The green smoothie – we’ve all heard of it. But why is it so popular? Because it is quick and easy to make, packed full of delicious ingredients, is healthful and nutritious and can be varied according to taste and what’s in the fridge. It is my go-to ‘fast food’ when I know I have a busy day, as I can sip it throughout the morning knowing I’m getting some wonderful energy boosting goodness. So here are some health benefits for including a green smoothie into your diet.
- Perfect way to boost your Fruit and Vegetable Intake
It is recommended that we eat our 5 vegetables and two fruit daily but we often find we don’t reach that amount. Green smoothies are a wonderful way to include a lot of vegetables into our diet, especially our green leafy veggies, and mixing them up with fruit can make our green veg more palatable, especially for kids.
- An excellent way to eat good fats
A green smoothie is an ideal way to add some good fats into our diet such as avocado, coconut oil, chia seeds or nuts – and because there are lots of other tastes and flavours in the drink it will mask the taste of any fats you dislike – yes not everyone likes avocado.
Make your green smoothie as large or small as you’d like – but use filtered water in your smoothie rather than milk, coconut water, almond or soy milk. It’s a great way to increase hydration and to reach our intake of around 2 litres of water per day.
- A source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
Because you can pack your smoothie full of whole foods you are getting a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants important for cellular health, and energy.
- Less snacking
The smoothie is packed full of nutrients that provide energy, and good fats that make you feel fuller for longer plus protein in the form of nuts/seeds that reduce feelings of hunger. Some have found the green smoothie a wonderful addition to their weight loss regime as it helped prevent them from snacking.
- Crave less junk food
Because you are eating a wonderful mix of healthful nutrients which keep you feeling satiated, it can help reduce cravings for foods low in nutrients like fast foods and sugary snacks. The natural fruit sugars and good fats in the smoothie satisfy most people’s cravings.
- Better digestion
Smoothie blending breaks down the cell walls of the fruits and vegetables meaning it has done most of the work for you in terms of getting the nutrients out of the food, making the foods easier to digest.
- Good for colon health
Juicing fruits and vegetables removes the fibre from the food, whereas blending your fruits and veggies in a green smoothies means you are consuming the whole food, including the fibre. Fibre is important for gut health and helps feed your beneficial gut microbes, which is necessary for a strong immune system and healthy colon.
I encourage most of my clients to include the green smoothie (recipe follows) as part of their diet a few times per week. Health benefits reported are an increase in energy, better gut health, less cravings, less need for sweet/sugary foods, glowing skin, some have even said it helped with weight loss. So give it a try – and play around with the recipe until you find a balance of ingredients that you enjoy.
For more information on how green smoothies can benefit you or for a health check, make an appointment today.
Green Smoothie Recipe
Kale, spinach, rocket, mint, parsley (2 large handfuls)*
Celery (2 large sticks)
Cucumber (4cm wedge)
Flaxseed (ground) or LSA (1 tblsp)*
Coconut oil (1 tsp) OR Avocado (1/4)
Banana (1) OR apple (1) and/OR
Pineapple – must be fresh with the core (3 slices)* OR Kiwi fruit, peeled (1)
Filtered water (350ml)
1 small knob of fresh ginger (optional)
Squeeze of ½ lemon/lime, or ¼ wedge with skin (optional)
Blend all together
– Use either a handful of one type of greens or a combination of a few – but include fresh herbs like mint or coriander
– Kale – you can also lightly steam the kale to make it softer
– LSA = ground Linseed, Sunflower seeds and Almonds
– Pineapple – peel and slice up a whole pineapple, keep the core. Freeze what is not used and use it each day in your smoothie
– For something different swap the avocado or coconut oil for 1 tsp chia seeds
– Freeze very ripe bananas or mangos – great to use in smoothies in summer
– For a protein boost add on a handful of nuts or some protein powder
– For an antioxidant boost – swap pineapple and kiwifruit for blueberries, strawberries and raw cacao