The Healthiest Way to Make Your Morning Juice

Healthier Morning Juice

Pineapple and watermelon—beloved seasonal staples immortalized as pool floats—are refreshing at daybreak, yet the effect can be as fleeting as a summer fling. Climbing mercury and dehydration are often blamed for the mid-day burn out, but crashing insulin levels are the real culprit, says holistic nutritionist Kelly LeVeque. Her new book, Body Love, with a foreword penned by Jessica Alba, calls out the hidden, spike-inducing fructose levels in agave-rich açaí bowls, breakfast bars, and date-sweetened smoothies that wreak havoc on livers. The easiest trick to cleaning up one’s nutritional file is by starting each day with a blood sugar–balancing mix of proteins, fats, fibers, and greens, says LeVeque. Here, a primer on making satiating macronutrient-rich morning meals that curb sugar cravings and restore nutritional balance.

The Fruit Fallacy

“We think fruit is natural, chock-full of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, and this is true,” LeVeque says. But still, fruit (even whole or dried) breaks down into two types of sugar: glucose and fructose. Large amounts cause more harm than good because fructose (which is stored faster than any other carbohydrate) is metabolized in the liver, where an onslaught causes the body to “super-oxidize” free radicals rather than combat them. The result? Inflammation. And a vicious cycle of elevated blood sugar, which triggers sweet cravings followed by moodiness, weight gain, and even hormonal imbalances. But wait! The morning smoothie can be saved, LeVeque says, as long as fruits are limited to one serving (1/4 cup) and it includes the right macronutrients. Add protein with a scoop of grass-fed whey, collagen, or pea protein powder (about 20 grams). This will steady blood sugar, jump-start the metabolism, build collagen, and preserve muscle tone.

The Non-Fear Factor in Fat and Fiber

Nut butter, avocado, coconut, or candida-killing MCT oil are blender-ready fats that slow digestion and curb cravings—foods formerly shamed, but recently vindicated. A tablespoon of these skin-and-cell-boosting fats in a shake keeps crashes at bay. “When you arrive at your next meal alive [rather than light-headed] you can easily make conscious [meal] decisions,” says LeVeque. And why not access your mood while measuring? An added teaspoon of adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha can combat stress if the day ahead looks formidable.
 
And while juicing feels like the perfect heat-beating detox, blends often lack an accompanying fiber boost crucial for gut health. LeVeque says a tablespoon of flax, chia seeds, or acacia fiber added to a morning smoothie promotes gut microbiomes. The avocado gets bonus points since it does double duty as both fat and fiber—a genius addition for scantly-filled vacation pantries.

The Extra (Green) Mile

Wake up with a dose of cancer- and inflammation-fighting phytonutrients in your first meal of the day, and grab a handful of leafy kale, spinach, basil, parsley, cucumber, or collard greens. Unsweetened nut milk (about 2 cups) makes the meal sip-able, says LeVeque. For the green smoothie–averse, microgreens contain up to 14 times the nutrition of the full-grown plant, so it’s acceptable to use less. Overachieving superfood seekers can toss in hemp hearts (raw shelled hemp seeds) for added protein, fatty acids, and iron. “When you start the day in balance,” says LeVeque, “you are more likely to stay that way.”

Original article by Vogue.com