One of the foods I most enjoy are my morning smoothies.
Recently however, I’ve been doing more in-depth studies in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine/holistic nutrition system, that advocates for having a light, easy-to-digest, warming breakfast in order to strengthen our "digestive fire". The idea is that our digestion is like a fire, which pretty much dies out during the night, and a really cold breakfast won't help reignite the fire, it'll do the opposite.
So while a smoothie fills the light & easy to digest part perfectly, a cold smoothie filled with raw, often frozen fruits/veggies, could slow down your digestion (and energy), particularly if you tend to already have a slower digestion and suffer from gas/ bloating/ constipation.
Therefore, as a strong believer in Ayurvedic wisdom, I’ve been slightly adapting my smoothies to make them more digestion-friendly and "warming". Here are a few key tips I’m applying (which serve as recommendations for your morning smoothie):
- Use warming digestive spices in your smoothies, ex. cinnamon and ginger
- Avoid using raw, frozen veggies. Ideally, lightly steam your veggies and then allow them to cool down before blending
- Limit harder-to-digest raw fruits, like apples and pears. What I do is I make a batch of stewed apples and/or pear, cook them on low heat with some ghee, water, cinnamon/nutmeg/clove/ginger and often add some chopped walnuts/goji berries or raisins. Other options of fruit include bananas and berries, which tend to be easier to digest and are fine to have raw. (Note: if you tend to be on heavier side and gain weight easily, opt for berries over bananas!)
- Consider using baked or steamed (then cooled) sweet veggies like sweet potato or squash or beets in the smoothie
- Make your smoothie into a thick Smoothie Bowl (adding soaked chia seeds helps!) and add some toppings so you get accustomed to CHEWING your breakfast. The act of chewing stimulates our digestive enzymes that really supports our overall digestion. While if we just swallow down our food without slowly chewing and savoring, it can impair our digestion and lead to bloating/gas, and more.
- Add additional superfoods that support your main health concern. For example, if you need to detoxify, always include fresh greens, and consider adding some chlorella/spirulina or combo of these in form of powdered superfood greens. If you need to balance your hormones, consider adding Maca root powder and/or Shitvari powder. If you need help with digestion and elimination, follow all the above tips and consider always adding some chia seeds and/or flax seeds to help get things moving…
Keeping this is mind, I’m sharing my DELICIOUS, hormone-balancing, digestive-friendly, energy-boosting smoothie:
Beet-Berry-Ginger Smoothie Bowl
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds (+ more to decorate)
- ½ banana
- ½ cup beets (peeled, steamed and cooled)
- 1/4 cup strawberries
- 2-3 tablespoons coconut meat or shredded coconut (+ more to decorate)
- 1 cup broccoli (steamed and cooled)
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ tsp maca (for energy and hormone balancing)
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup coconut milk (or hemp milk)
- Toppings: 1-2 tablespoons each: hemp seeds, goji berries & shredded coconut
Instructions: First combine chia seeds with ½ cup water and mix well to form a “chia pudding”. Meanwhile, steam broccoli and beets (if steaming/if haven’t steamed the day before). When broccoli/beets are ready and cooled, mix all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and top off with hemp seeds, goji berries and coconut (or toppings of choice).
Broccoli is one of my favorite superfoods, it's filled with fiber, vitamin C (and more), but most importatnly, its supports your body's detoxifcation pathways - and i consider it the "secret ingredient" that makes this smoothie nice and thick and creamy. Beets are also great for liver detoxification, so the combo works great to detoxify excess hormones and assist with hormone balancing, plus beets can stimulate healthy blood-flow and help with anemia. Ginger is awesome for digestion, and cinnamon helps keep blood-sugar stable. Coconut adds some healthy fats (plus its also filled with fiber and helps stabilize blood-sugar). Hemp and chia seeds add omega-3's and tons of plant-based protein. The banana adds some prebiotic fiber. And strawberries are a great source of low-glycemic fruit filled with antioxidants (just please buy organic!). Lastly, maca's amazing hormone-balancing and energy-boosting properties make it a staple in almost all of my smoothies!
Additionally, this smoothie is:
- Grain-free & Paleo-friendly
- Full of healthy fats
- High in plant-based protein
- Easy to digest
- Filled with hormone-balancing properties.
Hope you enjoy this delicious yet extremely healthy smoothie, and take my Ayurvedic-inspired smoothie tips into consideration.
Love and Smoothies,