One of the most efficient ways to improve your health is by drinking green smoothies every morning.
I know... sounds strange, right?
My husband and I drink them EVERY day. Usually in the morning or right after our workout.
Green smoothies are packed with fruits and vegetables, they provide your body with a high dose of nutrients and energy that you need… and drinking down the vegetables are a lot easier than chewing on them!!
I hope that this blog post will be a great resource that you can refer back to on a regular basis. I've been drinking these now for months and I have seen noticeable improvements in my skin, over-all health, weight & muscle tone, and most significantly my energy level.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details, think about how you feel right now?
Do you struggle to get enough fruits and vegetables everyday?
Do you want to improve your health and have more energy?
Are tired of constantly gagging down your green vegetables because you don’t like the taste?
Want to have an easy way to get power-packed nutrition without spending hours in the kitchen?
Believe it or not, you can improve your overall health by spending 15 minutes in the morning blending together a smoothie packed with nutrition and energy. You have the control to decide the level of nutrition that you are enjoying, your food choices are UP TO YOU!
Top 11 Reasons Green Smoothies Are Beneficial To Your Health:
1. Increase your raw vegetable consumption. Because the ingredients are blended down, it is easy to increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables that you are getting every day. You can easily get 8-16 servings of fruits and vegetables in your smoothie, and they taste delicious! Think about this: who sits down to eat a plate full of raw green vegetables? It would take at least half an hour to chew everything down, and no one enjoys just munching on raw, plain greens. Your smoothie can have high-nutrition ingredients like spinach, kale, collard greens, celery, and broccoli… and you don’t have to spend the time chopping it into a salad, and then sitting at the dinner table chomping on it to try and get it all down!
2. Green smoothies are high in phytonutrients and antioxidants. Packing the smoothie with lots of raw fruits and vegetables provides your body a great resource of nutrients and enzymes. This nutrition helps the body to heal and prevent disease. Countless studies and research papers show that higher amounts of whole foods prevent diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and many more.
3. Higher levels of energy throughout the day. It is amazing to see the difference a morning green smoothie can make! When you drink green smoothies, you are providing your body with nutrient-dense calories, and the body thrives on the high amounts of nutrition. Forget that morning cup of coffee, green smoothies can provide you with a healthier energy option without the caffeine “hangover” later in the day. Drinking caffeine provides the body with artificial energy, but then it is more exhausting once the effect wears off. On the other hand, green smoothies help you to feel energized throughout the day.
4. Green smoothies can help you lose weight. If you have been reading my health information for awhile, you will know that I do not like crash diets or the other weight loss schemes that run rampant in the media. Green smoothies are a NATURAL way to provide your body with the nutrients that it needs, and in turn the body will naturally start to drop excess pounds. Simply adding green smoothies to your daily routine can make a big difference in your weight loss results.
5. Reduce cravings throughout the day. The fiber in the fruits and vegetables will help you to feel full, and your junk food cravings start to go away because your body is being fed the nutrients that it needs. Many times, cravings are a result of some type of deficiency in the body– so the natural instinct kicks in to drive you to find something to satisfy the need. Drinking nutrient-dense smoothies will offer a power-packed source of nutrition and health, so your body will be less likely to be lacking in those necessary vitamins and minerals.
6. Improved digestion and bowel health. The raw fruits and vegetables supply necessary enzymes, which in turn help the digestive system to break down food and run efficiently. Also, the high amounts of fiber keep things moving along, so it promotes a healthy colon and assists the body in eliminating toxins and waste. Be sure that you are drinking lots of water throughout the day!
7. Green smoothies promote healthy PH levels in your body. These raw smoothies contain alkaline ingredients (fruits and vegetables) which help you to maintain a healthy alkaline environment. It has been said that maintaining a good alkaline balance will promote health and prevent disease. Also, if the body is too acidic, it may strip the bones of calcium to neutralize the acidity. Green smoothies protect the bones from being stripped, AND they provide a good source of calcium because many leafy greens contain calcium.
8. Blended greens allow your body to access the nutrients more easily. In order to gain the nutritional benefit from the greens, it is necessary to break down the plants cells. If you are chewing on a leaf, you will need to spend quite a bit of time and energy working your jaw to break down the food… and then the digestive system continues to try to break them down in the stomach and intestines. Blending the greens will break down the cell walls and release the nutrients more easily, so the body is able to access the vitamins and minerals quickly. Drinking the greens is a faster, more efficient way to get the energy and nutrients that your body needs, because it isn’t forced to spend the time and energy trying to break down the plant in order to get the nutrients.
