During the summer months drinking a smoothie seems like an appropriate thing to do, especially if you are feeling dehydrated. However the opposite may be said about drinking smoothies during the winter months, as icy cold beverages may not be what you are craving on a cold winter day. Here are a few tips to help make that winter smoothie as enjoyable as the ones you will have during the summer months:
1. Scale Back with Frozen Elements
Believe it or not drinking frozen or really cold drinks is hard on the digestive system. Keep in mind our internal body is 98 degrees and when we consume food that is much lower - say ice cream for example, which is below 32 degrees, our body has to emit a great deal of energy to bring the temperature of the food to our internal organs. While our body can do this, it takes away energy that could be utilized on digestion of foods.
So if you do have some frozen ingredients in your smoothie maybe take them out and let them thaw before putting them into the blender.
2. Blend Really Well
When blending a smoothie well, it is important to blend it really well! This will help to accomplish two things: the smoothie will slighty be warmed up, which makes it easier to digest. Blending a smoothie will also help with doing most of the digestive work for you. Aim for around a minute in the blender, as this will help with giving your digestive system a little break.
3. Chew Your Smoothie
Always, always chew your smoothie. Digestion starts in the mouth, where digestive enzymes in saliva mix with your food, beginning the process of breaking it down and assimilating its nutrients. Therefore if you are not chewing your smoothie, you’re not creating the opportunity for those enzymes to mix with what you are eating. A helpful way to do this is by adding a small amount of crunchy food on top of the smoothie. Some great food to add is flaked coconut, chopped nuts or even some cocoa nibs.
4. Use Warming Spices
Ginger rekindles the digestive fire; cardamom gently increases digestive fire without being too warming; cumin removes air (gas, bloating, and constipation) from the system; coriander increases production of digestive enzymes and bile flow; fennel strengthens the digestive fire without aggravating pitta and helps with nausea, cramps, and flatulence.
Not only do they add flavour to the smoothies, these spices have been used for years for their digestive benefits!
5. Embrace The Seasonal Flavours
You don’t always have to fill your smoothie with fruits that are more summer oriented, but instead reach for whatever is actually in season at the time. Why not grab a few apples during the fall and combine them with some cinnamon and hemp milk, voila pumpkin pie smoothie! For those dreary winter months, why not lean on more citrus oriented drinks to help get the vitamin C you might be lacking.
6. If You Are In Doubt Go Warm
If it is a very cold and dreary day outside, drinking a smoothie might not seem pleasing or appealing. Food should be pleasurable, that is why during these times instead of making a smoothie you