One of my goals with this blog is to help educate my readers on how to use food as effective medicine. This Tummy Aid Smoothie is both delicious and very good for your digestion. Proper digestion is one of the most important aspects of your physical health. You can stuff your face with tons of leafy greens and other health foods, but if your body can’t break them down and use the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and other building blocks for healthy cells, it’s pretty pointless. It would be like trying to build a house without nails. All the right parts may be there, but you won’t get the right end result!
Let’s look a little more specifically at how the ingredients in this smoothie help your digestion. Ginger is widely known as a digestion superstar, soothing nausea, reducing inflammation in the gut (and other places), giving you a proper appetite, and breaking down foods. Among other things, it contains an enzyme, called zingibain, which breaks down protein. Mint is also anti-inflammatory and soothes stomach upset. The scent of it stimulates your salivary glands and other glands to release digestive enzymes. Check out this article for more on mint. Feel free to use more mint than I suggest in the recipe…you can replace all of the spinach with it, if you’d like. Pineapple is another digestive superstar, packing in tons of fiber (so do the other fruits and veggies in this), which prevents food from getting stuck in your intestines. It also provides an enzyme, called bromelain, which helps digest food and is anti-inflammatory. Here’s more on pineapple. Flax seeds contain soluble fiber, which helps your liver function well and moves food more easily through your system. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation. I chose ground flax seeds, instead of whole, because the nutrients are more available for your body to actually use. One last ingredient I want to highlight is the plain almond yogurt. It will add gut-friendly bacteria, which are essential for proper digestion, because they break down food and help reduce gut inflammation.
Did you notice that all of the foods I talked about in the previous paragraph that promote digestion are also anti-inflammatory? Digestion and inflammation go hand in hand, either mutually helping each other, or causing each other to get worse and worse. I’m not going to go into detail here, but I think it’s helpful to know that they affect each other.
One final health note I have for you is that sometimes diet isn’t enough. Emotional and spiritual health are important for physical and overall health. There are other issues, too, like allergies, that can prevent proper digestion and cause inflammation. I was hitting a wall a few weeks ago, so have resumed appointments with my friend, Dr. Ralph Umbriaco. He uses an acupressure based allergy elimination technique, called NAET. It sounds totally crazy to Western ears at first, but I tell people that you can’t argue with success. I used to be allergic to chocolate…tragic, but it’s gone now, thanks to Dr. Ralph. I also used to have severe seasonal allergies, which would cause my eyes to swell shut if I didn’t take claritin every day. I also had chronic bladder and sinus infections. All that went away when I saw him 10 years ago. I recently have developed some new allergies (having 4 babies can really change your body), so he is helping me get rid of them. I’m already feeling better and he’s still got a couple more to clear! You can make an appointment with Dr. Ralph by contacting his lovely wife, Laurie. Her number is 714-609-0551. All appointments are by phone, so it doesn’t matter where you live…again, it sounds crazy, but I can verify that it works!
Before we get to the recipe for the Tummy Aid Smoothies, I want to invite you to join with others who are making healthy changes. I’d love to walk alongside you in your journey towards wholeness and health! Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full!” Freedom from food addictions is part of having a truly full life.