9. Greens contain chlorophyll. The naturally occurring chlorophyll is the part of the plant that makes it green, and the chlorophyll will enhance your immune system, purify the blood, and promote health. It neutralizes bad odors such as bad breath, body odor, etc.
10. Green smoothies are a great source of plant based protein and calcium. Leafy greens contain high amounts of protein and calcium, spinach is actually 42% protein! Increasing the amounts of leafy green consumption can help you to decrease the amounts of non-health promoting foods such as animal products and processed foods.
11. Believe it or not, green smoothies taste delicious! I know that the initial reaction is “Ewwwwww!” when someone hears that I blend vegetables into my smoothies. The idea of drinking anything green just sounds gross. But, the truth is that the sweetness of the fruit helps to hide the taste of the vegetables, so it is just like drinking a regular fruit smoothie (which everyone loves) with a little different color and a ton more nutrition. When people eat plain leafy green vegetables, they usually douse them in chemical-laden salad dressings that are terrible for your health. Drinking green smoothies allows you to skip the dressing because the natural taste of the fruit will already be delicious!
How To Make a Green Smoothie
Now that you know WHY you should be drinking green smoothies, let’s take a look at HOW to make the green smoothie. You will need to make sure that you have all of the ingredients on hand, and a good blender to get a good texture for your smoothie.
*Wash and prep the fruits and vegetables. There are a variety of ways to approach this, because you can purchase pre-packed foods that are ready to go such as frozen fruit chunks (more expensive option), or you can prepare the foods yourself (cheaper option). Be sure that you wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly before putting them in the blender.
*Add a little bit of water and a few handfuls of greens to the blender. I like to add the greens first, because you can completely blend them down to ensure that there aren’t any green “chunks” in the drink. It is a good idea to use a variety of greens because different types of vegetables contain different nutrients. Start with spinach or kale because they have a nice mild taste, and then over time you can start adding in more types of greens. Keep in mind that you can use just a little bit of greens in the beginning, and then gradually add in more and more greens as you get used to the taste. I started out with just 1 handful of baby spinach, and now I throw in several handfuls of all different types of leafy greens.
*Once the greens are blended down, add in a few different types of fruit. Any kind of fruit or fruit juice works, I especially love orange juice because it does a great job of sweetening up the smoothie and hiding the taste of the greens. You may also consider adding in berries if you want to hide the green color, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries all have a dark red/purple color which will minimize the green tint. I have to say, I LOVE my super bright, alien green smoothie color!
*If you want, you may consider adding in whey protein. I use two scoops of hydrolized, isolated, vanilla whey protein (Proto Whey is my fav). Protein, as most know, has a variety of health benefits. This makes my smoothie an excellent source of balanced nutrition.
*Adding a healthy source of fat can help your body to absorb the nutrients and provide you with the goods fats that the body needs. I like to add in ground flax seeds, they are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and they also produce good fiber, protein, and fats. If you are using a high powered blender, then you don’t need to worry about grinding the flax first because the blender will do it for you. But, if you are using a basic blender, then you will want to either buy pre-ground flax or grind it yourself in a small coffee grinder. It is necessary that the flax seeds are ground down, because the body cannot breakdown the whole flax seed.
*Once all of the ingredients are in the blender, turn it on and let it run! Feel free to add in some water if it needs more liquid to blend down, and you are also welcome to add in ice which will help to cool down the smoothie and give it more of a thicker smoothie-like consistency.
Basic Green Smoothie Recipe
Here is my basic green smoothie recipe. Remember that you can always make adjustments with the amounts and also the ingredients… it is good to have variations since different fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients.
1 1/2—2 C fruit (fresh or frozen) or 16 oz. of fruit juice
Several handfuls of leafy greens - I use baby spinach
Optional: Flax oil or flax seed (for omega-3’s and to help the body absorb nutrients)
Optional: Whey Protein Powder
Fruit ingredient ideas: bananas, oranges, pears, apples, peaches, pineapple, mangos, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.
Leafy green ingredient ideas: spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, chard, beet greens, turnip greens, watercress, parsley, etc
Other vegetable ingredient options: celery, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, etc.
My husband loves using carrot juice instead of orange juice.
Try as many combinations as you can think of. Including this smoothie in your daily routine will most definitely get you on the right
track. You will look good and feel good.