Smoothies are a great way to give your digestion a break! That is what every health guru says, but it made my SIBO worse from my own experience. When on a SIBO protocol diet, smoothies may do more harm than good, depending on your situation.
If your gut is working correctly and you have no gut dysbiosis, keep making those smoothies! However, if you are healing from leaky gut, SIBO, candida, and so on, smoothies may be the issues. I highly recommend getting tested to ensure you get the proper supplements and protocols.
From an ancestral point of view, they didn’t eat an excessive amount of fruit. Our ancestors ate some when foraging, but not as a main meal. A lot of smoothies can be full of high glycemic fruits, dates, juices, and dairy.
Sugar can trigger blood sugar spikes, disrupt your hunger signals, trigger inflammation, and, most of all, fuel your gut symptoms.
LET’S BREAK DOWN THE 5 REASON TO AVOID SMOOTHIES ON A SIBO PROTOCOL DIET
SIBO is are small intestine bacterial overgrowth, which means that bacteria are growing in the small intestines that shouldn’t be there. Some symptoms of SIBO are:
What smoothies can do is trigger these symptoms. The symptoms are very similar to those who have IBS, Candida, and other gastrointestinal disorders. Due to the high amount of sugar and fiber, the yeast (in Candida) and bacteria (in SIBO) thrive.
This can prevent you from healing as the bacteria isn’t being eliminated. However, depending on your severity, this can be beneficial for the kill phase. It will cause the bacteria to come out, in which the anti-microbials or antibiotics can kill them.
Smoothies skip an important piece of your digestion. A lot of people believe that digestion starts once the food enters our stomach. However, digestion begins in our mouths.
Once we begin chewing our food, our body releases amylase, an enzyme to break down carbohydrates; with the addition of saliva, it helps to turn out food into mush. Ideally, we all should be chewing 20-30 times per bite.
But, with smoothies, many individuals chug them, in which our digestion is not primed for the incoming nutrients. This can also cause low stomach acid as the stomach doesn’t produce it due to amylase delayed.
It is best to add something crunchy or eat it with a spoon to ensure all your digestive juices are flowing.
What many don’t realize is cold smoothies create a perfect bacteria/yeast environment. When we have a fever, our body is trying to remove the pathogens through heat. Therefore, when we have a smoothie, the bacteria/yeast can grow as it has the environment.
This is mainly a concern for those with IBS or SIBO, as there is already a bacterial issue. On an IBS or SIBO diet, it is best to eat warm & well-cooked meats & veggies to predigests the food for us.
A lot of the ingredients in smoothies are often high fodmaps, unfortunately. Fruits such as bananas, apples, berries, avocados, and coconut are high fodmap foods after a specific measurement.
The same can be said for vegetables like cauliflower, zucchini, and sweet potato. These fruits and vegetables are common in smoothies as they add sweetness and make them thick like ice cream.
However, this can cause severe digestive issues due to the high amount of single-chain carbohydrates. The small intestines already struggle to digest these in which as they ferment, it can lead to bacteria feasting of the sugars/fiber.
Removing the overgrowth can begin reintroducing these fodmaps as the food isn’t the problem; it was the pathogens.
Even though the fruits and vegetables are frozen, they are still raw. If you steam your vegetables, then freeze them; it makes them easier to digest. However, you still run into the issue of either them being high fodmap and the cold temp.
Between SIBO and IBS, raw foods are significantly harder to digest. Our bodies are actually able to absorb more nutrients when the food is cooked. This is also very individualized as some can tolerate certain foods raw, and others have to be cooked.
Taking as much work off of your gut in a SIBO protocol diet is critical for reducing inflammation.
The biggest thing is that I don’t want you to be scared of smoothies. I am not trying to trigger any food fear! The purpose of this blog post is to educate you on what may be triggering symptoms or preventing you from healing.
Instead of smoothies, some great meal ideas are soup, gluten-free oatmeal (if you consume grains), casseroles, or leftovers that are easy to reheat.
Thank you so much for reading!