Yes, green smoothies can taste better than they look

yes green smoothies can taste better than they look 2017 images

Why Bother With Green Smoothies?

Yes, I know. Ugh, green smoothies? They’ve been around forever, but there’s a reason why. They can truly reinvigorate a tired and listless body. I know because I was there many years ago. I had let myself add an extra one-hundred pounds, and I was miserable.

Then I finally took a look in the mirror and realized how unhappy I was and then taking one step at a time, I slowly began eating better. Rather than rush into it and then stop, I took it slow and then finally got myself into juicing. I used to think it was too expensive and too much work, but after experimenting, I realized that many of these juices taste amazing. You can make the same type of thing you find at Jamba Juice for just a fraction of the price which is just another plus!

If you enjoy this guide, you can share it or also just download the PDF we made for you down below at the bottom of the article.

You see them everywhere these days, juice and smoothie bars and retail outlets going by names like Jamba Juice, Smoothie King and Tropical Smoothie Café. They sell blended fruit and vegetable drinks that are usually chilled, and could contain a wide variety of ingredients such as honey, syrup, sugar, milk or yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese and protein powders. These smoothie and juice joints exploded in popularity in the 1990s, though health food stores on the western coast in the US began selling smoothies way back in the 1930s.

That was when the electric blender debuted in the United States. Ice cream vendors and health stores began selling smoothies that usually added ice, dairy products and some type of sweetener to a fruit or fruits. Vegetables were sometimes used, but were not the primary ingredient. Right after retail smoothie and juice stores came into vogue at the end of the 20th century, green smoothies started to become very popular. They predominantly focus on leafy green vegetables such as kale, collard greens, celery and spinach, and are a great way to get your daily ration of healthy vegetables into your body.

When Australian businessman Joe Cross began preaching the health properties of juicing leafy green vegetables in 2005, the groundwork had already been laid for a juicing and smoothie explosion. Cross drank nothing but juices that were 80% vegetables and 20% fruit and ate nothing for 60 days. In that time, he lost 82 pounds and beat an autoimmune condition his doctors said he would have for the rest of his life.

He released a film of his juicing journey, titled Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. He made the movie available free of charge online at his website, as well as video sharing sites like YouTube. Seemingly overnight, everyone was making juices with leafy green vegetables for health reasons, with some people reporting truly miraculous physical transformations. You can check out his book by clicking here. The link to his free film is just above.

health benefits of green smoothies

The Health Benefits of Green Smoothies

The benefits of drinking green smoothies are numerous. The vegetables and fruits that give green smoothies their fresh, emerald hue are extremely high in nutrients, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. They provide a long list of benefits and can improve both your mental and physical health. Kale is a popular leafy green in smoothies that offers the following health advantages.

  • High in fiber, low in calories and has zero fat – Kale delivers up only 36 calories in a 1 cup serving. That serving size also packs a healthy 5 grams of dietary fiber and zero fat.
  • Helps digestion and elimination – The fiber in kale promotes healthy digestion and helps keep you “regular.”
  • Absolutely packed with vitamins and nutrients – Kale delivers significant amounts of magnesium, folate, iron, vitamins A, C and K, and delivers more calcium than milk per calorie.
  • Fights cancer – The antioxidants, carotenoids and flavonoids present in high levels in kale help protect you against developing various cancers.
  • Boosts bone health – Eating kale (or drinking a smoothie with kale in it) delivers the vitamin K mentioned earlier. Vitamin K is essential for optimal bone health, as well as blood clotting.
  • Fights inflammation – This versatile and powerful health booster boasts excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is often the starting point for multiple chronic diseases and illnesses.
green smoothie healthy taste
  • Improved brain function – A diet rich in kale has been linked to better memory and a lowered risk of developing neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.
  • A wonderful detoxing agent – Kale helps your liver filter out dangerous toxins and poisons, removing them from the foods you eat and the liquids you drink, so they can be eliminated.
  • Boosts healthy circulation – The iron in kale ensures that high levels of oxygen are transported to the various parts of your body that need it.
  • All of the healthy nutrients and minerals in kale also boost your overall immune system, help your cells grow properly, assist in the formation of enzymes and hemoglobin, lower your cholesterol, and fight asthma, arthritis and autoimmune disorders.
kale not so hot to look at so put in a green smoothie

Look at those amazing rewards for getting kale into your body.

Now imagine how supercharged your health and vitality is when you combine that leafy green with other healthy vitamins and fruits commonly used to make a green smoothie. You can literally handpick your smoothie ingredients to provide any type of health boost you need, from stronger, shinier hair and younger looking skin, to improved memory, no joint pain and total heart health.

