
Use the steps below and select any of the recipes to get started (or if you’re feeling confident and creative use the principles to make your own custom version).
HORMONE BALANCING SMOOTHIE FORMULA
+ Use a Clean, Non-Dairy Milk (or make your own)
One of the first hormone-disrupting smoothie mishaps that happens is selecting a liquid that you THINK is healthy, only to learn it’s filled with inflammatory oils (plant or cotton oils like sunflower, soybean, rapeseed as well as canola, etc.). SPOILER ALERT — most big, name-brand non-dairy milks labeled as healthy contain these oils, as well as other emulsifiers like soy lecithin that keep the milks texture and longevity in tact.
Instead, I recommend opting for a super clean non-dairy option (I love this brand) and reading the ingredient label before purchasing. If you notice added sugars or weird ingredients you don’t recognize/know how to pronounce, chances are it could do more harm than good.
This is my smoothie secret weapon. Adding just a pinch of sea salt helps truly bring out all the flavors in your smoothie (making it taste extra delicious) as well as provides your body with trace minerals that optimize adrenal function and thus your stress response. I love this brand.
+ Incorporate A Variety of Frozen Veggies
Our hormones LOVE vegetables, which are loaded with powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals that work to prevent inflammation and lower levels of stress in our bodies. They’re also rich in micronutrients are hormones need to thrive and necessary for optimal gut health, which is directly linked to hormone function.
I like to keep a variety of options in my freezer, which makes my smoothies cold and adds texture without using ice (which tends to water them down/make them taste bland). A few of my faves include leafy greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard), microgreens (especially broccoli when I’m ovulating), cauliflower (sounds weird but doesn’t affect taste) and sweet potato or butternut squash.
+ Use Fruit and Added Sweeteners Sparingly
If you’re ordering from a smoothie shop, chances are it’s filled with fruit and added sweeteners to entice your tastebuds, but too much sugar does a number on your hormones and gut health, leading to increased inflammation and insulin resistance, while driving up the production of cortisol and estrogen (aka painful periods, PMS, etc).
Instead, opt for small amounts of frozen fruit (just 1/2 a banana or a cup of berries goes a long way) and use natural, unprocessed sweeteners like dates and maple syrup sparingly.
+ Optional But Fun — Add Gut-Health Boosting Toppings
While this part definitely isn’t required, I find it makes the smoothie making/eating process a lot more enjoyable, and the more enjoyable something is, the more you’re likely to be consistent with it (and consistency with healthy habits is key to life-long health).