Green smoothies are having a rockstar moment – or decade. It’s the golden age of smoothies, and green smoothies reign supreme. Whether wholly made from fresh produce or from a combination of fresh and powdered greens (think green powder blends, spirulina, chlorella), green smoothies are loaded with health-boosting vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
And when you make it right, green smoothies taste great! Sweet, smooth, and delicious. Not green, lumpy or bitter. So we break down all the reasons green smoothies are awesome.
1. Super easy to digest: Eating raw foods can be challenging for the digestive system. But blended vegetables are essentially pre-digested.
2. You get more of the nutrients: When blended, the outer cell walls of the greens and fruits are broken down, making the valuable nutrients more readily available and easier for the body to absorb. The vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other goodies are easily assimilated and utilized by the body. So you’ll get maximum benefit and faster absorption! Add a healthy fat source to your green smoothie and you’ll boost micronutrient absorption further.
3. Gives your digestion a “rest”: Green smoothies and green juices mean your body doesn’t have to work hard to break down greens, allowing your body to focus on repair, healing and detoxification.
4. Eat more veggies: Green smoothies are an easy way of increasing your intake of veggies – allowing you to get a greater dose of vegetable nutrition than you could ever manage to eat in a day. Green smoothies are super-concentrated blends of green vegetables and fruit. With just one green smoothie you can hit 5 recommended daily servings (but that doesn’t mean you can skip eating your veggies too)! Plus, green smoothies are often loaded with the type of veggies that we don’t eat enough of – dark leafy greens, such as kale and spinach.
5. Super nutritious: Veggies are nutrient-dense. And when you drink a green smoothie, you consume the nutrients from the veggies intact. We eat much of our vegetables cooked. Unfortunately many vitamins are sensitive and easily destroyed by cooking, such that they are often significantly reduced or lost during cooking. However, green smoothies are made of raw vegetables and lose none of their nutritional value. That’s why pasteurized store-bought vegetables juices and green smoothies are inferior to a freshly made green smoothie or juice that’s replete with healthful nutrients.
6. Anti-inflammatory: While processed foods are often high in saturated fats and sugars, which are linked to inflammation, cancer, obesity, and a plethora of chronic diseases, veggies (esp. leafy greens) are brimming with goodness. Greens are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that protect the body against inflammation and help keep the body healthy. Try this green smoothie recipe. A cup of kale, an apple, a banana, and a cup of almond milk. Blend!
7. High in antioxidants: Veggies, especially dark leafy greens are packed with antioxidant phytochemicals such as kaempferol, carotenoids, lutein, zeaxanthin and quercetin. Antioxidants are thought to keep us healthy by protecting our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Next time you make a smoothie, add in a cup of antioxidant-rich broccoli to give your smoothie a healthy boost!
8. Better skin, hair and nails: Green smoothies are full of healthy fresh fruit and veggies, which can help lower inflammation and reduce acne. Many green smoothie fans swear by it. They often report healthier, shinier hair, and stronger nails too. This beauty boost is probably due to a combination of increasing nutrient levels in the diet (e.g. vitamin A plays an important role in skin health) and naturally eating less junk food. After all, beauty starts on the inside.
9. Reduce junk food cravings: Green smoothies can help curb cravings and reduce hunger, making sticking to your diet easier. Increasing the amount of healthy foods in your diet often naturally stops junk food cravings and increases cravings for fresh, healthy foods. Try swapping your morning coffee for an energizing and filling green smoothie. A handful of kale, a cup of pineapple (or your favorite fruit), one banana, a teaspoon of spirulina, a tablespoon of protein powder, and a cup of almond milk to make a green power smoothie that will keep you going for hours.
10. Weight loss: Less cravings and less snacking means it’s easier to lose weight. Veggies are nutrient-dense and calorie poor. So whether as a low-calorie smoothie for snacking or as a meal replacement, green smoothies can help you cut back on your calorie intake, while providing essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Be sure to add protein and healthy fat to your green smoothie if you’re making a meal replacement smoothie.
Learn how to make a weight loss smoothie.
11. Energizing: Green smoothie devotees often report massive increases in their energy levels!
12. Refuel post-workout: Green smoothies are rich in electrolytes. Many leafy greens (e.g. spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens) are rich in magnesium – nature’s muscle relaxant – helping relieve sore muscles and muscle cramps. Green smoothies are also a great way to deliver a much needed dose of protein to your muscles with a post-workout smoothie. Add nuts, nut butter, seeds, or protein powder to up the protein content of your workout smoothie.
13. Meal on the go: Green smoothies make for a highly nutritious and convenient meal. Drink it on your way to work, at work, or post-workout. A green smoothie is essentially an incredibly healthy meal in a cup. Make ahead if you’re in a real rush in the morning, and refrigerate a batch of green smoothies overnight for breakfast. Or if you prefer a green smoothie later in the day as an afternoon pick-me-up, blend in the morning.
14. Filling: Green smoothies are low calorie, but full of fiber and water, which makes them filling. Add a little healthy fat and some protein and it’ll keep you full for hours.
15. Quick and easy: Green smoothies are easy and fast to make. Green smoothies are also super versatile. Virtually anything goes, and you can adapt most green smoothie recipes to suit your tastes very easily. Smooth, sweet and sublime!
This content was originally published here.