In recent years green smoothies and super greens supplements have seen a massive boom in popularity, with their sales going through the roof. From vegetarians to keto to paleo enthusiasts, every faction of the health industry has jumped on the greens bandwagon, and it makes sense because they’re delicious and nutritious. (I am a poet, and I didn’t know it)
However, as with most good things in life, there’s always another side to the story, not necessarily a bad side, but another side to consider when consuming green smoothies. Although they are overwhelmingly good for you and provide numerous health benefits, they can cause nausea and some other mild side effects due to trace heavy metal content levels.
It’s the old adage of moderation. “even if something is good, there’s always a limit where too much can become detrimental.
For most people, the regular everyday smoothie comprises a handful of vegetables and fruits, mixed together with protein and maybe some juice or even almond milk. There’s no right or wrong smoothie; it comes down to personal preference.
I’ve been drinking the same smoothie for literally 20 years; a scoop of greens, a scoop of protein, a spoon of peanut butter, and a cup of organic oats.
So, can greens and greens supplements cause nausea? And if so, what, if anything, can be done about it.
Thallium, which can be detected in the soil, is the unfortunate byproduct of coal-burning and other industrial processes that result in thallium being released into the groundwater (1).
Green smoothies are generally jam-packed with dark leafy greens such as kale, bok choy, cauliflower, and broccoli. Regrettably, these very leafy greens can have high levels of thallium found in them. Thallium concentrated in high levels can be extremely toxic.
It’s not something that you need to be overly concerned about. Still, understanding and educating yourself on the effects of harmful metals is crucial in your pursuit of overall health and well-being.
Moderate exposure to thallium may cause diarrhea, abdomen pain, and nausea, resulting in hair loss (1). So, if even small amounts can cause problems, imagine what much higher amounts could do.
This is why it’s essential to educate yourself. It allows you to choose the absolute best greens supplements on the market, those that have been Third Party Tested, Made in the U.S., and are 100% organic.
The primary problem is that heavy metals accumulate in the body, and what seems to be a minor problem can, over time, develop into something much more.
One answer to these problems is to buy high-quality greens powders that, as mentioned earlier, are 100% organic and have gone through stringent third-party testing to legitimize their safety. Organic soil, especially soil from the farm, generally has higher levels of intense carbon-based material (3). Because the earth has high carbon-based material levels, it significantly reduces and prevents the transference of thallium into the food chain.
The takeaway here is that carbon-rich soil can neutralize thallium’s side effects; if you want a safe alternative to these vegetables, then try a high-quality greens supplements powder that’s been stringently third-party tested.
Can Heavy Metals Cause Nausea?
As mentioned earlier, the soil in which foods are grown has a significant influence on their nutritional quality and quantity. The flip side to this is that although valuable nutrients can filter through, so can harmful heavy metals.
This means that drinking that green smoothie daily may be harmful because of the high levels of thallium that may be present.
Ernie Hubbard, who is not only an exceptional well-renowned Molecular Biologist but also an alternative health practitioner, discovered that his patients were suffering from precisely that; Thallium exposure.
He found that his patients were presenting with several strange symptoms that did not seem to fit conventional disease patterns. After considerable research, he successfully backtracked the problem of thallium exposure emanating from dark leafy greens such as kale.
Low levels of thallium can bring on symptoms such as diarrhea and nausea. Some pharmaceutical experts have contended that trace levels of heavy metals are nothing to be concerned about as they are present in our everyday environment. Our bodies have built up resistance to it.
Maybe you’re one of those people like me who loves their greens smoothies and drinks them religiously; that’s ok; just ensure that you’re consuming high-quality, tested greens powders.
Remember, organic farm produce generally contains much lower levels of harmful toxins than conventional products, containing higher levels of heavy metals, which can cause nausea (4).
What Steps Can Be Taken To Mitigate Nausea?
So, are there any steps that can be taken to help prevent or mitigate the effects of heavy metals that cause stomach upset and nausea? Fortunately, there are, and they’re easy to implement into your daily eating plan.
We all know that the positives of drinking greens smoothies far outweigh the negatives, so it’s just a matter of coming up with a plan that allows us to consume them daily and benefit from their vital nutrients while limiting the side effects.
Top Tip 1
Instead of consuming only dark leaf greens, consider adding some mild versions such as lettuce. Lettuce is much easier on the stomach and digestive system but still has many health benefits that go with it. Lettuce is helpful in a smoothie but can also be the base of a nice chicken salad.
Kale and spinach are relatively coarse and can put a lot of stress on the digestive system; this is another reason to find high-quality greens powders, which are much easier to absorb.
Top Tip 2
Adding fruit to your daily smoothie can also significantly impact your health by mitigating and preventing nausea and other mild symptoms. By adding some fruits like bananas, apples, or pineapples, the sweetness can help stop the harshness of the leafy greens while adding a pleasant sweet taste from the naturally occurring sugars found in fruit.
Top Tip 3
The next step has worked for me and several others I also know; “Stop adding ice cubes to your smoothie.” Adding ice cubes for some people can really cause a stomach upset because of the body’s shock from the sudden cold. Drinking your smoothies at room temperature can help mitigate nausea.
It’s tough to get used to at first, but once you see the benefits it offers, it becomes much easier to stick with.
Top Tip 4
Don’t take big gulps of your green smoothie; take small sips; by taking small sips, your saliva plays an incredibly important role in your digestive system and helps break down food, particularly the dark leafy greens that may cause nausea.
Top Tip 5
Another important tip here that can really benefit those who can’t consume their smoothies in one sitting is to drink them throughout the day. Put your smoothie into a drinking container and sip it throughout the day instead of smashing it all down in one go.
Top Tip 6
When drinking your smoothie, be sure to pair it with something else. I like to eat a three-egg omelet on some rye bread to help break up the smoothie’s taste and consistency.
Many people steer clear of carbohydrates in the morning, but I find carbs to be an essential nutrient, especially in the morning. Carbs provide the body with the energy needed to reach its full potential. It’s also why I choose carbs that are slow- releasing like oats, brown rice, and sweet potato.
Instead of entirely relying on dark leafy greens as your primary source of nutrients, essential vitamins, and minerals, I recommend considering high-quality greens powders that have already undergone strict certification procedures such as Third-Party Testing.
These high-quality greens supplements are lower in levels of heavy metals and have several other health benefits such as increasing focus, improving concentration, boosting energy, improving sleep quality, and boosting your immune system.