Today we are talking about smoothies, or more precisely why I do not recommend smoothies.
So what do I have against so popular smoothies? Let’s open up this topic…
Aside my personal taste of not agreeing with the texture and taste of smoothies, when I consumed them earlier, I didn’t digest them well, and they would just leave me with all that liquid sitting in my stomach.
But that is my personal experience. However, I have noticed that I am not the only one for whom smoothies are not the optimal option. So, today I want to argue my reasons against the smoothies from a stand point of our digestive processes and physiology.
Before I continue, I want to say that I know a lot of people who tolerate smoothies very well and love them, so if you are one of them, of course, continue with consuming smoothies. However, I would encourage you to read my arguments listed below and at least give a thought to what I am saying on this topic, so that you at least have an explanation for someone for whom smoothies are not the best solution.
In addition to my arguments against smoothies, I will also list the best ways to consume smoothies for those who like them.
There are several issues with smoothies.
- Too much food too fast
Typically, what happens is that people make a two-liter smoothie and those two liters of liquid food go down the throat in just a few minutes.
We are designed to eat food by grinding it with our teeth in our mouths. Digestion begins in the mouth with mastication (chewing) and insalivation (coating the food with saliva) of the bite. During this first phase of the digestion process, the brain scans the food, detects which macronutrients are dominant and accordingly sends a signal to the stomach to prepare certain digestive juices and digestive enzymes to digest the food that is in the mouth.
If this first phase of the digestion process is skipped, which happens when drinking liquid food, and logically, drinking on a straw only worsens the situation, the stomach gets food before it is prepared for it, and the food itself is not sufficiently soaked in saliva and so it is not ready for the next phase of digestion, the phase of digestion that is in the stomach.
Thus, food is not effectively digested and here is the irony: there is a belief that the more food is put in the blender, the more food is drunk, the more nutrients the body gets. The truth is just the opposite: it doesn’t matter what goes into the mouth, but what goes into the cells. We cannot go against our physiology and we cannot force the body to work beyond its powers. We can try to force it, but the only result will be health consequences.
I often hear people drink 2 liters of smoothie in just a few minutes, go to the toilet 15 minutes later, followed by a feeling of hunger.
Solution: If you like smoothies, enjoy them, but instead of drinking them, drink them sip by sip and chew; a good idea is to chop some fruit in a smoothie to have a real reason to chew.
In the meal plans of my Health Glows Online Program, for example, I suggest porridges and puddings that are thick, so they are eaten with a spoon and stay in the mouth long enough.
- Too much cellulose and oxalate
Green smoothies are a mixture of fruits and greens. Yes, greens are a good source of minerals that are important in the diet. However, we do not need more than we need and we do not need food that we would not eat in its natural state. Hard, dark leaves are often used in making smoothies, which in their natural state are not attractive to us and are difficult to digest. Yes, these leaves have a lot of minerals, but also cellulose and oxalate. Cellulose is a type of complex carbohydrate that we cannot digest, so it can cause gas in the digestive tract, while oxalates are antinutrients that bind to minerals preventing their assimilation by the body.
Solution: Focus on salads with soft green vegetables.
- Incompatible food combinations
Somehow, people easily fall into believing that a raw diet means: just put in the blender whatever is on hand, blend and drink. However, this is not reasonable because in order for digestion to go well, only those foods that are compatible digestion-wise, should be combined. It often happens that people blend together foods that require different pH values of digestive juices, different digestive enzymes and different time periods for passing through the digestive tract. And this leads to the fermentation of food, which creates toxic substances in the body.
Solution: Combine foods that are compatible digestion-wise.
- Bad reputation for a raw diet
I often hear the following scenario: people make a smoothie the night before, put it in bottles, and thus in the fridge, and the next day they take those bottles with them to their work place. And then they are uncomfortable when they drink that liquid food because others give them weird looks.
Do you expect some oxidized liquid in a bottle to elicit sympathy?
Solution: Do not destroy food, but rather prepare beautiful, colorful and fresh fruit platters, and salads that will attract approval and admiration.
I hope you find this blog post informative and useful. I am interested in your opinion and experience with smoothies, so please leave your comments below.