Green smoothies are all the rage now. But as with anything good, there is also the bad. Are green smoothies bad for you?. Not on their own, there are some potentially self inflicted and others that will be dependent on the individual. Let’s look at a couple:
TOO MUCH SUGAR
The entire purpose of the green smoothie is to get additional greens in to your diet. I do it for the micro nutrients and because I get very little greens in the rest of my diet. The danger here is that a lot of recipes online and a lot of what people put in after the greens are high sugar fruits. In my guide on how to make a green smoothie, unlike a lot of other sites, I suggest two cups of fruits AND vegetables. If you follow my basic green smoothie recipe, you will see that I put cucumber, carrot, banana and pineapple. I put a small banana and half a cup of pineapple. Stick to these guidelines and you should be fine. The problem is that some people can go too far and end up putting nothing but high sugar fruits along with the greens and no vegetables at all. Some smoothie recipes can end up with 60-80g of sugar.
What happens now? Basically your whacking your system with a big hit of sugar. This sugar is now in liquid form so it hits your system much faster than solid food would. The end result? An insulin spike since your body doesn’t know the difference in the sugar in your smoothie and the sugar in a coke. If you are serious about green smoothies, do yourself a favor and keep the greens and vegetables high and sugars low.
Oxalates are naturally occurring chemicals in plants. These are part of the natural defenses of the plants. Leafy greens tend to have higher concentrations of oxalates and that can pose a risk to some people. We have a enzyme that degrades oxalates in our bodies, and there is a rare genetic disorder that affects one in three million people that can cause calcium oxalate kidney stones. There is a high risk of this occurring if you are also magnesium deficient. Another problem is if you have issues with your gut microbia or have a heavy history of antibiotic use or leaky gut. In these cases oxalates can enter your bloodstream and cause inflammation and a whole host of other problems.
Basically if you have a healthy gut you should be fine. As with all things paleo, if you don’t feel great or think something is wrong, eliminate it for three weeks and see how you feel before/after reintroducing the smoothies.