This article is dedicated to fruit and vegetables, and whether or not we should mix them when creating juices. I will express my personal opinion which is based on quite a lot of readings and research with regard to this issue. Indeed, there are many resources to read and everybody must choose what to believe and what to implement in their own lives. I do not in any way want to impose my views and I encourage you to dig for more information so you can make educated decisions about what is best for you and what is not :). So let’s begin!
It is of utmost importance to properly combine the food we consume. I believe knowing how and which foods to combine can bring many health benefits to everyone. With the right combination of foods, we are kinder to our stomachs and bodies and help them to absorb the valuable nutrients properly. If not, we are not treating ourselves right.
The different foods we consume are processed with different enzymes and are digested for different periods of time. The objective of proper food combination is to mix the foods so that we can process them better and reap the maximum benefit from them. When foods are not combined well, we experience heaviness in the stomach, fatigue, bloating, and gas. This is because food that needs to be processed longer is actively being ground up by our stomach, and food that needs less time is just sitting on top fermenting.
The basic recommendations for the proper combination of different foods are:
Do not mix fruits with vegetables, grains, cereals, or proteins. When combining fruit, do not mix sweet and sour.
Do not mix carbohydrates with foods containing starch and proteins. Combine carbohydrates and starchy foods with vegetables and combine proteins with vegetables.
Your dishes should be simple. When you are using vegetables, do not mix more than 5 or 6. All greens can be combined.
Avoid drinking water during eating. This hinders digestion because it dilutes enzymes.
Consume the raw food before the cooked food because the former will need more time to be digested by the stomach.
Here is a graph that roughly shows how to combine foods:
These recommendations can be followed by anyone. However, they are of utmost importance for people who have digestive problems. Following these type of rules may actually allow them to see what the cause of their problems with digestion might be. It is important to take into account the fact that many negative symptoms occur with many people who are frequently overeating; this does not allow the stomach enough time to digest the food and have time to rest.
Of course, there are people that do not have to strictly adhere to these recommendations. If you do not have digestive problems, gas, or bloating, even as you mix foods from different groups, then you will have no problem. If your body is doing well with certain combinations, then these combinations are undoubtedly good for you. There are always cases where one person will get good results with certain combinations and others will not. Therefore, we should avoid combos that tend to burden our stomachs and stick to those which have been good for us.
Things are not as complicated as they may seem. We just have to listen to our body, to monitor our reactions, and try to understand these reactions. Whenever our body doesn’t like what we took in, it will always inform us in one way or another. So if you really listen to your body, you do not need to strictly comply with any rules. It will make known what is healthy for an individual and what is not.
After shedding some light on how to eat and properly combine our foods, let’s say something about juices and smoothies prepared with fruit and vegetables. After all, this article is about those types of juices and possible combinations.
The first important thing about juices and smoothies is that everything is ground and homogeneous. Our body is not burdened by processing the food and will absorb all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in a much quicker fashion. Thus, it does not require hours to digest and process food. Nevertheless, there are fruit and vegetables that cause bloating and gas to people even when they are consumed alone. I would advise you to try to learn what these foods are, if any, and to avoid them.
In regards to not combining fruits and vegetables – like any other rule, there are many exceptions. This applies to freshly squeezed juices and smoothies, not to eating whole fruit and vegetables. I believe that that when we are eating whole fruit and vegetables, it is really better to consume them separately. This does not seem difficult because they are usually mixed only in some very unusual dishes; I do not think it’s hard to eat fruit in the morning or in the afternoon or to make a fruit salad.
Juices and smoothies:
Green leafy vegetables, celery, cucumbers and carrots can be combined well with most other fruit and vegetables.
Apples are neutral and go well with all fruit and vegetables. Bananas can also be combined with most fruit and vegetables without affecting the absorption of nutrients. Other neutral fruit include lemons and limes.
Generally, the problem with juices and smoothies with both fruit and vegetables stems from the fact that vegetables have more nutrients than fruits, and the fruits are more acidic. Their acidity reduces the value of the beneficial nutrients from vegetables. So when you put more fruit in your vegetable smoothie, you are absorbing lesser amounts of nutrients than if you did not add fruit. If I may give you a piece of advice, aim to drink more vegetable juices, and if you want to get the most out of them, you can put a little bit of apple for sweetness ;). Fruit juices can also be consumed separately (apart from vegetables) throughout the day.
Nuts and seeds, added to smoothies, are also digested quickly.
In conclusion, I can say that for me personally there is nothing scary about preparing your juices and smoothies from fruit and vegetables. It is important to listen to the signals of your body, and if you feel that a certain combination is not good for you, you can then avoid it.
I strongly encourage you to drink more vegetable juices/smoothies because you will reap great health benefits in the end. You can drink them with fruit, or only use fruit occasionally as something a little more special. In this way you will derive the maximum benefits from juicing. And one last thing – never forget to chew!