#NationalGreenJuiceDay, Jan’ the 26th, was established to encourage people to stick to their #health-and-wellness resolutions by drinking a green juice and staying healthy.
Let me begin by looking at the trendy side of having a glass of smoothie in a clear crystal beaker! And, how much fun we get using our creative skills and sneaking almost any fruit and vegetables into a glass container, see it whisk around producing this wonderful drink that pleases our palate! But how long does the entertainment last – sadly, only as long as it does!
So, I have made tweaks to Green Juice Day to #GoGreen. Here are some surprising facts:
First, consuming blended fruit isn’t equivalent to the same fruit eaten whole. Blending loses some of the fruit fibre. Although, of course, you still get a lot of soluble fibre keeping blood sugar and cholesterol levels in check reducing risk for diabetes and improving cardiovascular health. But blending breaks down #insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre, from whole fruit, is vital; it attracts water into your stool, making it softer and easier to pass with less strain. This keeps your body free of toxins which is the key to maintaining overall good health.
Drinking smoothies can be convenient and healthy only if not loaded with added sugar. On the contrary, there can be serious long-term side effects leading to #highbloodsugar that exceeds healthy limits. When you eat whole fruit, the sugar is trapped inside cell walls and released more slowly; Slow-release helps to sustain energy levels, leading to better cognitive functions & increased awareness & helps you feel fuller for longer & helps maintain weight. Smoothies also go down faster into your digestive tract so your brain often doesn’t get the signal as quickly as it should that you’re full & need to stop eating, as a result – more calories.
On the note of weight, it is a myth that we are keeping control of our calories by having this lovely attractive glass of smoothie; Little do we know that it is easy to drink a lot more calories than you’d get in one or even two pieces of whole fruit. So rather than fruit in the form of juice or a smoothie, it’s better to eat whole fruit which also helps you chew.
And now on the note of #chewing, I bet you are thinking, what has chewing got to do with it? A lot. Digestion starts in the mouth. Our mouth has salivary glands which make saliva; saliva contains enzymes that begin the process of digesting food. Food must be chewed for it to be swallowed easily. And then when it arrives in the stomach, it is ready for the gastric juices in the stomach to further degrade it and reduce it to pulp. I hear you say, isn’t that what happens when you make a smoothie? Yes, but no, not really. Consuming a smoothie demands less of our digestive system. The container you make your smooth in does not produce the enzymes that our saliva produces, unfortunately. And, our digestive system wants to be kept busy positively from the root – the mouth. And chewing helps maintain better gum health.
Finally, #oxalates – heard of them? Oxalate is a compound found in some foods, and is also produced as a waste product by the body. This is another reason to have a good bowel clean up every day, as stated above; you get insoluble fibre from whole fruit. When oxalate levels are high, there’s a greater chance it will bind to calcium, forming kidney stones. And guess what! Green juices tend to be highly concentrated sources of oxalate. So, think again.
And if this isn’t enough, have a read of this. According to new national recommendations, smoothies can count as no more than one of your 5-a-day – even if you’ve put 5 different fruit and veg in them. Sorry if I have let your smoothie plans down! Shall we agree on a middle ground? Please don’t juice, just be a spruce and find a balanced approach. Let me know what worked better! And, if you’ve made a resolution, forget the trend and #GoGreen and let this significant day give you encouragement to keep going green.