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How to green your smoothie?

Even though I published this article on Coolinarika’s web page, I think that this information is worth publishing on this blog too and maybe for some of you this will be something you should read 🙂

Why even write about how to make a green smoothie? You might say – Well it’s easy! Add green vegetables to your blender, some liquid, a banana then mix all the ingredients and voila! A green smoothie! True, the smoothie is green. However, will we absorb all the nutrients or vice versa, disturb our guts and/or intestinal flora? For me, as someone with lactose and gluten intolerance, it is very important to answer these questions.

I started making smoothies out of a desire for quick, refreshing and healthy dessert meals.

First, I studied various blogs and websites in order to find motivation and inspiration in the selection and combination of fruits and veggies. Then I started making smoothies according to guidelines from recipes from other bloggers. Since I did not feel the benefits of these green chalices of health, but rather the opposite, I realized that I was doing something wrong.

At that time, I was experimenting with different diets in order to solve my mysteries of intolerance; I realized that yogurt was not an ingredient that I could use as a base for my smoothies and I started making my own homemade kefir. Even though I introduced homemade kefir in making my green smoothies, my bowels still did not feel that great power from greens. The search for a solution continued…

Even though I often browsed through Anita Šupe’s blog, I was surprised that I had overlooked this important information from her post Raw food i LCHF that I’m quoting below.

However, we cannot eat all foods raw. Some foods release nutrients just by ingesting, and some have to be cooked to neutralize the natural poisons they contain.

Cruciferous vegetables such as wild rocket, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, curly kale, spinach, radishes, yellow kohlrabi and watercress contain goitrogens, chemical substances that can block the production of the thyroid hormone, which may contribute to the development of hypothyroidism. Therefore, people who already have a reduced thyroid function should avoid these vegetables in their raw state. Cooking reduces the amount of goitrogens by 2/3. Goitrogens do not diminish with fermentation, but acidic cabbage is usually eaten as a side dish in small quantities, which does not interfere if one’s diet contains enough iodine.

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, chard, parsley, dill, and beet greens contain oxalic acid which can be very irritating to the digestive tract. This also blocks absorption of iron and calcium in the body and can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Oxalic acid is completely neutralized by cooking.

The vegetables that our mothers and grandmothers usually cooked, those that are too hard in their raw state to chew and have an unappealing taste, are those that obviously need to be cooked.

Cooking softens and dissolves cellulose, reduces the amount of goitrogens and neutralizes oxalic acid. Cooked vegetables should be eaten together with healthy fats such as butter, because it not only contributes to a better taste, but also because of vitamins A, D and K2 which are soluble in fats and allow the absorption of minerals from vegetables.

Vegetables that are softer and easier to chew can be eaten raw, such as various salad vegetables, carrots…”

Guided by these new guidelines on how to prepare specific vegetables, my green smoothies have become nourishment for my body. I hope my trial & error experience will be of benefit to you … and be sure to green your smoothies the right way! 🙂