Flashback Friday: Green Smoothies – What Does the Science Say?

Flashback Friday: Green Smoothies – What Does the Science Say?
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Might disrupting the fiber by blending fruit result in overly rapid sugar absorption?

Discuss
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As I’ve explored previously, drinking sugar water is bad for you. If you have people drink a glass of water with three tablespoons of table sugar in it, which is like a can of soda, this is the big spike in blood sugar they get within the first hour.  The body freaks out, and releases so much insulin we actually overshoot, and by the second hour we’re relatively hypoglycemic, dropping our blood sugar below where it was when we started out fasting. In response, our body dumps fat into our blood stream as if we’re starving, because our blood sugar just dropped so suddenly. And the same thing happens after drinking apple juice.

Here’s what happens to your blood sugar in the three hours after eating four and a half cups of apple slices: it goes up and comes down. But if you eat the same amount of sugar in apple juice form—about two cups—your body overreacts, releasing too much insulin, and you end up dipping below where you started. The removal of fiber in the production of fruit juice can enhance the insulin response and result in this “rebound hypoglycemia.” What would happen though, if you stuck those four and a half cups of sliced apples in a blender with some water, and puréed them into an apple smoothie? It would still have all its fiber, yet still cause that hypoglycemic dip. The rebound fall in blood sugars, which occurred during the second and third hours after juice and purée, was in striking contrast to the practically steady level after apples. This finding not only indicates how important the presence of fiber is, but also, perhaps whether or not the fiber is physically disrupted, as happens in the blender.

Let’s play devil’s advocate, though. Eating four and a half cups of apples took 17 minutes, but to drink four and a half cups of apples in smoothie form took only about six minutes, and you can down two cups of juice in like 90 seconds. So maybe these dramatic differences have more to do with how fast the fruit entered in our system, rather than its physical form. If it’s just the speed we could just sip the smoothie over 17 minutes and the result would be the same, so they put it to the test. Fast juice was drinking it in 90 seconds, but what if you instead sipped the juice over 17 minutes? Same problem—so it wasn’t the speed; it was the lack of fiber. What if you disrupt that fiber with blending, but sip it as slowly as the whole apple eating? A little better, but not as good as just eating the apple. So eating apples is better than drinking apple smoothies, but who drinks apple smoothies? What about bananas, mangoes, or berries?

There was a study that compared whole bananas to blended bananas and didn’t see any difference, but they only looked for an hour, and it was while they were exercising. Bananas in general, though, may actually improve blood sugars over time. The same thing with mangoes—and this was with powdered mango—can’t get any more fiber-disrupted than that. It may be due to a phytonutrient called mangiferin, which may slow sugar absorption through the intestinal wall.

Berries help control blood sugar so well they can counter the effects of sugar water even when they’re puréed in a blender. Add blended berries in addition to the sugar water, and you don’t get the hypoglycemic dip; you don’t get that burst of fat in the blood. Drinking blended berries isn’t just neutral, but improves blood sugar control. Again, thought to be due to special phytonutrients that may slow sugar uptake into the bloodstream. Indeed, six weeks of blueberry smoothie consumption may actually improve whole body insulin sensitivity.

So, while apple smoothies may be questionable, a recipe like Mayo’s basic green smoothie recipe, packed with berries and greens, would be expected to deliver the best of both worlds: maximum nutrient absorption without risking overly rapid sugar absorption.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Garsya via CanStockPhoto.

As I’ve explored previously, drinking sugar water is bad for you. If you have people drink a glass of water with three tablespoons of table sugar in it, which is like a can of soda, this is the big spike in blood sugar they get within the first hour.  The body freaks out, and releases so much insulin we actually overshoot, and by the second hour we’re relatively hypoglycemic, dropping our blood sugar below where it was when we started out fasting. In response, our body dumps fat into our blood stream as if we’re starving, because our blood sugar just dropped so suddenly. And the same thing happens after drinking apple juice.

Here’s what happens to your blood sugar in the three hours after eating four and a half cups of apple slices: it goes up and comes down. But if you eat the same amount of sugar in apple juice form—about two cups—your body overreacts, releasing too much insulin, and you end up dipping below where you started. The removal of fiber in the production of fruit juice can enhance the insulin response and result in this “rebound hypoglycemia.” What would happen though, if you stuck those four and a half cups of sliced apples in a blender with some water, and puréed them into an apple smoothie? It would still have all its fiber, yet still cause that hypoglycemic dip. The rebound fall in blood sugars, which occurred during the second and third hours after juice and purée, was in striking contrast to the practically steady level after apples. This finding not only indicates how important the presence of fiber is, but also, perhaps whether or not the fiber is physically disrupted, as happens in the blender.

