Okra, Great for the Gut!
You’ve probably munched on fried okra before, but have you ever thought to throw it into your blender? Do not be alarmed! There is a good reason why we built a smoothie around the key ingredient, okra, for individuals with difficulty fully digesting carbohydrates.
Okra is a Southern delicacy with amazing health benefits. If you’ve never cooked with it before, it is gooey and full of beneficial mucus. Okra can benefit the carbohydrate digestive type by helping to protect your intestinal lining from harmful bacteria like ulcer and cancer-causing H. Pylori.
We taste tested multiple variations to nail down the perfect blend of creamy, tart, and sweet. Kefir, blueberries, pineapple, and honey round out this smoothie for a unique and delectable tasting experience.
Okra can seem like one of those obscure foods you’re not really sure what to do with. Obviously, it can be fried, but then we can’t really call it a health-promoting food. Enter in digestive rebuilding smoothie to disguise okra.
Not everyone loves okra but with only two pods, it’s hard to taste. Even with just 2 pods, you’ll feel the protective gooeyness of this marvelous veggie. Its mucilaginous texture gives the smoothie a milkshake-like texture that’s smooth all the way down. The big takeaway here: okra acts as a coating or shield on the intestinal and stomach linings, helping to get things moving while reducing inflammation.
The honey and blueberry give a naturally sweet flavor that helps to cover-up two healthy handfuls of turnip greens. Sweeten to your discretion with fresh pineapple or papaya (less sweet).
Quiet bacterial overgrowth in your gut with turnip greens which are known to have antifungal, anticancer, and antibacterial properties. Pair these greens with enzyme-rich fruits (i.e. papaya and pineapple) to break down the complex carbs and ease stress on your digestive system.
Turnip greens have a mild flavor and light color so you might be surprised to learn they’re the most nutrient-dense greens you could choose for your smoothie blending.
Kefir: Tons of Protein, Light on Lactose (Carbohydrates)
This smoothie can be enjoyed with or without kefir to provide a soothing and nutrient-rich meal. We preferred the taste of the coconut cream version, but if you like the sour taste of kefir, go for it! If smoothie functionality is of greater importance, you’ll want to choose kefir over coconut cream. The beautiful thing about kefir is that the lactose content is almost negligent. Lactose is a milk sugar found in dairy products that can trigger adverse reactions in some individuals.
Raw kefir is more potent (with probiotics) than store bought or pasteurized kefir. If you choose to make it at home, you’ll be feeding your gut with more digestive enzymes and naturally occurring bacteria. Kefir can be an acquired taste. It is a tad sour so if you want to reap the benefits while still enjoying the taste of your smoothie, use less kefir and more ice water. If you want to keep your smoothie dairy-free, some health food markets offer cashew or coconut milk kefir options.
If a coconut cream base is preferred, read our tips for making your own here.
The Protein-Eating Enzymes of Papaya and Pineapple
Pairing turnip greens (complex carbs) with an enzyme-rich fruit is one of the nicest things you could do for your troubled tract. Papaya and pineapple contain proteolytic digestive enzymes, meaning they’re really great at breaking down protein-rich greens, easing the strain on your system.1,2
Papain (from papaya) and bromelain (from pineapple) are used as tenderizers for tough cuts of meat. Many Brazilian Steakhouses will use this trick to transform a cheaper and tougher cut of meat into one that is more tender; This practice is very common all over South America. These same enzymes are used in many different supplements including Multizyme by Standard Process. If you have protein digestion problems, eating protein-heavy foods with a small side of papaya or pineapple can help.
Okra is the star ingredient because of the research surrounding the impact on the intestinal wall. As we say about mucous, “Fake it till you make it” in order to protect against stealth pathogens and refresh the membrane with nourishment.3
1) Pavan, Rajendra et al. “Properties and Therapeutic Application of Bromelain: A Review.” Biotechnology Research International 2012 (2012): 976203. PMC. Web. 16 Apr. 2018.
2) Jain N, Jain R, et al. 2012. A review on: Abelmoschus escelentus. Pharmacia. 1:84-89.
3) Emeje M, Isimi C, et al. 2011. Extraction and Physicochemical Characterization of a New Polysaccharide Obtained from the Fresh Fruits of Abelmoschus Esculentus. Iran J Pharm Res. 10(2):237–246.