Digestive Health Smoothies: Our digestive health is so important but is often overlooked due to the allure of fat-loaded foods. (Hello, Cheeseburger temptations.) Unfortunately, it only comes back to haunt us later when we have to make a run for the toilet. Common digestive problems include indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and heartburn. If you are having problems with your digestion the first piece of advice I can give is to eat your meals more slowly. Scarfing down food is a common culprit of digestive health problems. I actually tend to do this, and then regret it later when I have heartburn/gas…… subsequently, my friends regret it too. (FYI, I’m kinda gross and have no shame…I grew up with brothers. Love ya, Justin and James! ). The second piece of advice I can offer is to switch to a diet low in fat. Look at the nutrition labels on your packaged groceries. Check out the grams of fat that you are eating per serving of that food. Some foods might shock you. The American Dietetic Association recommends that you eat less than 10% of your fat calories from saturated fat each day. (Goodbye, Cheeseburger temptations.)
The third piece of advice (and most important if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight) I can provide is to get more dietary fiber in your diet. There are two types of dietary fiber. Insoluble fiber, (think whole grains, nuts, seeds, flax, potato skin, rich green vegetables, bananas, avocado) helps add bulk to your stools and promotes regular pooping. Sorry to use the word poop, there’s just no way around it. Let’s be real people, everyone poops! It’s so true there’s even a book about it!!!The other type of fiber, soluble fiber, (think legumes, oats, broccoli, carrots, plums, berries, bananas, pears, apples, and sweet potatoes) is also important. It is a prebiotic, meaning your body doesn’t fully digest it. Soluble fiber sits in your colon. (If you’re interested in where your colon is check out this picture http://www.wpclipart.com/medical/anatomy/digestive/colon_intestines.png) In the colon, fiber attracts water in the body and forms a viscous gel. This gel helps control and retain energy in the body. (Very important!) Soluble fiber also balances the pH of our intestines and stimulates the growth of healthy short chain amino acids (protein) in the intestine. Soluble and insoluble fiber increase the volume of food in the stomach (with little caloric gain). Both fibers create that full and satisfied feeling in the stomach (satiety) while also providing whopping amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Most people only get 10 grams of fiber each day, but it is recommended to get 25-50 grams (depending on your body composition) in your diet every day. Here are some smoothie ideas to help aid the health of your digestive tract.
Constipated? Here’s your go-to…
–1 cup chopped papaya
–1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (make sure that it is 100% orange juice for the most health benefits)
–1 large handful spinach
This smoothie prevents bloating…get in those skinny-jeans tonight!
–3/4 cups papaya
–3/4 cups sliced peaches
–1/2 of a sliced pear
–1 tsp. fresh ginger
–2 mint leaves (optional)
–Ice (if desired)
–1 ripe banana
–1 cup diced, pitted, peeled fresh mango (Mangos are great for fighting stomach acidity)
–1 cup, diced peeled pineapple
–1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
–1/2 cup skim or unsweetened coconut milk
–1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
Tip: This smoothie tastes best when the banana, mangos, and pineapples are frozen beforehand. Try placing the fresh fruit on a baking tray and sticking the tray in the freezer for about two hours beforehand. You can even chop the fruit before you freeze it so that it is ready right away!
–1 cup romaine lettuce
–2 apples (cored and peeled)
–2 carrots (peeled)
–1 cucumber (peeled)
–1/2 lemon (peeled
–2 cups chamomile tea
Tip: Mix all ingredients with one cup of tea and add the remaining cup of tea until the desired consistency is achieved. This smoothie packs a measly 61 calories!
Here’s a great link to more smoothies to fight any digestive problems you are experiencing!
Here’s a few more smoothie ideas that I really liked!
Natural Skin Tanner Smoothie
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am an avid sunscreen wearer and thus a very pale person. I’m always looking for ways to give my skin a glow without the harmful effects from the sun. This smoothie, rich in beta-carotene, does just that.
–1/2 cup of cantaloupe cubes
–1/2 cup of papaya
–Juice of 1 orange
–1/2 cup of carrot juice (or water)
–1 small knob of fresh ginger
Chocolate-Plum Breakfast Smoothie
–1 cup unsweetened almond milk
–1 ripe plum
–1 ripe banana
–1 cup ice
–1/2 cup rolled oats
–1/4 cup pecans
–1 tbsp maple syrup
–1 tbsp cocoa powder
–1 tbsp chia seeds (ground)
–Ice if desired, but it is more of a shake without the ice!
Love your Bones Smoothie
Rich in bone-building calcium and magnesium, this smoothie will help keep your bones strong and healthy.
–1 handful of Swiss chard leaves (remove stems)
–1 handful of kale leaves
–1 tsp of green Matcha powder
–1/2 cup almond or skim milk
I hope that my smoothie suggestions have been helpful and delicious! I love hearing from friends who try my ideas. If you don’t know me personally feel free to leave comments and suggestions directly on the page. Be sure to read, follow, and learn from all the UREC nutrition analysts at https://foodurecognize.wordpress.com/ Happy Blending!