Let’s play devil’s advocate, though. Eating four and a half cups of apples took 17 minutes, but to drink four and a half cups of apples in smoothie form took only about six minutes, and you can down two cups of juice in like 90 seconds. So maybe these dramatic differences have more to do with how fast the fruit entered in our system, rather than its physical form. If it’s just the speed we could just sip the smoothie over 17 minutes and the result would be the same, so they put it to the test. Fast juice was drinking it in 90 seconds, but what if you instead sipped the juice over 17 minutes? Same problem—so it wasn’t the speed; it was the lack of fiber. What if you disrupt that fiber with blending, but sip it as slowly as the whole apple eating? A little better, but not as good as just eating the apple. So eating apples is better than drinking apple smoothies, but who drinks apple smoothies? What about bananas, mangoes, or berries?

There was a study that compared whole bananas to blended bananas and didn’t see any difference, but they only looked for an hour, and it was while they were exercising. Bananas in general, though, may actually improve blood sugars over time. The same thing with mangoes—and this was with powdered mango—can’t get any more fiber-disrupted than that. It may be due to a phytonutrient called mangiferin, which may slow sugar absorption through the intestinal wall.

Berries help control blood sugar so well they can counter the effects of sugar water even when they’re puréed in a blender. Add blended berries in addition to the sugar water, and you don’t get the hypoglycemic dip; you don’t get that burst of fat in the blood. Drinking blended berries isn’t just neutral, but improves blood sugar control. Again, thought to be due to special phytonutrients that may slow sugar uptake into the bloodstream. Indeed, six weeks of blueberry smoothie consumption may actually improve whole body insulin sensitivity.

So, while apple smoothies may be questionable, a recipe like Mayo’s basic green smoothie recipe, packed with berries and greens, would be expected to deliver the best of both worlds: maximum nutrient absorption without risking overly rapid sugar absorption.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Garsya via CanStockPhoto.

Doctor's Note

This is part of a five-video smoothie series: In the first video Are Green Smoothies Good for You? I talked about the enhanced nutrient availability absorption. Then in Are Green Smoothies Bad for You? I raised the questions about teary-eyed gut flora and intact grains, beans, and nuts. Next comes Liquid Calories: Do Smoothies Lead to Weight Gain? and finally, The Downside of Green Smoothies.

The berry experiment I start out discussing is detailed in this video: If Fructose Is Bad, What About Fruit? Is there any limit to whole fruit, though? See How Much Fruit Is Too Much?

Fructose bad? See:

Since just digesting food creates free radicals, we’d better be sure the food we eat is packed with antioxidants:

If you want to watch me make a “V8” type smoothie, check out Dr. Greger in the Kitchen: My New Favorite Beverage.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

78 responses to “Flashback Friday: Green Smoothies – What Does the Science Say?

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    1. Joe,

      Is it the baking or is it the potatoes?

      I did scroll down and Dr. Greger’s own comment said:

      New (as-yet-unpublished) study evidently suggests that the consumption of purple potatoes may significantly improve blood pressure of overweight and obese individuals. If you choose to continue to eat potatoes, choose the varieties with colored flesh (though I suspect that sweet potatoes still remain healthier overall).

    2. From his blog, it is all about the color of the potatoes.

      The consumption of one boiled purple potato a day for six weeks was found to significantly decrease inflammation, something neither white nor yellow potatoes were able to accomplish. The same was found for oxidation, but much faster. Within hours of consumption, purple potatoes increased the antioxidant capacity of study subjects’ bloodstream, whereas white potato starch appeared to actually have a pro-oxidant effect. Blue potatoes may have ten times more antioxidant power than regular white ones. The most exciting purple potato study to date had people with hypertension eat six to eight microwaved small purple potatoes a day, and they were able to significantly bring down their blood pressure levels within a month.

    3. Lets all post unrelated questions to what the doctor wanted when we even know the proper video to post it under. Most people get ticked off if they try to discuss something and instantly another goes into their own topic as if what was said to them does not matter, it is all about you.

      1. I have been visiting this site for a number of years. In all that time, only one person has ever complained about off-topic posts. You. As you wrote: ‘it is all about you’.

        The site’s comment etiquette policy specifically says that off-topic posts are allowed. Honestly, who are you to demand that we ignore the site’s comment etiquette policy and follow yours instead?

        If you feel strongly about it, as you obviously do, why not take it up with the site’s staff via the green Support box at the bottom right of the page? That way, you can request them to change the site’s policy on off-topic posts.

