Recently, I came across few articles mentioning that blending smoothies may impact the fiber consumption in our bodies. Does blending my green smoothie destroy the fiber content in my veggies and fruits?
The number one reason I drink green smoothies is because it’s a convenient way to get balanced nutrition in a glass. In my opinion, nothing can replace a fresh smoothie. And the second reason is because smoothies contain both soluble fiber (important for healthy digestion), and insoluble fiber (important for regular bowel movements).
The main role of fiber is elimination, without fiber it’s impossible to eliminate all the toxins from our bodies. Especially insoluble fiber acts like a “sponge” and does an amazing job deep cleansing our bodies. Did you know insoluble fiber looks like a sponge in microscope?
So, when I read statements like smoothies might reduce or destroy fiber caught my attention and wanted to dig in and research. The article written by Victoria Butenko put me at ease as she explains “particle size of the fiber source did not affect performance.”
She mentions “Gut,” an international peer-reviewed journal for health professionals and researchers in gastroenterology and hepatology compared bran particles of 2 mm to less than .7 mm. This study found that both fine and coarse fiber have only 2% difference in performance, favoring the smaller fiber. Moreover, the researchers stated “Fine bran causes less disturbance of gastric physiology than coarse bran” and discussed how finely ground fiber increases nutrient absorption, and reduces bloating, heartburn, and constipation. This made me happy.
In my experience, I did not do well eating big portions of salads but when I started having the same thing in smoothies my body easily embraced it and started seeing amazing results right away. Credit must be given to my trusted kitchen friend – Vitamix for its power packed blades that finely crushes all the fiber from greens and fruits and makes it a pleasant experience to have what I call “Liquid Nutrition”. The finely ground fiber in smoothies definitely helped me as I found myself digesting this liquid food pretty fast and did not experience bloating or constipation that I had experienced while eating salads.
I also strongly suggest chewing your smoothies. You heard me right. It’s very important to take the time to chew smoothies. Chewing process covers our food with saliva, which contains an enzyme called Ptyalin which is an enzyme that helps to break the food down for our digestive process. Chewing also helps our body figure out how many enzymes it will need to digest the food.
So, in my opinion, smoothies definitely do not reduce or destroy the fiber content. In fact their finely ground texture aids in proper assimilation, digestion, and elimination. But there are few helpful pointers to make sure we maximize absorbing all the nutrients when we drink our smoothies. For this we need to see it through Ayurvedic wisdom.
Foremost rule in Ayurveda is, it emphasizes eating raw or drinking green smoothies for folks who have good agni (strong digestive power). Because even if we consume the most densely nutrient rich food, if we can’t digest it completely, we are building up ama (toxins) in our bodies.
Green smoothies are not inherently good or bad. Ayurveda says, it can be helpful or harmful depending on each person’s doshas (body constitution), what time of the day you have it, and in what seasons. In general, per Ayurveda, green smoothies need to be consumed in moderation as they tend to be heavy, cold, sweet, sticky, smooth, and liquid in nature.
General rule of thumb, pitta dominant persons have a strong digestive power compared to kapha and vata dominant persons and hence can hugely benefit from drinking and eating nature cooked raw produce. Green smoothies can be very cooling to pacify their fiery nature to become more balanced and focused.
In conclusion, I say yes to this amazing “Liquid Nutrition” (in moderation) for a healthy happy life.