3 Reasons Not To Drink Smoothies
While your immune boosting superfood smoothie may be chock-full of nutrients, power-packed with vitamins, and loaded with antioxidants it may actually be adding undue burden to your digestion and overall health. There is no denying the sense of clarity and lightness one feels from eating raw food. However, many raw food enthusiast have attested that over a period of time there is often a sense of ungroundedness that develops and the science of Ayurveda has just the explanation for this.
“All disease begins in the gut.” – Hippocrates
1. Smoothies Are Difficult To Digest
The process of eating, according to Ayurveda, is metaphorically similar to a burning fire. The whole aim of Ayurveda is to balance this digestive fire so that we can digest our meals efficiently and smoothly. Foods which are raw and uncooked add additional strain upon the digestive fire and often require greater energy [i.e. enzymes] to properly break down food. Our digestive fire likes simplicity and may not have any problems digesting a few veggies. However, the dense, rough, and heavy qualities of raw food [in large amounts] is generally considered difficult to digest and therefore can lead to symptoms of indigestion. Incidentally, over 90% of Americans suffer from everyday digestive problems such as gas, bloating, stomach pain, constipation and heartburn – and smoothies may just aggravate these “vata” conditions even further.
2. Indigestion [Increases Vata]
According to the wisdom of Ayurveda “vata” is made primarily of the air element and has the qualities of dry, rough, cold, mobile and is changeable. When vata is aggravated it can cause certain qualitative changes within the body such as increased dryness, roughness, coldness, mobility and variability within the body/mind. Very simply – this can be experienced as variable appetite; gas or pain after eating; dry constipation or loose motions (increased mobility); and dry/rough skin and hair.
Due to the dry quality, vata often leads to dry skin, dehydration and even that annoying cracking and popping of the joints.
The light quality, if increased, can result in the feeling of being ungrounded, light-headed and even lead to insomnia if this quality persists.
If you ever shake the hands of a vata type, you will take notice of cold hands. Vata makes one sensitive to cold weather and will often experience pain and stiffness in muscles and joints, specifically in cold weather.
Vata creates vulnerability to developing dry, rough, and scaly skin. Likewise, the inner lining of the body [i.e. mucosal lining] can also become dry and rough and according to these principles is the underlying cause of fissures along the mucosal lining.
As mentioned above, the air element of vata types is always moving, resembling the wind. If this mobile quality is increased, this can lead to abnormal movements of the body such as tics, spasms, tremors and even agitation within the mind giving rise to uncertainty and anxiety.
3. Raw Food Can Eventually Be Depleting
The science of Ayurveda talks a great deal about “Ojas” as being the end result of healthy digestion and balance of all bodily tissues. In fact, it is ojas which gives vitality to the body and clarity to the mind. As mentioned above – raw uncooked vegetables tends to increase vata. Vata can be likened to the modern understanding of catabolism or the breaking down of tissues. This may be great for shedding off a few extra pounds initially. However, in the long term this is considered to be depleting and as a result may prevent the formation of ojas – the quintessence vitality of life.
Why Not Consider Delicious Almond Milk Instead?
– 2 cups almonds
– 4 cups filtered water
– 1/4 c. cacao powder
– 8 dates
– 1/4 c. honey or maple syrup
– 1 vanilla bean or 2 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1/4 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or pumpkin spice
If You Must …
Again, there is no denying that super food green veggies smoothies are jam-packed with immune boosting antioxidants and vital minerals [ie. vitamins]. For those who cannot resist drinking such a delicious blend of drinkable goodness, here are some suggestions for making smoothies more easier on digestion.
- Room temperature: make your smoothie with vegetables/fruit which are kept as room temperature; not cold.
- Spice it up. Therefore, consider adding warming spices such as ginger, turmeric, cayenne, cardamom or cinnamon to your smoothie.
- Healthy fats. In order to help prevent the roller-coaster peak and through of blood sugar levels it is recommended to add healthy fats for digestibility and to help aide in the absorption of [fat soluable] nutrients. Therefore, consider adding cold pressed coconut oil or even a deliciously ripened avocado.
One More Thing – Food Incompatibilities!
Unfortunately, it is rare to find a smoothie in accordance to the basic principles outlined by Ayurveda. Generally speaking, fruit mixed with milk or yogurt and fruit mixed with vegetables is considered to be poor choices regarding food combinations. Ayurveda speaks a great deal regarding qualities each food contains and we can think of these poor food combinations as being opposing qualities which promote digestive conditions [i.e. fermentation, putrefaction, I.B.S., etc.]