        1. Fumblefingers: Thank you for your comments. As well, this is the place where we are supposed to suggest new topics or topics of interest to us (which are definitely “off topic” of the days video). I, personally, enjoy the way conversations naturally meander. Thank you.

      2. There is no rule about off topic posts. If you don’t like them you don’t have to read them. The toxin is in the skin of white potatoes so it’s best to peel them.

    4. Joe,

      I looked at the video; the two toxins are solanine and chaconine.

      Definitely do not eat green potatoes. I did that once, after being told that eating them was safe. But the advice presumed (I now know) that I was going to peel the potatoes, cook them in water, then discard the cooking water. Instead, I cut them up, scrubbed but unpeeled, into a stew. And poisoned a friend and me. We suffered severe GI distress, mostly unbelievable gas pains and diarrhea.

      I then learned that as potatoes turn green, upon exposure to light, they produce solanine, a water soluble toxin. So, don’t buy green or even greening potatoes (it’s harder to tell with red-skinned and purple-skinned potatoes) and store your potatoes in the dark. And NEVER eat potato greens!

      Further research: “The principle glycoalkaloids in potatoes are a-solanine and a-chaconine. They contribute flavor to potatoes but at higher concentrations cause bitterness and are toxic to humans. Their natural function is probably to serve as stress metabolites or phytoalexins for the protection of the potato when attacked by insects, fungi, etc. Increases of solanine in the potato peel are closely associated with greening (synthesis of chlorophyll) of the peel. These biochemical processes are independent of each other, but are both activated by light.”. http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-182.pdf. (An excellent, informative, short article)

      But we still eat potatoes, though not often. My husband is Irish, and grew upon eating them. I’m not Irish, but I ate a lot of potatoes growing up, too, especially mashed and baked. Now, I add them to soups and stews, and occasionally eat them mashed (lovely with cauliflower and garlic) or steamed, with spices. But never green ones, not even slightly green ones.

      1. How can you be married to an Irishman and not eat green potatoes?

        It is such a helpful thing that we are also not to eat potato greens, so nobody with dyslexia ends up poisoning their dinner guests.

        1. Deb & Dr J, I remember reading somewhere that the greens (leaves) of sweet potato plants are safe to eat. I did a quick search and found one instance of confirming this. The article goes on to say that they are very healthy. (I’m assuming, of course, that the author knows her facts!)

          Each year I plant a few sweet potatoes in a little garden in the spring. The potatoes never get very big, probably because the soil has too much clay, but I do get a good crop of leaves from the plants, which I put in a green smoothie. I’ve never had any problem digesting them.

          https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/a20444362/sweet-potato-greens/

          1. Wow, Hal,

            Thanks for the info. I haven’t read Prevention Magazine in years.

            The internet having so much information and magazines being more bathroom material for some of us, I used to read Prevention, Reader’s Digest Large Print Edition and Guideposts and Discover and National Geographic.

            When I was a teenager, it may have been Cosmo and things like that, but somewhere along the way, I had the “13 Going on 30” transition where I looked at the people in magazines like that and said, “Who are these people?”

            Time Magazine still puts out special edition ones which tempt me and I did buy the Blue Zones and the science of business and the science of something else, but I still can find more articles on every topic online.

            1. The sentence about the sweet potato greens having 3 times more vitamin B6, 5 times more vitamin C, and almost 10 times more riboflavin than actual sweet potatoes is interesting.

      1. Dr. J – I completely get your point about finding out some day that solanine and choconine in doses found in Mother Nature’s pantry are perhaps ultimately good for us. I can’t help but wonder if these very small amounts of “poison” are perhaps protective for us once inside our body. What if having these small amounts in our gut help protect us from nasty bacteria that might harm us or make us sick? Imagine if the badboys munch on the solanine in our intestines and it knocks them out of the ballpark just like munching on them in the potato in the ground repels an insect or other bacteria. We know that apple seeds contain arsenic and many other seeds contain small amounts of ‘poison’. Doctors prescribe warfarin in small specific amounts as a blood thinner for those with clots (as my Mother needed when she had lung cancer). But we also know it is the same warfarin that is in rat poison that kills rats and mice when we don’t want them scurrying across the kitchen floor in our homes.
        So I’m with you – I can’t help but think that these small levels of irritants may have a positive ulterior motive and function for us physiologically.

