Juicing and Smoothies for Ulcerative Colitis

Juicing and Smoothies

In the forums I see lots of UCers asking about Juicing or making Smoothies, so I thought I'd create a page that explains why one might be better than the other. Always remember that colitis is an individual disease, so foods that work for one may cause problems for others - trial and error is the key.

Benefits

Many Colitis sufferers experiment with fresh organic raw foods to see if it helps their symptoms. Some see great results but as ever with colitis, some seen no change at all and there are others that find it exacerbates their symptoms.

Common sense says that fresh organic raw fruit and veg will be good for overall health, this is because it contains more nutrients, vitamins and minerals than cooked, processed or stored foods. However, Colitis adds another dimension to this, therefore we need to be wary that although it might help our overall health, it may also aggravate areas effected by colitis. Choose your fruit / veg for juicing and smoothies wisely!

Useful Tips For Smoothies and Juicing!

There are certain precautions UCers should take when they start juicing or trying smoothies. I only learned these after I'd started and in hindsight, I wish I'd known them before.

Important precautions:

  • Start with one ingredient only
  • Drink a small amount only
  • Eating beforehand can help 'buffer' the effects

Follow the precautions for a few days until you're sure there are no side effects - it can take a while for the body to adjust to raw foods. Also remember to follow the precautions whenever you add a new ingredient

Choosing the ingredients

It's easy to get confused about which fruit or veg to use, so in reference to Colitis, it's worth doing some research.

A good starting point

 

  • Look at ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties
Juicing and Smoothies for Colitis

Juicing

A juicer removes the fibre (skin, pulp etc.) from the fruit and veg as well as pips and stalks etc. The result is a liquid with the same consistency as fruit juice. From this you can expect to get the nutrients from the fruit and veg but it won't particularly fill you up - some UCers are hoping to replace meals with juicing but unfortunately, though they're good for you, they aren't filling.

Juicing seems to be the more popular discussion subject for those interested in trying raw veg or fruit. The main reason for starting is generally an attempt to get more nutrients into the body because of feeling rundown or fatigued all the time.

Juicers can be expensive so I always advise anyone to try it before rushing out and buying one. Some UCers are lucky enough to borrow a juicer or if that's not possible, there are quite a few places that serve juices now e.g. juice bars, health stores etc. - don't forget to ask about / check the ingredients!

My favourite UC juice

Glutamine Red Cabbage Juice - Colitis

Red cabbage provides the most abundant form of Glutamine in vegetables and is therefore a great way to get supplemental benefits naturally. It's also the reason that you will hear about some UCers having success by drinking red cabbage juice.

I decided to start drinking red cabbage juice as part of my regime. In the film 'Super Juice Me' a UCer drinks red cabbage juice with great success, although their drink contained other ingredients. I replicate this juice up to a point.

Many UCers ask about the juice recipe in the film 'Super Juice Me', so here are the exact ingredients used by the Ulcerative Colitis sufferer:

 

  • 1/2 head of red cabbage
  • 2 apple
  • Approx. 5" cucumber
  • A knob of ginger

Smoothies

The main difference from juicing is that a smoothie contains the fibre of the fruit or veg. This means that for those who want to replace meals, it's the more filling option.

Always remember that unlike juicing, nothing gets separated during the blending process so where required: remove pips / stalks and peel skins before starting.

Making smoothies is the cheaper option when it comes to the hardware, the downside being that not all fruit or veg blends well and you may find yourself having to add liquid to make it drinkable. When making a smoothie to help with colitis, it probably doesn't want to follow traditional recipies containing ice cream!

There are a myriad of liquids you can add to a smoothie to make it more 'smoothie-ish' - it really comes down to personal taste and what it contains. Many people add milk style liquids to fruit e.g. cows milk, rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk, kefir etc., although water or fruit juices can be used. Yoghurt and similar thicker liquid can be used where the smoothie has a runnier consistency - bascially, it's trial and error for your palette and more importantly, for your colitis.

Flavour

By the very nature of what UCers are trying to achieve when experimenting with juicing or smoothies, it follows that we may end up with some strange concoctions that look like pond water and taste like mud e.g. their purpose is to improve our health, not to be a nice refreshing drink.

So this is when we can start looking at adding flavours such as herbs, spices, raw syrup etc. Again it's trial and error to see how the flavour can be enhanced, where adding 1/2 tsp here and there is the order of the day. Don't forget that flavourings can have health benefits as well

A couple of examples of flavourings are raw syrup or raw honey to sweeten and ginger to give zing. I find turmeric a great flavour to add because it's quite subtle but best of all, it's well known for it's anti-inflammatory properties.

My green smoothie

For those that are interested, I thought I'd put my green smoothie recipe here. It's more about the nutrients than the flavour, but the taste is actually okay; don't forget the banana or the yuckiness level increases dramatically!! :

  • 1 peeled apple
  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful blueberries
  • Some leaves of collard greens (alternate weekly with swiss chard leaves)
  • 2 handfuls of spinach (alternate weekly with kale)
  • 1 avocado
  • 200ml almond milk
  • 200ml coconut water

I also add 'supplements' to the smoothie, but of course this is a personal preference:

  • 1/2 tsp chia seeds (good for bulking up stool)
  • 4g moringa leaf powder (contains many nutrients)
  • 2g Turmeric powder (a good anti-inflammatory)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper (helps absorption of turmeric)

Summary

At the end of the day juicing or making smoothies both have their benefits, so instead of a pros and cons summary, here's a short list of the benefits of making smoothies or juicing with UC:

JuicingSmoothie
Infusion of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients into the bloodstreamSupports digestive health by sweeping toxins through the system
Nutrients into the bloosdstream in 20 minutesSupports regular bowel movements
Cells focus on rest and repair because digestive system doesn't need to break it downSatisfies hunger and sustains energy over time
You can fit more veg and fruit into a juiceBalances blood sugar

I wish you luck my raw fruit and veg professors!