Later on in this article, we will reveal the best vegetables to use in your green smoothie. We will also list the health properties each of those vegetables provide, so you can cater your green smoothie experience to deliver exactly the healthy rewards you are looking for. Right now though, let’s take a look at the reasons for choosing predominantly green vegetables over fruits the next time you make a smoothie.

So Why Choose Smoothies with Greens Over Fruits?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with putting fruits in your smoothies. The average person these days doesn’t get enough vegetables and fruits in their diet. Any time you choose fresh produce over processed food, junk food, sugar, salt, refined flour and other unhealthy food items and ingredients, you are doing yourself and your health a huge favor.

Sometimes though, people report weight gain after they start to drink lots of smoothies that are predominantly fruit-based. This happens for a very logical reason. If someone is trying to impact their health in a positive way by adding lots of healthy fruit to their smoothies, they have to be careful about their calorie and carbohydrate intake.

Vegetables have much fewer calories and carbohydrates per ounce than fruit does. If you choose predominantly fruits instead of vegetables for your smoothies, there is a possibility of weight gain because of this reason. Many fruits also have levels of natural sugar that are much, much higher than the typical vegetable. Most vegetables have little to no natural sugar.

You probably know what happens when the human body takes on too much sugar. It gets fat. So one very good reason to choose smoothies with mostly leafy greens over smoothies with too many fruits in them is to keep from gaining weight. A lot of people adopt a “1 smoothie a day” policy for the purpose of losing weight, they eat too many fruits, and they wind up gaining weight instead.

You may be wondering, “If green vegetables are so healthy, why can’t I just eat them instead of putting them in my smoothie?” That is a great question, so let’s answer that right now.

is drinking green smoothies better than eating greens

Is Drinking Green Smoothies Better Than Eating All Those Greens?

Joe Cross has a smoothie recipe called Joe’s Mean Green Smoothie. It contains the following ingredients.

joe cross mean green smoothie mix
  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 celery stalks
  • 2 apples
  • 6-8 leaves kale
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. ginger
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 cup (250 ml) almond milk

When was the last time you ate an entire cucumber, 4 stalks of celery, 2 whole green apples, a large bowl of kale leaves, a half of a lemon and a banana? Those ingredients combined with a cup of almond milk to make just 1 smoothie! If you drink 2 or 3 smoothies a day, double or triple that list of produce.

This brings up why it is so much smarter to drink green smoothies than trying to eat all those vegetables and fruits instead… you simply cannot eat, digest and consume the number of fruits and vegetables that go into making 1 or more smoothies on a regular basis.

apples are perfect for green smoothies

Those foods, like the kale we mentioned earlier, that go into your smoothies are packed with nutrition. They are virtually bursting at the seams with health and well-being. Since it is very difficult, or impossible, to eat the same number of healthy fruits and vegetables that make up a green smoothie on a day-to-day basis, choosing a refreshing, chilled smoothie is the perfect vehicle for receiving all the health benefits those foods offer.

There is another very good reason to choose drinking your greens rather than eating them.

When you render healthy fruits and vegetables into liquid form, your digestive process is very quick. Because of the high amounts of densely packed fiber in physical fruits and vegetables, it takes a while for your body to digest them properly. When you add the ingredients of your smoothie into your blender, that blender is acting as a digestive aid. It is breaking down those foods for you, so access to the minerals, nutrients, vitamins and other healthy components in your fruits and vegetables are absorbed by your body much quicker.

This is why you can often times feel a surge of vitality and healthy energy only minutes after drinking a green smoothie. Your body begins to assimilate all of the health-boosting properties of your smoothie ingredients immediately. Finally, another reason to juice your greens rather than eating them is to save time. When you are in a rush, you can make a healthy smoothie and literally a couple of minutes. That beats the prep time eating time and cleanup time that can sometimes be extensive when you are cooking your greens rather than using them to make a smoothie.

The Basic Green Smoothie Formula

Ask 10 different people, and you may get…

The Health And Beauty Benefits Of Green Vegetables

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The other day, my mother asked if we should have waffles for breakfast, and my response shocked even me: “What if we had a salad?” In the weeks since Allure asked me to write about leafy greens, I’ve changed. Once a kale agnostic, I’m now a Devout Kale Orthodox. The kind of person who eats spinach for breakfast and offers unsolicited advice to strangers in line at the salad bar: “You know, romaine is actually healthier than arugula.” (I know, spoiler alert. Just sit tight for a minute.)

The more I learned about leafy greens, the more of them I ate, and the more I ate, the more I wanted to eat. “It’s a virtuous cycle,” says Dean Ornish, the president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California. “You feel so much better so quickly that it becomes positive reinforcement.” While I can’t say I felt physical changes immediately, the psychological benefits were instantaneous. Nothing makes you feel more superior than pulling out a Tupperware container of collard greens in front of your colleagues. I may have become a zealot, but as cults go, the cult of greens isn’t a bad one to be in. (Although maybe every cult member feels this brand of righteousness?)