        1. Hi Ruth, thanks for your valuable comments as usual. It is good to learn different components of plants as far as health and toxicity is concerned. Nature is amazing as there is so much to learn from it. I am thankful for being part of this community who is eager to learn and explore from research. for example Stinging nettle (Urtica) releases histamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin from fine tubes with bulbs at the end that break off onto the skin, causing an intense burning or stinging sensation.
          The chemical colchicine you mentioned stops cell division (an anti mitotic), producing severe nausea, vomiting, and dehydration, which can lead to delirium, neuropathy, and kidney failure. However, colchicine is used in the treatment of gout and as an anticancer agent because it stops cell division. Another example is Fox Glove which they use in the drug Digitalis to slow and stabilize the heart rate, but at high dose it produces an irregular heart rate and decreased blood pressure.
          https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/solanine

          1. Spring,

            You are always so helpful and full of good information.

            My brother has been given cochicine for his gout, but I did not have a concept of it stopping cell division. I will have to watch my mitosis music videos again. There are a lot of Mitosis videos.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x2RksGrzyE

            The only other thing I can think to add is that you made me think about while I was out of my mind thinking about Vincent.

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7007674

            1. Yes, I love science videos.

              Here are some more for those who know that each of the teachers emphasizes different things.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0k-enzoeOM

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofjyw7ARP1c

              Here is Khan Acadamy’s version for the adults in the audience

              https://www.khanacademy.org/science/high-school-biology/hs-reproduction-and-cell-division/hs-the-cell-cycle-and-mitosis/v/mitosis

              And for the teenaged females doodling boy’s names in class, here is one of the most interestingly unique ways to remember what is happening.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=46&v=qab7Lw1uvIw

              1. I woke up this morning with Mitosis kid’s videos going through my brain.

                I know that I chose this site because I learn so much better when there is entertainment value.

                It has caused me to wonder why we transition young people away from the easiest ways to learn so soon.

                Honestly, I learned Mitosis without having to think or try to remember at all.

                It all just jumps in your brain.

                I remember trying to read textbooks and falling asleep and with these resources, I see a glimpse of the animated how to figure out how many chromosomes and chromatids there are and I already know how to count them.

                We are definitely doing it wrong.

                1. I ended up looking up PubMed studies and they don’t really know the mechanism of colchicine on gout is what one said.

                  They are studying it and I am getting closer to understanding studies. Hooray!

                  It used to be “Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah” or the Peppermint Patty “Wah, wah, wah, wah”

                  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149291814004573

                  Colchicine affects the molecular pathology underlying acute inflammation associated with gouty arthritis in a multimodal manner.

                  I also ended up watching more Mitosis videos and I think after adding in the animated lectures, I am closer to understanding it.

                  It is fascinating that each teacher teaches it differently and they all leave out things.

                  I suddenly realized that it would be as if someone asked a group of people to explain what Paris is and each of them will have looked at it differently.

                  Looking at the colchicine study and they were writing about innate immune system and I am recognizing words and yet they can put together sentences and I can recognize autophagy and most of the words in the sentence and have a much bigger understanding of the concepts even and still have no clue what the sentence meant.

                  I need a doctor to translate the studies for me. Can I pay for an office visit and spend it like that?

                  1. I remember, they were talking about

                    neutrophil extracellular traps, which are associated with both autophagy and IL-1β

                    I can go down a check list and say, “Okay, I have watched videos with neutrophils and I watched videos with autophagy and I looked up the interleukins’ when my dog got cancer and I have no idea how anybody ever graduated from Medical School.

                    They need the music videos so they can know all the basics when they are in junior high. There is way too much to learn and not enough people who are good at rhyming anything.

          2. Spring03 – Yes! your examples are exactly what I was thinking about. Great examples of the dose making the poison. This is also why I love plants – from which much health and healing comes.
            One thing I like to think about is this – Plants grow themselves via photosynthesis, the sun. When we are eating plants we are eating photons, light. Energy. I know this is getting “out there”, but consuming plants really makes me think about all the ways consuming light might affect us.

            Talk about off topic – I bet I can really P O some people :-) !!

            1. Hi Ruth, thanks for your comment. I think it relates to Newton’s law for energy; This law means that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another. That is one of the reason I like to be a vlounteer on Dr Greger website as it makes one to do research and learn and exchange knowledge and help each other. I wish you good health.

  1. Today is Friday? Wow, already?!

    Yesterday, I was thinking about my Vitamix and how I should probably make Nice cream or something so that I use it regularly. Glad to read that bananas didn’t show that much difference. But it looks like I might have to do those Burpees during the blending? Or something like that?

    Am I missing it? Did they actually test greens?

    I see bananas, mangos, and blueberries as good things to add. but I don’t see greens. I think the title might be false advertising.

