Anyone who has followed any of my plans knows that one of the tools I use to raise intake of vegetables is the delicious Daily Green Smoothie.
The Daily Green Smoothie has been a staple of my diet for many years, and I notice a huge difference in my energy levels, digestion, skin clarity and hunger levels (!) if I skip it for a couple of days.
They are also super simple, easy and economical to make, all you need is a blender or nutribullet, there is no cleaning of a messy, expensive juicer and there is little to no waste.
Here are just 5 reasons why I think the Daily Green Smoothie is so wonderful:
1) Fantastic Fiber: The Daily Green Smoothie is different to a green juice as in it contains all the fiber from the vegetables (in a juice this is discarded – such a waste). The standard American diet contains far too little fibre for optimum health – approx. 15g a day). The Institute of Medicine recommends up to 38g per day, however a lot of practitioners in the holistic health field (including myself) feel that even much more is needed for true health.
Adequate fiber intake is important for so many health aspects it improves digestion, GI health, and colon health, it helps regulates blood sugar and blood pressure, and can help keep us feel full and satisfied, resulting in healthier diet choices.
2) Vegetable Variety: I use 3-7 different veggies when making my Daily Green Smoothie, and each smoothie contains at least 3 or 4 servings of vegetables (this goes a long way to my recommended 8-10 servings a day). Whilst the base is always leafy greens (think kale, spinach, chard, etc) I vary the ‘trimmings’ often, adding celery, cucumber, zucchini, beets, avocado and many more. Its also a way to add seasonal vegetables; this fall I’ll be switching out kale for cavalo nero and even adding roasted squash!
3) Raw Power: raw vegetables can be a great addition to our diet, consuming them raw can ensure we maximize their micro nutrient (vitamin and mineral) and antioxidant content. However some people (including me) can find raw vegetables hard to digest. Breaking them down in the blender does some of the hard work for our digestive system, without reducing their nutritional power.
4) Blood Sugar Stabilizer: the tough cell wall of the vegetables takes time for the body to break down, ensuring a very slow, steady release of sugar into the blood. Vegetables are naturally low in sugar anyway, so the impact on blood sugar is very minimal. The antioxidants in vegetables have also been shown to reduce the impact of refined carbohydrates on blood sugar, especially leafy greens such as chard. So if you do plan to eat a higher carb meal ensure you have a Daily Green Smoothing prior to eating.
Daily Green Smoothies are the perfect example of what I call ‘Bang For Your Buck’ nutrition: super low in calories and blood sugar impact, in return for a huge amount of micronutrients and antioxidants.
5) More Estrogen Metabolism: the base of the Daily Green Smoothie is always leafy greens, and I always include at least one member of the cruciferous family (kale, collard greens, watercress, etc). Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds called DIM and Sulforophane that improve the metabolism of excess estrogen in the body. Excess estrogen in the body (from hormonal imbalances or chemical exposure) can increase the risk of cancer, and increase body fat storage, especially in the hips and thighs.
Just starting out with The Daily Green Smoothie? Try this recipe for my Simple Green Smoothie – its packed with all the health benefits above, is absolutely delicious and is so easy to make!
Simple Green Smoothie
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Drink. Feel amazing!