My question is about green smoothies. As you know, they are all the rage now and the concept is pretty appealing. BUT as vata, with all the “fun” digestive issues that entails, I have wondered if they are something to embrace or avoid.
1. They are cold. 2. They are raw. Got a take on this?
– Karen, South Carolina
Awesome question. Okay, raise your hands if you’ve heard of incorporating green veggie smoothies for good vitamins, good energy, good veggies, and good digestion. Alright, now leave your hands up if you’ve eaten green smoothies as part of your daily meals/snacks. Now, leave your hands up if you are drinking these smoothies during the fall, vata
season. Those of you with your hands up will definitely want to read the below.
We already know vata’s
qualities are cold, dry, light, mobile and rough. Therefore, vatas need to keep warm, unctuous (oily/moist), heavy, static, and smooth to stay balanced. A reminder that in Ayurveda, like increases like, while opposites balance. The other fact about vata is their digestive fire
is variable and during vata season, it tends to be very weak. If digestive fire is weak, they have a hard time digesting their food which can result in constipation, bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea, even headaches!
In the case of smoothies, raw green veggies and usually a raw apple are blended to create a smooth, liquidy, green drink packed with nutrients. Which is totally true! Nutrients there are. But let’s look at the rest of it. Raw veggies are cold, dry, light and rough. ALL vata! Remember, like increases like? These smoothies are likely going to rough up a vata person’s insides instead of making them flow smoothly. Vatas need a real smoothie, like ghee
or something smooth
in texture. Raw veggies are actually very rough on the digestive system and Ayurveda does not promote raw foods. Bottom line, if you are a vata, raw veggies and even some raw fruits (apples & pears) are going to hamper your digestion especially during the fall and winter. There is no heat in nature and there is no heat in the food, therefore there is not much agni (fire!) in our bodies or in the nature around us to help digestion. Because our bodies are influenced by nature
, this double whammy will leave us puffy-bellied, gassy, and even crampy.
If you have digestive issues definitely avoid smoothies in fall and winter. You can try them again in summer when it’s warm outside and if your digestion can handle the raw veg then, fine. But if not, don’t be sad. It’s not the end of the world. Just throw your smoothie into a pot and call it soup. You’ll still be cool in my eyes. :)