The Health Benefits of Green Smoothies
By Becki Andrus
Many people find the thought of eating many servings of fruits and vegetables each day to be overwhelming. The thought of eating salads every day or bunches of lettuce and spinach can be enough to discourage people from following a healthier diet. Fortunately, there are a few painless ways to get more leafy greens into your diet without having to feel like a bunny rabbit. Many people who have difficulty eating leafy greens choose to drink them instead in the form of green smoothies. Green smoothies are fruit smoothies that have leafy greens such as spinach or kale blended into them. Getting used to the taste can take a little while, but once you do you can drink the equivalent of an entire salad in the form of a green smoothie.
Drinking green smoothies is an excellent way to increase your vegetable intake. Some common vegetables that can be easily added to smoothies are romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, carrots, celery, and cucumbers. Of course, you should not add all of these at once. Most people who drink green smoothies recommend a ratio of 40% vegetables to 60% fruit to keep it tasting good. If you are just starting out with drinking green smoothies then choose a mild green such as spinach and add a small amount to your smoothie. Once you are more accustomed to the taste you can increase the amount of greens that you are blending.
In addition to increasing your vegetable intake, green smoothies can also help you to eat more fruits. A smoothie may contain a peach, a handful of strawberries, a banana, some blueberries, and an apple. This adds up to at least three or four servings of fruit in one delicious drink. Most people thin their smoothies with 100% fruit juice, although some people choose to use water or milk to get their smoothies to a drinkable consistency.
On this episode of Healthytarian Living, host Evita Ochel shares about the benefits of green smoothies and a recipe for a banana-…
Besides the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking them is also a great way to get more healthy fats into your diet. It is easy to add healthy fats into it without altering the taste or texture of the drink. Adding the meat of an avocado to a green smoothie will significantly increase the healthy fat content without changing the taste. If avocados are hard to find in your area, try adding ground flax seeds to your smoothie. The easiest way to do this is to buy flax seeds whole and grind them yourself a little at a time. Even a few tablespoons of coconut oil added to a smoothie will up the nutritional oomph of your drink significantly.
Many people wonder if drinking green smoothies is better or worse than juicing fruits and vegetables. Although the jury is still out, they have some significant advantages. When you juice, you lose the fruit and vegetable fiber that is part of what makes them so good for you. They allow you to drink all of that fiber easily. It also takes much less fruit to make a green smoothie than it does to make a cup of juice, making green smoothies more economical for many people.
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