No matter where you live in the US, you probably know someone that’s a fan of green smoothies or maybe that person is you. They’re certainly popular in Auburn, WA. Green smoothies are loaded with nutrients and seem to be a very healthy option, but if you’re one of those people that seem to overdo everything, like consuming green smoothies for every meal and even snacks, there are some dangers associated with them. However, there are also ways to avoid the problems.
What do you put in your smoothie?
Dark green veggies, like broccoli and green pepper, and spinach are popular options for green smoothies, so are berries and beets. All those fruits and vegetables have one thing in common. They’re all higher in oxalates. Oxalates attach to minerals to create new compounds. For instance, it attaches to calcium to make calcium oxalate. It occurs mostly in the digestive tract in the colon, but can occur in the kidneys, since the body removes oxalates via the stool and urine. If calcium and oxalates are in the kidneys at the same time, it can cause stones that can cause a great deal of pain.
You might focus too much on fruit in the smoothie.
Most people don’t want a plain spinach smoothie or a spinach/kale/broccoli one. They want a smoothie that tastes better. It can mean adding peanut butter, nuts or fruit. In some cases, people want a really sweet drink, so they add apples, cherries, berries and even dried fruit, since all fruits contain sugar. If you’re using other sweetened products, like sweetened nut milk or coconut sugar, beet sugar or honey, you’re also sabotaging yourself. Remember, even if it’s natural, sugar is sugar. Avoid over sweetening your smoothie.
If you’re eating only cruciferous vegetables, you’re getting fiber, but they contain goitrogens.
What are goitrogens? Goitrogens disrupt the uptake of iodine, plus interfere with hormone production in the thyroid. They’re high in crucifers, such as broccoli, cauliflower cabbage and kale. Poor uptake of iodine can cause depression, exhaustion, dry skin, unreliable bowel habits, hair loss, dry skin and difficulty regulating your body temperature, especially if you don’t have a diet that’s high in iodine and are barely getting enough as is. Solve the problem by lightly steaming the cruciferous veggies first, reducing the amount in the smoothie or adding foods high in iodine like salt-water fish, dairy products, iodized salt and seaweed. So, the next time you make a goitrogen heavy smoothie, have a shrimp cocktail or a slice of cheese with it.
- If you’re just starting out on green smoothies, you might suffer from a fiber overload, which can cause digestive issues, bloating, gas and even suppress your immune system. Take it slow and lightly steam the vegetables first.
- Watch out for hitchhikers on the veggies like pesticides and even bacteria and parasites. Even if you go organic, the bacteria can be on the produce. Wash veggies thoroughly and rinse with a mixture of 1 TBS lemon juice, 2 TBS distilled white vinegar and a cup cold tap water.
- Rotate ingredients frequently to ensure you get all nutrients in your smoothie and not too much of any one. Don’t drink smoothies every day. It gives your body a chance to digest all the nutrients and provides variety.
- Use organic vegetables for your smoothies to avoid pesticides. You can use non-organic vegetables from the Clean 15 list put out by EWG every year. They also publish the “Dirty Dozen,” a list of foods that are highest in pesticides.
For more information, contact us today at Targeted Nutrition Technologies