Why veggie smoothies are great for your health (and superior to juicing)
Machines that grind fresh raw fruits and vegetables into juices seem to be everywhere these days: in stores, on television, pictured in books. It’s a sign that people want to include more nutrient-dense foods in their diets and reap the benefits of the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in fresh produce.
Blend your way to better health with vegetable smoothies. The Body Ecology Living Cookbook has a variety of creative and energizing smoothie recipes.
But juicing is not the panacea it’s often portrayed to be — especially for people with gut imbalances.
If you have poor health or candida, drinking juices when your body is still too acidic and without an understanding of how to juice properly will only magnify your symptoms. We recommend waiting until your yeast infection is well under control, you have alkalized your blood, and your inner ecosystem is healed (which may take at least three months) before you begin juicing.
So, what can you do in the meantime?
You can make blended smoothies! The smoothies we recommend are delicious and easy to digest and assimilate into your body. They’re also ideal for the warm summer months. They don’t help feed yeast as many smoothies do.
What’s the difference between vegetable juices and vegetable smoothies?
Both blended smoothies and juiced vegetables will provide you with a raw food treat that’s full of enzymes yet will be much gentler to digest than eating the raw veggie in its whole form.
- With blended vegetable smoothies, you’re drinking all parts of the vegetable, including the fiber. These juices digest more slowly and can even be healthier.1
- When you juice vegetables, you remove the fiber, so the vegetable juice metabolizes or goes into your system too quickly, with an effect similar to sugar. Your blood may quickly become acidic.
Blended vegetable smoothies allow you to obtain the benefits of vegetables in a delicious, drinkable form. And, when you make vegetable smoothies, you’re breaking down the cellulose fiber in the vegetables, which makes them easier to digest.
We humans lack the ability to digest insoluble fiber because we don’t have the enzyme cellulose in our stomachs like cows do.
What you put in your smoothie is what counts
Here are some examples of dos and don’ts in vegetable smoothie making:
Don’t – Combine vegetables and most fruits.
Having said that, a very sour Granny Smith apple and other sour fruits, like lemons, limes, noni, acai, cranberry, and pomegranate juice concentrates, may be okay for most of us. Fruits digest so quickly that they usually don’t combine well with any other foods. Blended smoothies may be an exception. It’s a matter of following the Principle of Uniqueness. See what your body likes best. It will speak to you loud and clear.
Don’t – Include raw cruciferous vegetables.
Steer clear of collards, kale, cauliflower, arugula, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. These raw veggies have thyroid-suppressing properties and are best eaten cooked or fermented.
Do – Include plenty of non-cruciferous veggies and fresh garden herbs.
Think celery, romaine lettuce, cilantro, basil, cucumbers, green beans, sprouts, yellow squash, and zucchini. Veggies and herbs are packed with vitamins and minerals and provide delicious flavor for your smoothies. But we do not recommend the use of beets, carrots, or other root vegetables because they become even sweeter when juiced or blended into smoothies.
Later, as your yeast or viral infections are under control:
- You may be able to add very small amounts of these sweet veggies blended into smoothies.
- Only do this if you’re sure they’re well-balanced with mostly alkaline-forming ingredients, like the veggies mentioned above (and below).
Basically, your choice of main ingredients should ensure a very mineral-rich, alkaline smoothie. It’s the mineral-rich vegetables and fiber that help keep your smoothie more alkaline.
Do – Mix in sea veggies.
Throw in wakame or Irish Moss. A small amount goes a long way, but they do provide additional proteins, iodine, and other minerals that can ensure that you start your day with extra energy and even more brainpower.2
Do – Mix in fermented foods and drinks.
Including a probiotic liquid will add a balancing sour taste, much like lemon juice would. And the addition of beneficial microbes to help create an inner ecosystem in the power center of your body — your intestines — is a must. Even a spoonful of cultured vegetables works well and has many excellent benefits (digestive and otherwise).3
Give your smoothies a probiotic punch by adding energizing InnergyBiotic.
Do – Practice The Principle of Balance between expansive and contracting foods.
Since veggies are slightly expansive, a pinch of Celtic sea salt and/or a dash of Wheat-Free Low Sodium Tamari (by San-J) can be used to create more balance. A scoop of Vitality SuperGreen with its fermented algae, fermented green veggies, and cereal grasses is also a nutrient-dense addition that helps alkalize.
Do – Try a small number of soaked nuts/seeds.
Or, even add a spoonful of any nut or seed butter that your body seems to like. These give a nice texture, consistency, and flavor to your yummy one-of-a-kind creation.
Do – Use a healthy, organic form of fat.
Examples include avocados, unrefined hempseed oil, flaxseed oil, cod liver oil, evening primrose oil, or melted ghee or coconut oil. These add flavor and body, plus a fat or an oil helps keep your body feeling satisfied longer.4
Do – Utilize the Body Ecology guidelines for foods to include in your diet.
The Body Ecology program outlines everything you need to know about the foods to eat and avoid when creating a healthy inner ecosystem.
What’s the best time of day to drink a smoothie?
We love them in the morning because that’s when the body needs alkaline, easy-to-digest, liquid-y foods. We wake up dehydrated and acidic and are usually not ready to overburden our digestive systems with rich, complex meals.
Blended smoothies can be a meal replacement. They can also be consumed at any other time of the day and are ideal to drink between meals if you need to put on more muscle and/or gain weight.
In a nutshell, drink your blended smoothies for breakfast or as a simple-yet-nourishing meal or snack any time of day. They digest so quickly that you’ll soon find yourself feeling hungry again.
Now that you have some basic guidelines, you’re ready to blend your own. Be creative, and you’ll find that whipping up a smoothie is as easy as it is delicious:
Energizing green vegetable smoothie recipe
- ½ a small cucumber
- ½ cup fresh basil
- 1 cup spring mix
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 cups fresh green beans
- 5 chives
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup InnergyBiotic
1. Wash the vegetables and cut them up to prepare for blending.
2. Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until the consistency is smooth.
3. Add more water if you want to thin out the consistency.
As a variation: You can add 1 tablespoon of hempseed butter. Pour into glasses and enjoy.
- 1. Rosanna W.S. Chung, Per Leanderson, Nelly Gustafsson, Lena Jonasson. Liberation of lutein from spinach: Effects of heating time, microwave-reheating and liquefaction. Food Chemistry, 2019; 277: 573 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2018.11.023.
- 2. Cornish, M.L., Critchley, A.T. & Mouritsen, O.G. Consumption of seaweeds and the human brain. J Appl Phycol 29, 2377–2398 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-016-1049-3.
- 3. Xu, J., & Gordon, J. I. (2003). Honor thy symbionts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100(18), 10452-10459.
- 4. Carreiro AL, Dhillon J, Gordon S, et al. The Macronutrients, Appetite, and Energy Intake. Annu Rev Nutr. 2016;36:73-103. doi:10.1146/annurev-nutr-121415-112624.