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.
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.
- 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.
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 All Those Greens?
Joe Cross has a smoothie recipe called Joe’s Mean Green Smoothie. It contains the following ingredients.
- 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.
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…