    I would like to know if adding apples to smoothies with the bananas got better because a lot of recipes add in an apple and I am wondering whether it is something which should be left out?

    1. Deb, if you’re referring to green smoothies here’s what I put in mine:
      Water or coconut water
      Kale
      Mango
      Pineapple
      Banana
      Flax seed meal
      Turmeric

      It makes a delicious green smoothie that my husband and I start our day with everyday!

      1. Thanks, Carica!

        That sounds delicious!

        I really like those ingredients.

        When I lived in California, I would do Pineapple, Banana, Orange and Coconut smoothies at the local smoothie-selling store in the food court.

        I have a confession that back then was the only time in my life that I ever tasted Mango and it is not something the store pre-cuts, so it never made my list.

        But I have my new chef’s knives, so maybe I will look up how to tell if it is a good one.

        Laughing, fruit is one of those mysterious things that people thunk and shake and do all sorts of things with and all I know is that I am a perfectionist with fruit and a perfectionist who doesn’t know how to choose a perfect fruit is not a good combination.

  2. Deb said “New (as-yet-unpublished) study evidently suggests that the consumption of purple potatoes may significantly improve blood pressure of overweight and obese individuals.”

    One of the blue zones where people live the longest is Okinawa off Japan. Their diet has a great deal of purple sweet potatoes. This also goes along with eating “blue” Carotenoids rich foods. Blue berries, purple cabbage, purple potatoes..
    Don’t eat blue peeps though….. ;^)
    mitch

  3. Since the discussion is potatoes, I thought I’d share a very quick, easy, and yummy!! potato recipe. I love white potatoes and not so much the sweet potato and have been trying to find a way to WANT to eat sweet potato. This recipe I found does it for me. It’s title is Nacho Cheese Sauce but it doesn’t really taste like it to me. But it’s still great:
    1 medium to large sweet potato of choice, cooked however you’d like. I cook in water/steam for 20 mins and it’s done – fast!
    1-2 Tbs soy sauce
    1-2 Tbs lemon juice – after I measure the juice I also cut up and throw in the pulp because I like it.
    1 tsp granulated garlic or a couple/few chopped fresh garlic cloves, to taste
    1/4 – 1/2 C nutritional yeast
    1 Tbs siracha or Sambal Oleck i.e., fresh ground chile paste, found in Asian stores if not in your grocery store.
    1/4-1/2 C plain soy milk or water. Soy milk makes it a little richer.
    Throw this all in a blender and blend until smooth.

    I make this on the thinner side if I am pouring this over steamed vegetables or on (or in) a casserole or want a dip. I make this on the thicker side if I want to use it on a corn tortilla as a base under a heap of veggies for a veggie tortillas. This sauce is great on just about everything. Sometimes I can’t help but spoon it from the blender. If you try it, lemme know what you think. Personally, I’m addicted. :-)

    One cup of sweet potato has over 1000% of vitamin A, is very high in beta carotene (associated with a reduced cancer risk), and 70% of Vitamin C, among other great nutrients.
    Enjoy!

    1. OK that looks great. I make a very good queso sauce with white potatoes, but I would certainly prefer the monumentally greater nutritional value of the sweet potatoes. Do you use this like a queso dip at all, or possibly mac and cheese? Also, what about the potato peels. Gotta leave it off the white potatoes but sweet potato peels are great. Do you use the peel?

      1. There are many vegan ‘cheeze’ recipes that are potato based. Sweet potato is too over-flavoring away from the intended flavors, and skins ruin the texture. Russet potatoes and their gummy gluey starch are needed to get the ‘cheeze’ texture of melted cheese.

        1. RealityBites – in the recipe I posted you don’t even taste the sweet potato. That’s the whole reason I posted it – because I wanted to share something that makes sweet potato more “user friendly” so to speak :-).
          I realize this may not be your cup of tea, but it might just do the trick for someone else. I’ve tried many vegan cheeze recipes as well and not been impressed, like you. But, as I mentioned, this doesn’t really taste cheesy to me – it just has its own wonderful flavor.
          Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. :-)

          1. Ruth,

            That sounds excellent.

            Thank you so much for sharing it!

            I LOVE that you gave the thicker and thinner reasoning. Though I suspect that I like everything thicker and ooier and gooier.

            How is it possible that my brain prefers everything with the fiber removed. I keep telling it, no, you do not prefer comfort food, but it says, “Yes, I do.” so I need to find healthier versions of everything.