Nothing makes you feel more superior than pulling out a Tupperware container of collard greens in front of your colleagues.

It seems like every week there’s a new study telling us that a food we thought was healthy is, in fact, the sole reason for the decline of civilization. But think about the Leafies. There’s a reason you’ve never read a disparaging word about them. Research has shown, over and over again, that there’s practically no anatomical system that doesn’t benefit from more kale, more spinach, more watercress. They lower the risk of heart attack and stroke; they’re linked to lower blood pressure; they keep the digestive tract healthy; they help you see better; they’re protective against many types of cancer; and they even play a role in combating mental decline.

Here’s a gross oversimplification: They have pretty much every nutrient our bodies need, with the exception of protein and fat. But when I suggested to registered dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot that I might go on an all-green diet, she quickly set me straight: “An average woman would have to eat 50 cups of kale per day to get adequate calories.” OK, so you shouldn’t eat only greens, but they actually are a good source of one kind of fat: omega-3, which is associated with alleviating everything from mood disorders to eczema. Fish is usually the go-to for this essential fatty acid, but omega-3s originally come from greens. Fish get them from eating algae, which, as everyone knows, are the salad of the sea!

One place where greens have been shown to be more beneficial than other vegetables or fruits is in the brain. Scientists are beginning to seriously examine the effects of diet on brain function. What they’re finding is great news for anyone who thought cognitive decline was due to unlucky genes. When Martha Clare Morris, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, tracked the eating habits and brain health of almost 1,000 adults over five years, she found that those who ate one to two servings of green leafy vegetables per day had the mental abilities of someone 11 years younger than those who didn’t eat greens. “Of all of the different types of vegetables, green leafy appear to be most related to protection against cognitive decline,” says Morris.

So what is it about greens that make them so good for you? It probably has something to do with the tough life of a leaf. Think of the leaf as the engine of the plant: It’s where photosynthesis, the process of turning light into fuel for the plant, occurs. Photosynthesis creates something called reactive oxygen species, which are turbocharged free radicals that wreak havoc in cells. To combat this molecular chaos, leaves produce tons of antioxidants. “Antioxidants put the…

Rainy Day Lentil And Vegetable Soup

It’s rainy and cold today, which calls for a warm pot of soup and a glowing fire in the fireplace. I love lentil soup, but most canned lentil and vegetable soups contain potatoes which only adds to the carbohydrate count without adding much nutrition. For that reason, I like to make my own. This particular recipe is more like a stew because it is thick with delicious vegetables! I used the prepackaged cooked lentils that can sometimes be found in the produce section of the supermarket or at Trader Joe’s. Their convenience and excellent taste can’t be beat! Feel free to add your favorite vegetables or substitute another dark, leafy green (in place of the kale), if you desire. Then curl up with a good book and a steaming cup of soup — it will warm your heart!

soup

Rainy Day Lentil & Vegetable Soup
(Makes about ten 1¼-cup servings)

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups celery, sliced
3 carrots, sliced into half rounds
1 cup green beans, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced into quarter rounds
6-8 stalks asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
8 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2½ cups cooked lentils
4 cups kale, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or stew pot. Add onion, carrot, celery, green beans, zucchini, asparagus, garlic and dried herbs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Add lentils and kale and simmer for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are soft and kale has wilted. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Nutritional Information per serving: 111 calories, 20 g carbohydrate, 1 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 5.9 g fiber, 486 mg sodium, 8.5 g protein.

Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2010.

Recipe by Diabetics Rejoice! Read her amazing blog here, find her on Facebook here, and check out her website here!

Cause to Celebrate: ‘Healthful’ Restaurants are a Huge Trend in 2017

missparadis

Soho’s Miss Paradis shares a recipe for zucchini tagliatelle with kale and basil pesto

Eating healthy while eating out used to be difficult. Massive portions, over-salted meals, sauces laden with saturated fats and hidden sugars—restaurants used to only care about making their food taste and look good. That’s no longer the case, thanks in part to a society more focused on wellbeing and a vegetable-forward (but not necessarily vegan or vegetarian) approach to cooking that’s been adopted by respected industry leaders and celebrated by the media.

The result is the opening of more health-minded concepts like Miss Paradis, a Philippe Starck-designed casual eatery in Soho from famed French restauranteur Claude Louzon and his daughter Julie Louzon. Opened last month, the buzzed-about culinary destination features dishes like roasted eggplant with tahini dressing; charred rainbow carrots and steamed…

Here’s What The Lettuce In Your Salad Actually Does For Your Body

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We all know that salads are great for us ― they aid in digestion (thanks to fiber) and they’re full of antioxidants ― but it’s a good idea to make sure you’re building that salad with the best greens.

