4 reasons your smoothie may not be as healthy as you think!
Is your smoothie making you bloated and unwell? Anxious and ungrounded?
Smoothies have always been thought of as a super healthy alternative to, say, a milkshake. Or, as the more filling and sustaining big brother to a juice. They’ve become more popular with the spread of Juice bars and the like.
But…how healthy are they really?
Sometimes it is what is in your smoothie that is not so great for you. And sometimes, quite often actually, it is the temperature that is the culprit.
Here are 4 reasons why your smoothie may not be as healthy as you thought.
1. Temperature – Most commercial smoothies are made with a big serve of ice and add frozen fruit so it hits your stomach with a blast as cold as the Artic.
Your digestion needs warmth to operate well. Eating or drinking cold substances will weaken your digestion and leave you feeling bloated and can contribute to anxiety. Cold food and drink increases the Wind element which disturbs your nervous system and increase the cold emotions of fear and anxiety.
With cold and weakened digestion you’ll gradually accumulate toxins that sit in your system and exacerbate digestive issues, create headaches and over time, inflammation. Poor digestion also affect us emotionally creating either anxiety, irritability or depression.
If you suffer from bloating, gas, constipation, headaches or even anxiety simply changing the temperature of your food and drinks from cold to at least room temperature if not actually warm can make a huge difference to how your digestions works and how you feel!
When you are out and about simply ask for ‘no ice please!’
At home I add hot water from the kettle into my smoothies and add fresh ginger to harmonise the ingredients and support digestion.
2. Smoothies are often made with lots of fruit. This makes for a cup that is loaded with sugar. It may feel good at first, but sugar burns quickly and will spike your blood sugars, followed by a slump that can leave you feeling frazzled and craving more sugar.
Your hormones need stable blood sugar. Your body will always prioritise balancing blood sugar over balancing hormones because, to put it simply, our life depends on it!
Try adding more greens to your smoothie to add Prana, Protein and vitamins!
3. Food combinations. It’s common practice to add yogurt to a fruit smoothie.
Over thousands of years Ayurveda has recognised that some food combinations are difficult to digest, weaken digestion and lead to accumulating toxins.
Fruit eaten with dairy, like milk, yogurt and cheese is not an easy combination for your digestion to handle.
It is fine to have these more difficult to digest combinations occasionally but if it is an everyday habit then it just may be the cause of your bloating and headaches.
Fruit also has a quick digestion time of approximately 20-30 minutes. Nuts and other veggies take longer to digest.
When we eat fruit with other foods they digest more quickly and start to ferment in our gut. This creates bloating and discomfort.
Over time poor food combinations add to poor digestion and the accumulation of toxins which in turn affect hormone balance via the liver and lymphatic system.
In general it is recommended to eat fruit separately to other foods.
Blending fruit into a smoothie does harmonise the ingredients to a degree making them easier to digest but is still not recommended to do every day. Adding ginger and hot water helps with the digestion.
I like to thicken my smoothies with avocado and add a couple of dates to sweeten, rather than banana. It gives a lovely texture and adds good quality fat and protein!
4. Protein Powders. As popular as these products are, protein powders are invariably very hard to digest.
Whenever I see a heavily coated tongue (which shows poor digestion and toxin formation) I ask if the person eats Protein Powders. Most often the answer is Yes!
Packed full of more highly concentrated ingredients than the body is able to digest well, these powders are not good for your digestion and put a load on your liver too.
With a plant based diet, some legumes, seeds and nuts, avocado, a little meat if you like, and most of us are getting enough protein for our needs.
If you are in the habit of having the same ingredients day in and day out in a smoothie, you may be overloading your system and aggravating your digestion.
Learning how to respond to your body’s needs through the changes of seasons, the stages of life and the ebb and flow of symptoms is the Ayurvedic way!
Reach out if you would like my support in creating good digestion for your better health!