Green smoothies are sold at every corner of the street these days, but what is all the fuss about? What are the benefits of drinking these very green and gooey looking smoothies?
Well, the answer is very simple – drinking green smoothies will benefit everybody regardless of lifestyle as they contain beneficial nutrients, could prevent disease, give you lots of energy and are very tasty!
We will not give you the typical sales chat and promise you that your skin will start glowing and that you will shed several pounds after drinking one smoothie. What we can do is list some of the beneficial properties that these green smoothie ingredients contain and explain why they are beneficial for your body.
Let’s begin with the biology behind greens. Greens produce chlorophyll, a bio molecule which allows plants to absorb energy from light. The chlorophyll bio molecule is the basis for every form of carbohydrate on our planet. Greens are the only living thing in the world that can transform light into food that all creatures can consume. Chlorophyll has many benefits for the body; it neutralizes toxins, is antibacterial, helps purify the liver, regulates blood sugar levels, regulates digestion and helps rebuild muscle and damaged cells, to name a few.
Greens are also known for their high alkalizing properties, meaning that they affect the acidity of body fluids in a positive manner (measured by the pH level of body fluids). Disease, pain and inflammation all thrive in an acidic environment. Avoiding creating an acidic environment in your body by consuming more greens therefore makes sense.
WHY MAKE A SMOOTHIE
Making a smoothie is the easiest way to consume a significant amount of greens. Many people get put off by a big bowl of spinach, watercress and kiwis while drinking a smoothie with all these ingredients inside does not. As you will see in the green smoothie sample ingredient list below, adding “super foods” to your smoothies is not only a great way to make them even more tasty but also to provide your body with a more diverse range of nutrients. You can experiment eternally with different ingredients.
For the lazy ones among us, the bottled green smoothies you can buy at shops are not the same! Although it seems like a great alternative to spending some time in the kitchen with your blender, most nutrients get killed in the heating process that often gets used when pasteurizing these. Cold pressed juices, however, are another story.
WHAT BENEFICIAL PROPERTIES
The list of beneficial properties is endless: vitamin A, vitamin B1 B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, dietary fibre, protein, sodium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, selenium, potassium, copper, zinc, iron, beta carotene etc.
Just to name some greens and their specific benefits:
- Broccoli: has anti-inflammatory properties, improves vitamin D deficiency (helping the body absorb calcium), supports a healthy skin, is high in potassium which helps fighting blood pressure, decreases blood sugar levels and detoxifies the body.
- Spinach: other than the very well know image that we all have of the strong Popeye, spinach has a very high content of vitamin A which it is important for growth and development and for the maintenance of the immune system as well as good vision, vitamin C which protects the body from infection trough the absorption of iron, maintains healthy bones and teeth, lowers blood pressure and speeds up the body’s ability to repair, and vitamin K which promotes bone health and increases bone density.
- Barley grass: has anti-inflammatory properties and contains many essential nutrients that help to detoxify the body from toxins such as pollutants that we come across every day.
- Kale: contains a chemical which boost DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells, it also lowers cholesterol and decreases absorption of dietary fat.
- Spirulina: this algae is high in antioxidants which destroy free radicals and protect the body from heart disease, diabetes, cancer and infection. Spirulina is also said to provide benefits for people with respiratory related diseases, such as asthma and allergic rhinitis.
DID YOU KNOW THAT LEAFY GREENS CONTAIN 30% PROTEIN?
If you are interested in greens with the highest nutritional value per calorie, Dr. Fuhrman (1) and his ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) scoring system provides a clear picture of each food’s nutritional value. Greens with the highest score, which happens to be 1000, according to the ANDI system, are kale, collard greens, mustard greens and watercress.
THE GREEN SMOOTHIE INGREDIENTS
At Your Fit World, we like to use a variety of green vegetables, fruits and other super foods. Finding your favourite green smoothie is all about experimenting with a mixture of ingredients. There are many ingredients you can use. We usually use anything we find in the fridge!
For inspiration, we have listed some ingredients we like:
- Goji berries
- Bee pollen
- Vanilla extract
- Barley grass
- Hemp seeds
- Raw cacao nibs
- Chia seeds
CHEW YOUR SMOOTHIE
The act of chewing mixes the smoothie with your saliva which allows the body to effortlessly absorb and consume all the nutrients of the fresh green smoothie.
More green smoothie recipes can be found under the recipes – smoothies tab. The energiser is a real treat!
In summary, if you want to improve your quality of life and feel energized: get the smoothie-ing going!
(1) “Dr. Fuhrman originally developed the ANDI scoring system to rank foods according to micronutrients per calorie, including vitamins, minerals, and as many known beneficial phytochemicals as possible. Since the original calculation of the ANDI scores new information has come to light regarding certain beneficial phytochemicals, such as angiogenesis inhibitors, organosulfides, isothiocyanates, isothiocyanates, and aromatase inhibitors. Dr. Fuhrman has incorporated this information into a revised algorithm that more accurately reflects the nutritional value of each food.” – http://www.drfuhrman.com