In honour of World Diabetes Day, I would like to share my favourite smoothie recipe that helps keep blood sugar levels–and therefore mood, energy, and hormones–even throughout the morning.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin insensitivity, meaning that blood sugar and insulin levels are not in the correct range. Insulin is a hormone that cross-talks to many of our other hormones, including our sex hormones such as testosterone, which in excess can cause unwanted effects on the rest of the body.
In practice, I’ve found that being mindful of carbohydrate intake, while ensuring adequate protein and fat consumption, has worked wonders for patients with diabetes or other hormone concerns. A healthy breakfast is essential for healthy blood sugar and hormones, so I’ve created the perfect smoothie for busy folks on the go that is not packed with fruit.
While some fruit in moderation is full of fibre, vitamins, and other nutrients, the body still reacts to fruit’s sugar content. Some people are more sensitive to the sugar in fruits which can throw off levels of our hunger hormone Leptin. In people with diabetes, Leptin needs to be balanced to prevent over-eating foods containing unhealthy carbohydrates.
The spinach and blueberries deliver loads of antioxidant power without spiking blood sugar. Protein and fat also make this a balanced meal to go!
Here’s the recipe. Blend together the following:
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (can be vegan or whey-based, sweetened with Stevia is strongly preferred over artificial sweeteners)
2 large handfuls of spinach
1 cupped handful of blueberries
1/3 medium avocado
1 tsp cinnamon (shown to help maintain even blood sugar levels)
1/2 cup of non-dairy milk (preferably carrageenan-free), such as coconut or almond milk
ice cubes and water added to desired consistency
Drinking this tasty smoothie will keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the morning with fat and protein, while minimizing high-sugar fruits and sweeteners. It is the perfect morning meal for busy people with diabetes. Feel free to experiment a little by changing the protein powder flavour, swapping kale for spinach, or experimenting with other non-dairy milks. Don’t forget to share your variations. Give it a try!