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Green smoothies--good or bad

edited December 2010 in Being Raw

I recently talked to a raw fooder about green smoothies and how it made me bloated most of the time when i drank them. I went on a green smoothie cleanse for 3 days and it didn’t really do anything to me other than make my stomach bloated. She then told me that green smoothies are not the way to go, and that because of the combination of kale, spinach and fruit, the body has a harder time to digest.

however, since i have been on the forums everyone talks about how they always drink green smoothies in the morning and how good it is for you. so i guess i am just confused…are green smoothies good or bad?

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Comments

  • I guess it could be both. In the same way that some foods disagree with certain people it maybe that your body doesnt like green smoothies. I have been giving them to my partner for 2 weeks now and they seem to agree with him in that his farting (sorry TMI) has decreased greatly.

    However it could be you havent yet found the right combination of foods for a green smoothie that agrees with you.

    What have you been putting in them?

  • I’ve heard people say they had trouble with kale…maybe try a simple one with just one or two kinds of fruit, a little spinach, and some kind of nut milk or water. I’m notorius for bloating at the sight of food, and these kinds of green smoothies actually sit pretty well with me! I also add nut butter to make it filling.

  • i usually put in 2 leaves of kale, and handfuls of spinach, some lemon juice, an apple, and half an orange….sometimes i will put in mango

    but that’s about it…yeah she said that kale is the culprit…can you really lose weight off of green smoothies? i guess my problem is having a hard time losing weight on raw…the nuts are killing my diet

  • Id try just kale or just spinach to start with rather than both together. If I remember correctly from reading Raw Family who also wrote Green for Life they used 60% fruit to 40% greens. If your body can cope with fruit juices and smoothies then I would start by adding just a small amount of green – just half a kale leaf or half a cup of spinach and see how you go with that. If thats ok after a few days add abit more green until you reach a level that both your mind and body are happy with.

    I often make mine by juicing my fruit, this does mean there is less fiber but I havent had any problems digesting it.

    Good luck.

  • spinach makes me bloated and gives me horrible cramps no matter what I make with it. cooked ( before raw ) or uncooked.. now I put kale in my smoothies/salads and have no problem feeling bloated when eating it. So i guess it’s different for each person?

  • You could try a savory green smoothie, and see how it works for you w/o any sweet fruit. Lemon or lime, tomatoes, avocado, olive oil, and even salt, etc. can be used to make it more palatable for you. I even throw in leftover young coconut once in a while. :)

  • yeh, I think it’s different for everyone….I love to start my day with a green smoothie, but can’t mix greens and fruit! HA!

  • Cast iron gut here! I can eat just about anything if it’s raw. Kale I just need to chew to death if I don’t put it into a smoothe!

  • Maybe you could try not adding certain fruits. Most do not combine well with vegetables, and that might be your problem. I think apples are the best combination-wise to put with vegetables. I add lemon juice too, it helps with the flavor without messing up the combinations somehow. I don’t know for sure, this is just my experience.

  • I have always heard that you should only mix leafy greens with fruit. And don’t mix melon with anything. My husband is on a smoothie juice fast and he mixed watermelon with tomatoes…he’s not feeling so great right now (plus that just sounds disgusting!)

    You might also try putting in pineapple and/or papaya. Both are very high in enzymes to help your digestion.

    You should also “chew” your smoothie. When you chew, enzymes are produced that help you digest as well. Hope that helps!

  • I never liked the idea of mixing fruit and vegetables so my green smoothies are usually just all greens. Occasionally I might add a little apple or pear and lemon and lime but never any really sweet fruits. Never really felt bloated from them but do get the runs from them frequently.

  • I would never combine the kale with fruits, it is rather a vegetable than a leafy green and from food combining view these can’t be combined with fruits.

  • I use to have the same problem when I would drink my green smoothies.

    However, I decided to do Andreas Moritz’s Liver/Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse, which I then followed with two colonix. Since then, I have had no more bloating of the stomach. With an Amazing feeling on the inside of my body. Such a clean feeling. It has been about three months since my first liver cleanse. And about a little over a month ago, that my family and I did our second liver cleanse.

  • this may seem too obvious, but how QUICKLY are you eating your smoothie? i only notice a problem when i spoon it (i eat it like soup) quickly.

    i try to remember how much FOOD is in it and take time to breathe between spoonfuls—when i would normally be chewing the food.

    sedona- i like that idea. i’ll add some chewing action. =)

  • yeah i make it pretty think. I like spooning out my smoothie too..makes me feel like its a milk shake..THanks for the ideas..it may just be the kale..I look at it and it just looks hard to digest!