There’s a reason kale salads have taken off in popularity; they’re nutritional powerhouses. One cup of kale satisfies all your daily requirements for vitamins A, C and K. Plus, it has three grams of protein to boot. Kale is the antithesis of iceberg, which basically has the nutritional value of water (plus a little fiber). But, if you just can’t take the thought of another bite of kale ― and we year ya ― there are other salad greens that will supply you with nutrients.

Romaine and loose head lettuces, such as red leaf and butterhead, pack more antioxidants and nutrients than tighter heads of greens (like iceberg), especially vitamins A and K. They are also a…

How Leafy Greens May Protect The Brain From Aging

Lutein, a protein found in leafy greens, may support cognitive function and brain health.

Leafy greens are often touted as superfoods with miraculous health benefits ranging from preventing cancer to warding off inflammation.

We now also know that vegetables like spinach, kale and chard are potent superfoods for brain health. A new study from the University of Illinois found that lutein, a pigment found in dark-green vegetables, helps to preserve cognitive function and mental sharpness as the brain ages.

The study, published Dec. 6 in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, adds heft to the hypothesis that a whole-food, plant-based, diet may support brain health and prevent cognitive decline.

Lutein is part of a group of naturally occurring plant pigments known as carotenoids. Kale, spinach and dandelion greens have the highest lutein content of any foods, but the protein can also be found in egg yolks, certain spices and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts.

After it’s ingested, lutein accumulates in the brain, where it likely plays a “neuroprotective role,” the study’s authors said. The nutrient is stockpiled…

Thirsty Thursday: Coconut-Kale Smoothie

In honor of Earth Day, we thought a green smoothie would be the perfect sipper to highlight for this week’s Thirsty Thursday. The delicious Coconut-Kale Smoothie, from our diet and fitness blogger Tina Haupert, has all the health benefits of leafy greens (vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K just to name a few) hidden behind the tropical flavors of coconut and banana….

5 Delicious Veggies You’ve Never Heard Of—And Need to Try

Apples and spinach have you bored out of your gourd? Thanks to creative crossbreeding, there’s a handful of new fruits and veggies popping up at farmer’s markets and grocery stories—and they’re worth sinking your teeth into. (Cotton candy-flavored grapes, anyone?!) “Some of [these hybrids] even offer superior nutrition compared to their old school counterparts,” says Wendy Bazilian, RD, author of Superfoods RX Diet ($26, amazon.com). Break free of your broccoli-and-peas rut with these five fresh new ways to get your five a day. RELATED: Eat More Veggies: 5 Easy Raw Food Recipes

With a purple sprout base, leafy green top, and nutty, slightly sweet taste, Kalettes are the love child of kale and Brussels sprouts.Nutrition perks: This veggie mash-up has more protein and vitamin C than kale. And because Kalettes lack the bitter taste of Brussels sprouts and other leafy greens, Bazilian calls them “the perfect gateway veggie.” (Read: no cheese sauce necessary.)Prep tips: Toss trimmed Kalettes with olive oil, salt, and pepper; roast at 475 degrees for 10 minutes. The leaves will crisp up like kale chips. Or try this salad from chef Aaron Woo, owner of Natural Selection, a farm-to-table vegetarian restaurant in Portland, Oregon: Combine three cups of chopped Kalettes with one cup shaved fennel bulb and ¼ cup each toasted pine nuts and pitted, chopped green olives. Drizzle with lemon vinaigrette (one part lemon juice to one part olive oil; salt and pepper to taste) and top with grated Parmesan.RELATED: 13 Healthy Kale Recipes

Also called Pluots, these plum-apricot combos come in many different varieties, and have a firmer texture than plums.Nutrition perks: Plumcots pack more fiber than plums and apricots. They also offer a “double whammy of vitamins A and C,” says Brooklyn-based nutritionist and chef Jackie Newgent, RD, author of 1,000 Low-Calorie Recipes ($27, amazon.com). Vitamin A plays an important role in immunity, while vitamin C protects against against cell damage.Prep tips: The next time you make salsa, swap out tomatoes for plumcots…

Kale Chips

If you want a salty crunchy snack, but are attempting to maintain a low-carb diet, these are for you. It is extremely easy and tasty.

Pre-heat the oven to 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine kale leaves with olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever spices you like. The great thing about these chips (as is the case with all chips), is that you can experiment with different flavors. If you like garlic, add some garlic powder, if you like spice, add some cayenne pepper. Regardless, the kale is delicious even on its own.

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Once you have mixed the kale with your seasoning, spread it out on a baking tray and place it into the oven.

Let the kale bake for about twenty minutes and then turn your oven to broil to get it extra crispy. Voila! Extremely easy to make and delicious to eat – Kale Chips!

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