Can I have juices and smoothies on a fast day? Good question! We’re answering it today.
Can I have juices and smoothies on a fast day?
It’s a good question, and one that we get asked fairly regularly. Especially by those who came of age during the early 2000s — when the Nutribullet and other juicing diets were all the rage. In fact, it’s something we’ve had one of our super experts answer. Dr Krista Varady is a world renowned intermittent fasting researcher, so she knows what she’s talking about. Her response was simple. “We recommend that you consume foods high in protein on the fast day, to help stave off hunger. Juice is very high in sugar, and very low in protein, so we wouldn’t advise only consuming juice on the fast day.”
So, can I have juices and smoothies on a fast day? We don’t say no to anything, because we’re all about #PartTimeDieting. But strictly speaking, juices and smoothies on a fast day aren’t a great idea. In saying that, they’re totes ok on non-fasting days and as a sweet, energy-filled treat. Just be aware that a lot of juices and smoothies can contain upwards of 400 calories, thanks to their high fruit content.
What Role do Juices and Smoothies Play in Intermittent Fasting?
If you are inspired to lose weight, feel more energetic and feed your body the vital fuel it needs by following an intermittent fasting program like SFD, the good news is that science is definitely on your side! A January, 2019 study published in the journal Scientific Reports analysed blood, plasma, and red blood cells from fasted individuals. The findings showed exactly what we keep telling you. Which is, basically, that going without food can boost your metabolism, stimulate antioxidant production, and reverse some of the effects of ageing! Yep, it’s pretty much a perfect potion. Giving your body a rest from digestion, essentially, has a powerful rejuvenating effect. One which honest-to-goodness whole foods like fruits and veggies can only enhance. Double win!
Fruit Smoothies and Juices as an Occasional Treat
If you’re one of the awesome folks who has taken the plunge towards better health and signed up for the SFD Plan, then you will have already chosen between two-day, three-day, or part-day fasts. You will also have received your #yummers meal plans and recipes. A few of which include low-cal, superfood smoothies that will satisfy your love for the good things in life, without causing your calorie totals to explode. Ideally, you should be consuming fruits in a whole state. We recommend this because smoothies can significantly raise your total calorie count. Not to mentionyour blood glucose levels. However, juices and smoothies can make a nice pick-me-up. Especially when you need an energy boost or you wish to make and take away breakfast on a rushed day.
Which Smoothies suit Intermittent Fasting?
To lose weight, low-calorie, low-sugar fruit blends are ideal. Berries, for instance, add major flavour flavour to any smoothie despite the fact they are low-as-can-be on the sugar levels. Rather than simply popping in a host of fruits into your blender, try to ensure that your smoothie has the right combination of fruits, vegetables, proteins, fats, superfoods or add-ons. The ideal fats for smoothies are avocado, which possesses a creamy texture and is high in healthy monounsaturated fats. Green vegetables like kale and spinach, meanwhile, add a fresh touch as well as a wealth of antioxidants to your blend. Protein can come in the form of chia or flax seeds. Before shopping for fruits and other ingredients, research a little about optimal combinations, to maximise your nutritional intake and ensure that the flavours complement one other well.
Smoothies can be a Good Source of Nutrients
Most foods contain more bio-available nutrients in their raw state. A recent study published in Food Chemistry, for instance, recommended that spinach be consumed raw (in smoothies, to be precise), because this is the optimal way to obtain the antioxidant lutein. Known as ‘the eye vitamin’, lutein can help prevent various types of cancer, as well as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. When choosing which foods to consume raw or pop into your smoothie or juice combo, make sure they are more healthful in a raw state (as not all foods are). A 2008 study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, for instance, found that some antioxidants (such as carotenoid in carrots) are best prepared boiled or steamed. Interestingly, the Lycopene levels in tomatoes are also higher when the tomatoes are cooked.
Harnessing the Power of Superfoods
Superfoods such as goji berries, ginger, and chia seeds aren’t always enjoyable when consumed plain. (In fact, goji berries kinda taste like a super-sour version of cranberries and eating plain chia seeds is kinda like swallowing that a not-so-green version of that green Nickelodeon slime. (Hey, you like us ‘cos we’re honest, right?)
Smoothies and freshly squeezed juices are a good way to enjoy a superfood boost while helping to mask bitter or spicy tastes that you may not otherwise enjoy. Some of the many other superfoods that work beautifully in smoothies include flaxseeds, kefir, avocado, and spirulina. It’s worth bearing in mind that you can simply add many of these ingredients to salads, availing yourself of their benefits without upping your calorie or sugar intake significantly.
If you have already signed up for the SFD plan, just know (from all the Super Staffers and Super Squad members who adore it) that the experience will certainly be sweeter than you imagined. SuperFastDiet isn’t just about weight loss. It’s also about feeding your body with super nutritious foods. Especially on the days or hours when you’re not fasting. We like to call them “feast days”!
So, remember, the more you can consume fruits and vegetables in their whole state, the better. But when you do decide to indulge in a sweet treat. Then a juice or smoothie can be great. Just make sure your ratios are right and your ingredients, of the best quality. And just because we love you, we do have one final tip. If you’re looking to boost antioxidant content of all the foods you eat, opt for organic produce whenever you can. Studies have shown that they’re likely to be superior to conventionally grown produce.
Not yet a member of SFD? Join the party right here.