Like with most topics in health and wellness, the answer to the question ‘Are frozen smoothies great for your digestion is?’
Drum roll please .... it depends!
It’s just like the question ‘Are smoothies good for you?’
It depends again.
You have to ask yourself, what type of smoothie are you having?
Is it full of whole foods and supercharged nutrients or is it full of refined sugars and other nasties?
With digestive health, there are so many factors that can influence it directly and indirectly.
The good news for you though, is that frozen smoothies, if done right, can be wonderful for your digestion.
So, read on below for more easily digestible information (yes, yes, we know).
Here’s a very short summary for you of some of the many aspects involved in achieving healthy digestion.
Reduce stress around meals
You’ve likely heard us mention this before a few times.
When we’re stressed out, our body shifts its priority away from digestion to survival and our blood moves away from the gut to the large muscles.
And this is not conducive to proper digestion.
A free way to improve the digestion of anything is to eat it slowly, in a calm environment.
Chew your liquids and drink your solids
Did we say that wrong? Absolutely not!
In today’s fast paced culture, we’re less likely to adequately chew our foods, thus making it much harder for our gut to break the nutrients down.
And with smoothies, we can be more prone to drinking it down with gusto and so, not allowing our body to adequately switch on certain digestive processes.
So for most, chewing is of the utmost importance.
It increases the surface area of foods, making the food easier for your gut to breakdown.
On top of that, chewing starts to prime your digestion for incoming food, so we can see how a wolfing down a smoothie may be an issue here.
Your body doesn’t have much time to switch on its digestion.
So the simple solution for you to improve digestion of your smoothie is to keep your smoothie a bit chunky, adding some extra solids to it after blending or simply drinking/eating it slowly are all ways to improve your digestion.
Our body secretes digestive acids from the stomach, enzymes from the pancreas and small intestine and much more.
These are all designed to breakdown foods into even smaller parts so our body can turn them into energy.
Eating mindfully, being adequately hydrated and chewing your food are good first steps to having adequate digestive juices.
Another tip, is to be mindful of when to eat cooked or raw foods as some foods are easier to digest cooked and others raw.
For instance, foods like papaya, which has digestive enzymes is probably best eaten raw because cooking can deactivate its enzymes.
Others, like greens or denser foods like sweet potato should be cooked beforehand, as they can be difficult to digest raw.
And to be honest here, some foods just don’t taste that great raw either.
Have you heard of anyone bringing in some raw sweet potato to munch on at morning tea?
Well we hadn’t either, until that one day at the Super Cubes office (potato gate) and we all changed forever.
Another way to think of cooking is to look at it as pre-digesting certain foods, it softens them and readies them for eating and digestion.
Keeping it simple, warm foods tend to be easier to digest for most people.
So, regarding frozen smoothies, you can hit it from two angles.
One, warm it up before drinking it or two, add heating foods and spices to it.
These should both improve your digestion and are especially helpful throughout the winter months too.
You would’ve certainly heard of this word, and our bet is that it wasn’t in a favourable light.
Now, while inflammation is appropriate in certain situations, it can be prolonged inflammation that puts an added stress on the body.
Quite simply, inflammation in the gut is going to make it harder for you to digest your foods.
Staying away from highly inflammatory ingredients like refined sugar is a fantastic first step.
Boosting antioxidant levels via foods like berries, cacao or turmeric can also be another step in the right direction.
Foods and herbs to add to your day
On top of everything we’ve already listed, what else can we add to improve digestion?
- Heating herbs like – ginger, clove, cinnamon, cardamom and even chili if you’re game. Give your smoothie a chai-like quality!
- Digestive enhancers like – peppermint, turmeric, lemon and lime
- Foods that contain digestive enzymes – papaya, pineapple and kiwi
- Inflammation busters like – chia seeds, aloe vera and turmeric (again! It is that good!)
Blending it all together
To summarise, you should have high-quality, whole-food ingredients, add some of the extra ingredients to improve digestion, heat it up, cool down inflammation, eat mindfully and let’s not forget to chew your smoothies if needed!
Did we miss anything?
What’s your digestion like?
Do you think smoothies have helped with your digestion?
Let us know on our Facebook or Instagram pages, or if you’re looking for your next frozen smoothie or frozen smoothie bowl recipe to try to help with digestion, you could try these ones below or simple add in berry digest smoothie cubes into your own smoothie creations.