      2. Stewart, I’m still experimenting with the peels. Last time I made it I left some of the peels on if they were thin and seemed tender. I cut out any icky things of course. You can also leave half the peels on and remove half and see how it turns out for you.
        The original recipe called for 1/4C oil which I chose to substitute with a plant milk since I don’t care to add oil to my food. But there is some evidence that a little bit of fat facilitates the Vit A and beta carotene into the system. So in my last endeavor I added a small handful of olives. It didn’t change the taste appreciably and perhaps added another level of flavor overall. But they’re not necessary of course if you don’t want/like them.
        I haven’t tried it as a MacNCeese but it would go well I think as a “cheesy” sauce in a baked casserole. It IS spicy i.e., has a kick. So just be aware of that. And yes, I use it as a dip. Especially in the evenings if I want something to munch on but don’t want to eat something heavy. Works great as a dip with things like those baby carrots, jicama, kohlrabi. I’m sure it would go well with corn chips but I try to stay away from those for weight reasons. You could also slather this over corn-on-the-cob in summer. Just make it as thick or thin as you need/want.
        This dip-sauce has a lot of flavor. Have fun and let us know what you think.
        Have a wonderful day :-)

    2. Ruth,

      Thanks for the recipe!

      I always appreciate suggestions and recipes posted on this site; I’ve copied and saved most of them, and made some of them, successfully!

      My little old decrepit rescue mutt (he came to us lame, kind of busted up, no idea what happened), now almost 16-17, LOVES sweet potato puree! I steam the sweet potatoes, then puree them in a blender with the cooking liquid (he has no teeth now), and put a spoonful on top of his vegan kibble. He also likes pumpkin puree, but perhaps not quite as much.

      And my husband and I like steamed sweet potatoes mashed with pumpkin pie spice mix — that’s it! I cook my sweet potatoes, scrubbed but unpeeled (I cut the occasional bad spot off) in my Instant Pot, in a steamer basket. (And I make extra, for doggie sweet potato puree.)

      1. Dr. J – thanks for the reminder about pumpkin pie spice mix and sweet potato. I love that combination as well. I sometimes make a hot toddy in winter time with the pumpkin pie spices – clove, cinnamon, maybe some allspice. But I also add fresh ginger root and then throw a little turmeric root in (with pepperine of course). I make it all using fresh whole spices and just smash them in a mortar and pestle. I throw all of that mash into a cup of just-boiling water and let it steep for a while then strain into a fresh cup with stevia or whatever sweetener. It tastes almost like a chai drink but with turmeric in the mix – but I don’t taste the turmeric. I keep the turmeric root in the freezer and don’t bother to peel it or the ginger since it’s all getting strained out in the end anyway. Let me know if you try it. I will definitely try the sweet potato suggestion – thanks!

        I love your story about your old dog friend who loves sweet potato. A friend of mine also feeds his dog vegan kibble. I have a 13 year old cat who just recently spent 5 days in hospital with pancreatitis and perhaps kidney issues (still teasing it all out). He’s home now but lost almost half his weight and almost died. The vet is convinced that the pancreatitis he sees in cats (about half of his very ill kitties) is diet related. So I’ve switched him to a Royal Canin GI diet but I may follow your lead and add just a little cooked sweet potato to his diet. I know cats are strict carnivores. But in the wild the first thing cats do is eat the intestines of their prey where vegetable nutrients abide. Like your dog, he has lost most of his teeth so I puree his food anyway so I can just add a small skosh. Thanks for the thought.

          1. Deb – I buy things like cinnamon, clove, allspice, etc at my local grocery or health food store. In the spice aisle. I’m lucky that there are also two great spice shops in my city where I can get great fresh spices. You can also get spices at the Atlantic Spice Company in Truro, MA. I’ve purchased there when on vacation on Cape Cod. However, you usually have to purchase in larger quantities. Take a look at their website and see what looks good for you:
            https://www.atlanticspice.com/
            But, also, I purchase ginger root and turmeric root at my grocery store. Not every grocery store carries fresh turmeric root but that is usually found easily in an Asian store if you have one nearby. I’m going to guess you can also buy it online if you can’t find it locally. And then just keep it in your freezer. You could also let it dry and then grate it.
            Also, if I am not going to use the ginger root right away, I cut it up into about 1″ chunks and throw it in the freezer. It last forever there. When I want to use it I throw a chunk in the microwave to thaw it. But I use ginger quite a bit in cooking. I love to mince ginger root and throw a whole bunch into things like split pea soup or beans. When you hit a piece of ginger it’s like a surprise in your mouth :-). Sort of fun :-)

        1. Ruth, my Vet believes that most of the pancreatitis and kidney problems he sees in cats is because they are being fed dry kibble. Being desert animals they often don’t drink enough water with it.
          He doesn’t think cats, especially older ones, should have any dry food. Recommends adding some additional water to even wet food to help kidney function.
          Also prescribed a supplement called Aminovast which can be ordered from Amazon.
          I get the dog size one 1,000mg. because it’s cheaper to use 1/2 at a time. Cat dose is 300-500mg. depending on cat’s size, 2x a day
          (The cat size (300mg.) is almost the same price as the dog 1,000mg. size.) So can use 1/3 to 1/2 of the capsule twice a day depending on how big your kitty is.
          I also add some taurine.
          Be aware most pancreatitis in cats is related to diabetes and cats don’t do well with carbs. Low carb green cooked vegetables are better.

