Green smoothies have been all the rage over the years. You know the ones, packed with kale, spinach, and a host of other fruits, veggies, powders and supplements added into it.
In theory, it seems like a simple and easy way to get your vitamins and minerals-right? Ayurveda's answer is It DEPENDS. Smoothies (green or otherwise) are a huge problem for digestion and they break just about every rule of Ayurvedic food combining.
So, if you're not feeling great, it might be that smoothie!
Here's the problem
Include Incompatible food combinations (like fruit with veggies and/or dairy with fruit).
Most of us do not have the ideal digestive strength to breakdown and absorb all the "good stuff" packed into these smoothies, so accumulation of partially digested food could be causing deeper issues. If you drink these everyday you could be congesting your colon.
Signs of weak digestive strength
You struggle with constipation
More than a day between your bowl movements or, have multiple movements per day
Loss of appetite
When you eat heavy, cold, raw food with a weakened digestion you can be sure to experience indigestion, fermentation, gas, bloating, and eventually you'll have build-up and accumulation of waste products in the tissues. This can lead to dysfunction in any area of the body. That's why we have to fix the gut if we want to heal from anything. So don't rule out the smoothie as a culprit just because the ingredients are "healthy".
Tips to remember
Fruit should be eaten alone and not combined with anything else.
Ice or cold (think frozen berries in that smoothie) will turn digestive strength to low making all the raw food even harder to break down-this creates perfect ground for yucky stuff to accumulate in your gut.
combining yogurt and fruit and/or raw veggies and fruit weakness digestion and causes dysfunction in the blood and bone marrow. This is felt as fatigue, lethargy, sensitivity to cold and skin and connective tissue problems.
Powdered supplements can further confuse digestion and clog up the gut, Better to leave those out of smoothies.
You'll get more nutrition from having a small glass of a freshly squeezed fruit or veggie juice on it's own than having a huge, heavy, cold, raw "nutrient packed" smoothie. Smoothie lovers, check your tongue. If you see a lot of white build up there, I would think about switching out that smoothie habit right away. Is an occasional smoothie ok? Of course, but check-in with yourself first before you take it.
Pitta's in summer will probably have the easiest time with a smoothie.
Vata's should avoid in Fall/Winter at all costs
Kapaha's should also avoid in Fall/Winter
My smoothie loving clients frown at me when they learn this information, but they ALWAYS report back with positive results! Put the Vitamix aside for a little while and try eating something simple and warm instead and see how you feel. Have a great week! ~Julie