For a fast way to supercharge your health, look no further than the liquid nirvana of healthy green (or pink, or orange) smoothies. Drinking your veggies allows you to ratchet up the nutritional content of your diet while starting your day with a boost that rivals that of coffee.
All you need to prepare a smoothie packed with vegetables is a high-speed blender (a Vitamix is ideal, but not necessary; less powerful blenders still do the trick!). As opposed to juicing, which leaves behind the fibrous part of the plant altogether, blending not only retains the fiber; it breaks it down so it’s easier to digest.
Many people fall short in their fiber consumption because they don’t get the five to ten servings of fruits and vegetables they need each day. You can quickly take in three or more servings with one 8-ounce smoothie, which puts you that much closer to meeting your daily requirement.
Awash with Antioxidants
In addition to boosting your fiber intake, fresh fruits and vegetables contain ample antioxidants, which protect your body from the damaging effects of free radicals. This is important because over time, free radicals can wreak havoc on your body’s tissues, and if left unchecked can lead to serious health problems such as cancer.
If you’re someone who resists eating your greens, blending them into a smoothie helps them go down easier. Mixed with an apple or your favorite fresh berries, you’ll hardly notice they’re in there! Here are some ideas for what to throw in your blender. Pick anywhere from 2-8 of these raw foods to pack in along with filtered water (and ice cubes, optional) and you’re in for a nutritional treat:
Here is a simple recipe: Kale and Pineapple Smoothie
½ cup coconut milk
1 cup filtered water
2 cups chopped kale or stemmed spinach
1 ½ cup chopped pineapple
1 ripe banana chopped
Combine the kale/spinach, coconut milk, water, pineapple, banana in the blender and puree until smooth, usually about 1 minute. You can add more water to reach the desired consistency.
- Collard greens
- Swiss chard
- Dark-leaf lettuce
- Organic apples
- Organic berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
- Almonds / Almond milk
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Cacao nibs
- Camu powder
Make sure you don’t just blend fruits or you’ll be in for a massive blood sugar spike—and subsequent crash. This is a common mistake many people make. While eating more fruit obviously benefits your health, adding more vegetables to the mix helps provide sustained energy to carry you throughout your day.
Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe that you enjoy? If so, we’d love to hear about it.