          1. Marilyn – Thank you for your information and thoughts. I will check into the AminAvast when I followup with the Vet in a couple of weeks. My vet did recommend some probiotics as part of my cats healing regimen as well. He is gaining some weight back – yay for that.
            I agree about the water and always fed my kitty wet food; only a little dry if he had some night time munchies. I, also, add water to his wet food and make a slurry for him to eat a little easier. I agree that cats don’t drink enough water for their kidneys.
            Kitty doesn’t like the GI prescription food and I have to add some sardine to it to get him to eat it – just enough for flavor and smell to entice him. And I appreciate your comments about perhaps greens being better for him than sweet potato. Good point. And I think I will make that substitution – thank you.

          2. Cats may not do well on carbs (and plant fibre is a form of carbohydrate) but they definitely appear to need ‘animal fibre’ for good health.
            https://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ktudor/2012/june/do_cats_need_fiber_in_their_diet-25083

            I must be old because I remember when all this stuff (plant and animal fibre) was called ‘roughage’. I’ve often suspected that the reason why most domestic dogs and cats die of kidney disease or cancer is because well-meaning owners feed them meat-heavy diets, high in protein, low in roughage (and non-existent in animal carbs). That would stress the kidneys of even hardened carnivores.

            As well, I am still not entirely convinced that carbs are anathma to cats or other carnivores since fresh meat contains significant quantities of glycogen and would have been part of their ancestral diet. It breaks down and turns into lacyic acid pretty quickly after death though. Perhaps the dose and type of carb is important.

            .

            1. My raw meat fed (since puppy) dog lived to 15. We also added about 10-20% wild berries and cooked low starch veggies. Animals in the wild do not eat kibble.

      2. Our dogs also love sweet potatoes. They eat them raw, unpeeled as snacks, as do my wife and I. They also eat white potatoes, cooked in the Instant Pot, daily. As do my wife and I. Humans and dogs here eat a McDougall “Starch Solution” WFPB diet: potatoes, corn meal, beans, whole grains, oats, pumpkin. All are fit, lean, and healthy. Potatoes, and sweet potatoes are the only two complete foods for humans.

  4. I know Dr G says absorption and it seems apparent, but was not implicitly stated digestion is a the key player. Sugar water immediate digested and absorption. Blender faster digestion and absorption because everything is broken down already. When we eat apple slices, I would guess we don’t chew everything down to the particle level, like a blender, and our gut takes time to digest the rest.
    Would Those bits of apple, not fully chewed be delivering small amounts of sugar well past the hour as they are more slowly digested than juice, and this stabilize blood sugar more effectively.

    Berries are just a better all round, but I would be curious to see if the juice form, and the blended form, and the chewed form of berries had different affects on blood sugar too.

  5. Wonder about the frutarians out there and how the consumption of all that fructosamines effect on their bodies, blended or not! Any info from y’all is appreciated. Be well!

  6. Is Cranberry the same thing? Everyone says Cranberry Juice is good for your blood, thus good for health. Are all berries equally good to calm down insulin? or cranberry is something exceptionally good? Thanks for smoothies video. I make smoothies, and always wanted to know if I was killing me and my family…

    1. Aya , i blend cranberries into my smoothie to skip the added sugar. I also stock up on cranberries at thanksgiving and freeze them so o can have them year around. I know this doesn’t answer your question and perhaps someone will, but my guess is since they are a berry and are semi low in sugar they are probably great for us and juice would be therefore less great. I’ve also found a recipe that blends fresh orange and orange peel and a minimal amount of sugar for a cranberry preserve I also like.

  7. I figured out a drinkable broccoli smoothieusing a big hunk of raw fresh broccoli.

    Broccoli
    Apple
    Banana
    Pineapple
    Orange
    Mixed berries (blueberry, blackberry, raspberry)
    Water

    It’s about a 50/50 of broccoli to everything else so I’m getting a BIG helping of broccoli and its phytochemical sulforaphane.

