Drink Greens & Stay Lean

Super Food Smoothies 101

By Mary Luciano

Do you feel sluggish and lack energy? Do you have a few (or more) extra kilos to shed? Do you struggle with eating clean because you’re always on the run and don’t have the time to eat enough greens? Would you like to have more energy, stamina and vitality to truly enjoy your life? Introducing green smoothies - a sure way to keep you clean, green and lean! If you have already heard about green smoothies, great, you’re a step ahead! If you haven’t, don’t fret, I will explain. Green smoothies are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are a delicious way to get your dose of good quality greens for the day.

THE BENEFITS OF DARK LEAFY GREENS

Any nutritionist will tell you that you need to eat dark leafy greens as often as possible. Yet sadly, it is the food group that is lacking most in today’s modern diet. Adding greens to your diet can help restore health very quickly. Did you know that greens are one food group in which all nutrients perfectly match human nutritional needs? Chlorophyll, known to be the plant’s blood, is chemically similar in composition to that of human blood. Greens are rich in chlorophyll; a plant compound in all greens that is believed to purify our blood, and to help enhance our immune system.

    It is estimated that we should have approximately 7-10 servings of greens a day, which equates to a minimum of 450 grams. Yes 450 GRAMS! However, sitting down for hours each day chewing on salad just may not fit into our busy schedule. So what’s the answer? Green smoothies! You may be thinking; “greens in my smoothie?” Most people don’t like dark leafy greens because they are too tough and fibrous to enjoy on their own and can taste bland; however, when blended with fruit, green smoothies are very palatable.

 

WHY BLEND GREENS?

It’s important for us to consume greens in the form of smoothies because the cell wall gets broken down and the absorption of vitamins and minerals into the bloodstream is then easier. In addition, some people’s digestion is not as optimal as it could be, and they may have problems with digesting raw greens. Blending raw greens makes it easier to digest and assimilate the nutrients. Greens also have insoluble fibre, which means that they can absorb sugars and counter balance the fruit in the smoothie. This is helpful for people who are hypoglycaemic, or are diabetic.

green smoothie benefits

The following are some benefits that you may experience once you start to drink green smoothies:

•   Improved digestion

•   Increased energy

•   Radiant skin and eyes

•   Reduced sugar cravings

•   Regularity with respect to bowel movements

•   Weight loss support

Green smoothies are quick, easy and delicious. Try these treats for breakfast, as snacks, or a pick me up in the afternoon. With a bit of fruit to sweeten the taste, you will love them in no time. As you start to drink more green smoothies, you will notice that you may want to add more greens and less fruit. Believe it or not, you may even start craving them! This is one sure way of getting your daily recommended amount of greens at one time, in a fast and easy manner. Adding a minimum of one green smoothie a day, either as a meal or a snack can increase your energy, stamina and vitality, so you can truly enjoy your life.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE A GREENS A GREENS SMOOTHIE?

Never made a green smoothie before? Don’t worry; here is exactly what you’ll need to make a delicious tasting green drink.

High Powered Blender

This is preferred, but not mandatory. The one that is highly recommended is the Vita Mix. You can use a more inexpensive blender; however, it doesn’t break down the tough fibres in the greens as well as the Vita Mix. With the amount of use this appliance gets, you will recover your money two fold.

Rubber Scraper

Why? Because you are going to want every drop of this delicious drink!

Container

This is for your actual smoothie drink. A wide mouth mason jar is recommended. Drinking smoothies from a glass container instead of a plastic one not only tastes better, but it’s also easier to clean because of the wide mouth; and it’s also better for the environment.

Lots of Leafy Green Veggies

My favourites greens to use are kale, romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, spinach, field greens, silverbeet, sunflower and pea sprouts, rocket, parsley, coriander, bok choy and beet greens

Fruit

Any fruit will do, but the most popular choices are bananas, pears, mangoes, apples, pineapples, and berries.

Additional Items

Banana Mango Green Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

 

•   1 banana

•   1-2 mangoes

    (Ataulfo mangoes)

•   1-2 handfuls of spinach

•   1 handful of sunflower sprouts

•   1-2 cups of water

 

Directions

 

•   Peel the mango and the banana.

•   In a blender, add the water, mango, banana; add

    the greens last.

•   Blend for 20 seconds.

•   If too thick, add more water until you reach your

    preferred consistency.

•   Pour in a glass or jar and enjoy!

You can also add hemp or a protein powder. To get your dose of omega fats you can also add flax or hemp seeds. You may even want to experiment and come up with your own recipes!

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