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Smoothies —especially green smoothies— conjure images of health. After all, you can really pack so many healthy things into a smoothie: fruits, veggies, “super-foods”, nut milk, yogurt and pretty much anything else you can think of. But what you might not know is that your smoothie might actually be working against you.
Food is supposed to be mixed with saliva, and chewed. When you drink a smoothie you skip an important part of the digestive process. The only way to get around this is to make sure you spend plenty of time swirling it around in your mouth before you swallow so it can mix with the many important enzymes that are in your saliva.
You may be hurting your thyroid
Chances are if you have a smoothie on a rare occasion and you have a properly functioning thyroid then you’re fine, but if you’re having a green smoothie every day you may be slowing down your thyroid. Some foods, including cruciferous vegetables (think kale) are goitrogenic, which means they can interfere with thyroid function if eaten raw. Spinach is another smoothie favorite and is very high in oxalates, which can potentially cause kidney and thyroid trouble if consumed too frequently and are better saved for cooking or an occasional addition to your salad.
Super foods may not be super for you
Maca is a “super food” that is supposed to help with everything from hormone balancing to increased fertility. It is known as the Peruvian super food. But Maca (also a cruciferous vegetable which may interfere with thyroid health) is traditionally consumed cooked —never raw. If you are using a cooked variety, remember to start slow, since it can affect your hormones. Using too much too soon can lead to just the opposite of what your looking for, including mood swings, insomnia and increased acne.
Daily smoothies make it hard to eat seasonally
Eating local, seasonal foods is one of the easiest things you can do for your health. That means you only want to put things in your body that are currently growing where you live. Mother nature is smarter than we are —she knows what our bodies need during a particular time of the year, which means it limits your fruit and veggie selection to a certain time of year.
The moral of the story is that while smoothies can be delicious, you don’t want to make them a part of your daily diet. Consider them a cool icy treat —like ice cream!
Jacqueline Banks, who grew up in Casa de Campo, is a certified holistic health counselor and busy mother.
Her focus is on helping other busy moms in all stages of motherhood keep themselves and families healthy and happy. She uses natural and organic solutions to solve individual health problems and promote clean living.
Check out her website at: www.jacquelinebanks.com