    I’m seeing where mango is used in many broccoli smoothies so it must mask the flavor pretty good. I’ll try that next…

    1. Keven sounds great. Anyway we can eat more broccoli and less processed junk is a bonus! I personally have learned to add less fruit to mine overtime. I guess my tastebuds have allowed me to use less sweetness . Now I’m down to some 1/3 cup of berries and a splash 2 oz of orange juice. Sometimes throw a few other berries like strawberries or cranberries. And in a few nuts and some other veggies like quash or red cabbage, onion or of course some greens like mustard or spinach or turnip greens and top it with spices.

    2. Kevin,
      I put broccoli in my smoothies too. I chop them in the blender first, then wait 20 minutes before adding the other ingredients. I also include a 1/4 t each of turmeric, pepper, and cloves.

  8. A green smoothie is supposed to have “greens” – kale, spinach, chard, broccoli, etc. This video only mentions fruit smoothies. Did I miss something somewhere?

    1. I use the berries to smuggle the kale past my taste buds :)

      I am relieved that berries are okay as I do up a smoothie every day with them, kale, hemp seed etc. Other than a small piece of banana for flavor I don’t use any large fruit.

  9. Yes Arlene, Dr Greger was making a point about how rapidly fruit sugars are absorbed when comparing whole fruit, juiced fruit, or blended fruit like we might have as an ingredient in our smoothies. Since most people add a piece or two of fruit to their smoothies it’s helpful to know what impact this is having on our blood sugar. In the fourth paragraph of the transcript, Dr Greger points out several options for fruits that we can add to our smoothies without causing the hypoglycemic dip that apples produced several hours after ingestion. Bananas were neutral in their effect, mangos are another great choice, and berries actually help with blood sugar contol.
    In the last paragraph he suggests that the Mayo Clinic’s green smoothie with greens and berries might be the best combination. Other videos on smoothies can be found under ‘Doctor’s Notes’.

  10. Thank you all for your answers! So, in relation to the video, beetroot powder is like an apple (which better being eaten like whole fruit), or like a banana/mango/berrie? :)

    1. loanna, as far as I can see, beetroot powder has a low glycemic load of 5 which means it will not impact your blood sugar greatly…. specially if you are throwing a tsp into a green smoothie. Once a week or so I roast 2 or 3 beets to eat with salad or dinner, but the powder looks convenient for smoothies… I will have to try it!

      1. After seeing dr G’s video my friend and I started using beetroot powder in my exercise water bottle. It sure seems to help with warm up and vo2 efforts.

        I’m looking for limits to see how much where one should stop using it, and why. But I think it’s certainly worth a try. !

        End

  11. Off topic, but not sure where else to post. I’m 54 and always been in good shape, training in the gym and running on low impact treadmill. My problem is veins and blood flow. I’ve had 2 blood clots, one which was a recent DVT. Since I train often, I don’t get all of the normal swelling and other symptoms. However, I’ve always had varicose and spider veins in the my ankles and lower legs since my 20’s. I’m also diagnosed with vein insufficiency. Anyway, since there were two clots in the last 10 years that were unexplainable, I did a blood analysis in which I found out I’m Factor V Leiden. So, this is one major factor in these clots.

    Would there be different recommendations for my diet to help blood flow and the clotting risks since I have Factor V? I’m desperate to get off of these blood thinners in safe, natural way. Thanks in advance! Roger

    1. In one of his video, Dr. Greger talked about the benefits of aspirin. Not sure where exactly, but check it out. I wish I helped you

    2. I’m sure you’ve done some research already on Factor V leiden condition and are aware because it is considered an hereditary condition not caused by lifestyle/nutrition, the focus for treatment is on medications. (Here is a very thorough article on this condition with support organizations and other helpful resources
      https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/6403/factor-v-leiden-thrombophilia Factor V Leiden thrombophilia
      Does that mean you cannot help through nutrition and healthy lifestyle? Certainly both the ambitious exercise program you follow and your efforts to eat whole food plant based are important. While there are not studies that verify nutrition is a recognized treatment for Factor V leiden thrombophila, research does show that certain foods can help inhibit clotting. Certainly having the best nutrition as you deal with this condition certainly makes sense both in relation to clotting and overall health. You may want to review these two videos:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/inhibiting-platelet-activation-with-tomato-seeds/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/inhibiting-platelet-aggregation-with-berries/
      Do NOT rely on aspirin or any foods, however and discontinue your anticoagulants. Due to your past history you must continue to work closely with your medical team and recommended treatment.
      Best of health to you

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