  • I don’t usually share this information because I’m looked at as being crazy… however everyone on this site is so welcoming and pleasant I’m confident I won’t be shunned away (as my own family has done) by sharing this information. When I originally started drinking green smoothies I got horrible bloating/gas problems. Severe pain. Here’s what totally eliminated that problem for me.

    I started taking an acidophilus supplement 3 times daily and began urine therapy. Yes, this includes ingesting your own urine (believe it or not, quite pleasant when your blood is on a more alkaline pH level). Urine does something to soothe the digestive tract and has great and wonderful benefits on healthy flora such as acidophilus. There are people out there that think it is absolutely revolting and disgusting; however, fermented drinks such as Kombucha and rejuvelac are basically bacterial urine.. So for those that can’t fathom ingesting their own urine (I was one of those until I got over my conditioning of years and years being told it is nasty waste) I’d suggest drinking rejuvelac or kombucha and seeing if that helps over time.

    Good luck and may the pains in your tummy be eliminated in due time. :)

  • seize—you are right. that sounds revolting =) but i’ve heard of people doing it before. out of curiosity, how much do you ingest?

  • My bloating and gas disapated after about a month and a half of being raw…If possible just “grin and bare it”. It may all stop just like mine did. Good luck!

  • agreed waterbaby12347—it makes sense since you are eating foods that haven’t been “babyfooded” by heat. it goes away eventually…

  • Seize, remind me not to try your recipes ;) Snoopy99, when I first went raw I craved nuts and nut butters. it concerned me a little because I didn’t want to gain weight. I did a 10 day master cleanse. Now I don’t overeat them and it improved my digestion which was good before I started.

  • snoopy99: Boutenko says green leafy vegetables can be combined with fruits OR starchy-veggies. It’s the starchy veggies that should not be combined w/ fruits… and greens aren’t starchy.

    A bad thing about green smoothies… could be too much fiber… which results in constipation if not drinking enough water. Keep that in “check”.

  • Wow… I’ll be sure to remind you, lol! :)

  • i was having trouble too until i hit on a recipe that makes me feel great. now i have a mango, a hunk of pineapple, spinach and about half an inch of grated ginger (i swear that makes it easier on the tummy) blended with water and a little ice. i’ve gotten so used to it that i feel out of sorts when i eat anything else for breakfast!

  • pianissima – never really measured… usually a glass full in the morning :)

  • WOW-Since I have been raw-I have been living off of green smoothies. I had GERD and have not had to take any meds since starting the green smoothies. I did read somewhere that it is best to keep it simple. My smoothies are made of organic baby spinach, water and a banana. Just recently I added a handful of organic kale. I only added the kale because I got it cheap at a outdoor farmer’s market. I never get bloated and I feel great. Check out the juice feast (juicefeast.com) -people are living off this stuff.

  • seize—interesting. so what’s the logic behind that? i’d like to understand why it isn’t bad for you…

  • Hmmm, greens are good for you, but we are all individuals and some people get gassy from cruciferous items while some do not, so while I believe in the great nutritional power of greens, experiment with what makes you feel good too! I mean, if eating goat poop every day and nothing else for the rest of my life promised to make me live 300 years like a 20 year old, I still think I would go with the other items to choose from.

  • Here’s another idea I just ran across… Hope this helps too…

    “Be diligent to chew blended foods. It can be tempting to quickly swallow blended meals because there is nothing solid to break down with our teeth. However, if there is any amount of fiber present in your meal, chewing is necessary to prepare the stomach for digestion. Neglecting this step can cause imperfect or partial absorption, not to mention gas and bloating. If you are going to blend, I recommend “chewing” each mouthful until it is thoroughly salivated and trickles down the esophagus on its own without you consciously swallowing.”

    This was in a newsletter I received.

  • My first week on raw I was getting a lot of bloating but I’ve been drinking green smoothies every morning for about two weeks now and my stomach is flatter and less bloated than it ever has been in my life.

    In my smoothies I usually put one banana, some frozen blueberries or strawberries, a couple cups of Romaine, collard greens, parsley, celery, and sprouts. You’d think with all of that fiber my stomach would be huge but quite the opposite. I’m loving my smoothies!

  • always eat or drink veggies and fruits separate. you need different enzymes to digest fruit than you need to digest vegetables. when you have both at the same time is cause indigestion and bloating. my advice is to make a fruit smoothie first and drink that on an empty stomach. when you're done digesting make an all veggie smoothie/juice. you won't be bloated unless you're making too much.

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