Ask Leyla: Why should I only make smoothies one serving at a time?

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| By Leyla Muedin MS, RD, CDN

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Q: I’ve heard you mention that when making a smoothie you should make only enough for one serving. Why is that?

I’ve been making five days worth on Sunday to last each morning of the week. Are my time-saving efforts backfiring on me somehow?

single serving smoothiesA: I have rules for smoothies: Never drink more than you would eat in a serving is number one for reasons I’ll get to in a minute. There are disadvantages to making smoothies in advance and it’s mostly to do with diminishing nutrition. The more we process our produce, the more we diminish its nutritional integrity. You will have more available micronutrients in the smoothie you just poured from your blender this morning than is contained in the leftover smoothie in your fridge from yesterday. Exposure to light, heat and oxidation (i.e., the browning of your sliced apple or avocado) reduces nutrient quality.

Are you juicing a big bag of spinach or kale? You would never eat that many greens in a bowl of salad, therefore you shouldn’t drink that much either. That much spinach contains quite a bit of oxalic acid (oxalates) and may promote kidney stones, especially in those individuals prone to them. That much kale introduces a lot of goitrogens too, which have the potential to inhibit thyroid function—especially if you consume it every day.

Only juice as much as you would actually eat. Just like you wouldn’t eat four or five oranges in a sitting, you shouldn’t drink that much orange juice either.

Another disadvantage to predigesting your produce in a blender or bullet is exactly that. Digestion should begin in your mouth starting with mastication (chewing your food). This is where salivary amylase is released, beginning the digestion of carbohydrates. By drinking your food instead of eating it, those carbohydrates will be rapidly absorbed—especially if it’s sweetened with fruit or fruit juices, or too many carrots. This can adversely impact blood sugar.

Eating your food rather than drinking it also provides satiety—very important in portion control and maintaining a healthy weight.

To your health!

As you may know, I’ve been doing a weekly “Q&A with Leyla” podcast feature with Dr. Hoffman. Now you can get my perspective and expertise every Friday on my own episode of the Intelligent Medicine Podcast. If you missed last week’s, you can listen here. To be sure you don’t miss out on any of my important insights and information, subscribe today!

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