Healthy Smoothie Recipes for PCOS
Smoothies can be a refreshing meal or snack in the hot weather. But they can also be packed with sugar, carbs and calories. Some smoothies at popular juice chains contain over 500 calories and 60 grams of carbs. due to the jumbo portions of fruit and fruit juice. Hello blood sugar and insulin spikes! Not ideal if you have PCOS, insulin resistance or diabetes. My clients always ask me for smoothie recipes. So I put together some ideas for how to build a healthy smoothie recipe for PCOS. And stay tuned for my FREE “Top 7 Healthy Smoothie Recipes for PCOS Guide” in the next day or two. If you’re a subscriber, you’ll get the link delivered right to your inbox. If not, look for a pop up link on my website.
Health concerns of PCOS
When trying to decide what will go in your smoothie, it’s important to keep in mind the health concerns of with PCOS. The majority of women with PCOS have insulin resistance and low grade inflammation. In addition, some research is showing there might be an alteration in the gut bacteria. And many women are also trying to watch their weight. So you can see how a jumbo smoothie packed with carbs may not be the best idea! But the good news is that with some modifications, smoothies can be a perfect meal or snack for PCOS. It just takes a few tweaks … and finding a combination you like.
Healthy smoothie recipes for PCOS
The trick to building a healthy smoothie for PCOS will be to add in more healthy fat, protein and fiber and cut down on carbs from fruit and fruit juice. This will lower the glycemic effect and keep you feeling full longer. It also adds in more nutrients. I’ve shared some tips below. Don’t feel that you have to add in every category! But I would recommend a protein and/or fat (you don’t have to do both) and a fiber source. Then the fruit for more sweetness. And if possible, a vegetable for more nutrition.
Adding a protein source can help you stay full longer and keep your muscles fueled. Options include:
-Yogurt: Plain Greek yogurt or nondairy Greek yogurt (i.e. Kite Hill) or another non-dairy yogurt of your choice. Greek yogurt provides significantly more protein as compared to non-dairy yogurts. Avoid sweetened yogurt.
-Protein powder: You can choose whey or plant based protein powder. See my blog post about choosing a protein powder
–Nut butter: Peanut, almond, cashew or any nut butter of your choice (Nut butter also adds fat – see below)
Fruit is a source of carbs and provides energy, vitamins, minerals, fiber, disease fighting phytonutrients and flavor. But too much fruit can spike blood sugars – so moderation is your best bet. For most women, I usually suggest ~ 1 cup of fruit. Options include:
– Fresh or frozen fruit of your choice. Berries are a great choice here because of the high fiber content and antioxidant properties. 1/2 a frozen banana with some berries works well too!
Fats are a great way to make your smoothies creamy and satiating. Additionally, fat slows down the digestion of carbohydrates, helping you feel fuller for longer while maintaining a steady blood glucose level. But just keep tabs on portion sizes as the calories add up quickly if you are watching your weight.
– Nut butter: Peanut (natural), almond, cashew, pumpkin, coconut or any nut butter of your choice.
– Avocado: packed with heart health fats, fiber and over 20 vitamins and minerals. Perfect for a PCOS smoothie!
Fiber slows the rise and fall of blood sugar, keep you feeling full longer, and may help cultivate a healthy gut microbiome. Additionally, certain kinds of fiber (see below) can help lower your cholesterol levels. I call fiber a super nutrient for PCOS! Read my blog post on why you need more fiber with PCOS.
– Flax(ground or milled)/ Chia/Hemp seeds: In addition to fiber, these little seeds provide alpha linolenic acid (a plant based omega 3 fat) which may help decrease inflammation, as well as protein and fat to help you stay full for longer. Flaxseeds may also help lower androgens
– Psyllium husk. Studies have shown this can lower LDL bad cholesterol
-Wheat bran/oat bran
– Glucomannan powder. Glucomannan contains a powerful prebiotic to add in gut health. Sneak a teaspoon into your smoothie. See my previous blog post on benefits of glucomannan.
5. Greens & other veggies
Provide fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, Vitamins K and A, potassium and calcium. Magnesium plays a role in decreasing insulin resistance and diabetes. Leafy greens and vegetables in general also help decrease inflammation
-Green of your choice
– Zucchini, cauliflower, carrots
Options include water, coconut water, nut milks such as almond, cashew and hemp and oat milk. Look for unsweetened liquid options.
7. Optional add ins:
-Fresh grated ginger
-Fresh grated nutmeg or allspice
-Pumpkin pie spice (unsweetened)
-Vanilla extract, almond or peppermint extract
-Cocoa powder (unsweetened)
-Unsweetened coconut shavings
-Dates/Maple Syrup/ Honey – if you feel you need an added sweet taste. Just to easy on the portions as it is an added sugar. You may also want to add a little stevia or monk fruit.
Stay tuned for my FREE Healthy Smoothie Recipes for PCOS Guide in the next 2 days
What are your favorite ingredients to add to smoothies!
I especially love problem-solving, whether it’s helping women defeat issues plaguing them for years, helping a busy executive find practical ways to get heart healthy, or providing tips to help you reverse diabetes. That’s why I’m on a constant quest to expand my knowledge by staying on top of the latest research.