There’s certainly a smoothie craze among us. More and more people are transitioning away from the Standard American Diet and towards a living food lifestyle, incorporating a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables into their diet.
If you’re into smoothies as much as I am, you probably consume them almost every day. Fresh fruit and green smoothies are great for promoting health, boosting energy levels and enhancing the immune system.
They are loaded with benefits, like increasing vitamin, mineral, live enzymes and anti-oxidant intakes for a healthier more vibrant body and a clear, more focused mind.
Smoothie is a good drink for improving digestion, especially when you have a slow digestive system. Taking smoothies on a daily basis can be helpful in digestion as well as your overall health. Here we have discussed these 6 tips for a healthy digestive benefit:
Drink Smoothies Slowly
When we drink a meal, instead of going through the process of taking the time to chew a meal, it’s easy to ‘down’ a smoothie very quickly. When we do this, we hit our digestive system like a ton of bricks.
When we eat solid food, our salivary glands start working immediately and start secreting the necessary enzymes into our mouths to prepare our stomach and intestines for the rest of the job. We can still allow this process to happen by ‘chewing’ our smoothies.
Take the time to swish a little smoothie around in your mouth, especially at the beginning of your smoothie meal to kickstart those enzymes into action.
But Don’t Drink Them Too Slowly!
Ok, I know I just told you to drink you’re smoothies slowly, but not too slowly. Wait, there is a logical explanation for this. I know some people who make a huge smoothie in the morning and then slowly drink it until 2pm in the afternoon.
This may sound familiar to you; lots of people tend to do that. But our digestive systems need time to rest, to not have anything going through them at all, and when you’re constantly sipping on smoothie, you don’t allow your digestive system the rest that it needs to operate at its optimal levels.
So make a smoothie, drink it slowly, but within about 30 minutes from when you started, and then allow your digestion to rest.
Pay Attention To Quantity
When we blend food, it breaks down quite a bit, so sometimes we don’t realize how much we’re actually consuming because it’s more condensed.
One tall glass of smoothie might actually be quite a lot more fruit than you would eat in one sitting. And if you drink it really quickly, you’re not allowing any time for the satiation triggers in your body to let your brain know you’ve had enough.
Simply pay attention to how much you’re putting in your blender, sounds easy right? You’d be surprised at how many people confess that they get over-full on smoothies.
This is part of eating (or drinking) mindfully. If you wouldn’t likely sit down to eat and chew through all that fruit and veg that you just blended, then rethink how much you’re adding to the blender or start sharing your smoothies with friends.
Avoid Consuming Very Cold Smoothies
Obviously, fresh is best, but we can’t always get access to fresh fruit, so frozen comes in handy. If you’re going to use frozen fruit, you may want to let your blender run for a moment longer to help warm it up.
There’s a lot of debate about whether drinking very cold water is good for you or not, so let your own body be your best guide. There is a theory that drinking cold drinks slows absorptions because it causes the surrounding stomach to shrink.
Also, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, cold drinks shock the body by disrupting the proper flow of energy. There’s also some theories that suggests that consuming cold liquids, especially after meals solidify the fats from the meal and make it a lot harder to digest.
Our bodies also have to expend energy when we drink cold drinks to heat the liquid back up to our normal body temperature. All that said, it really is up to you and what feels best to your body. Personally, I find that when I drink cold smoothies, even when I eat very cold fruit, I get a really sore stomach almost immediately.
If you’re getting a sore stomach too and you don’t know why, this might be a good explanation.
Keep It Simple
Try to keep your smoothies simple, a general guideline is 5 ingredients or less. This makes intuitive sense when you think about how our hunter and gatherer ancestors ate; they consumed one food at a time.
The longer you head down the raw food path, you might start to notice your diet become more and more simple, (you may have heard some raw foodies talking about the benefits of a mono-diet) eating only one or two foods combined at a time.
I notice that a lot with people who’ve been eating living foods for a long time, as they are satisfied easier with the simple pleasures and tastes inherent in raw food.
Keep Your Greens In Rotation
This is a really important point for 2 main reasons. First of all, the more variety that we get in our diets the more we get a variety of nutrients, we will get a wider range of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants that will support optimal health and avoid any nutritional deficiencies.
Variety with greens is also important because of alkaloids. In Short, plants were gifted with a type of defense mechanism, like the different defense mechanisms of animals, so that their whole particular species of the plant doesn’t get completely wiped out and unable to procreate.
The alkaloids are plant chemicals that they create, in minute amounts to ward off predators. It makes sense that in small doses these alkaloids won’t hurt you, and will actually have some benefits to the immune system, as long as you’re getting small amounts and a wide range.
If you’re putting the same leafy greens in your smoothies every single day, you’re consuming the same alkaloids and they can actually accumulate in your body and potentially become toxic to the body in large quantities. So just remember to change it up!
You don’t have to drive yourself crazy trying to stick to a rotation schedule, just change it up, and avoid eating the same thing every single day. This will also help keep things interesting and help you seek out new foods that you may not have eaten before.
Remember – fresh is best! And organic is totally worth the extra few dollars, because at the end of the day, your health is priceless.
Enjoy your smoothies!