When we cook vegetables many of the vitamins and nutrients are lost in the cooking process taking away from their healthy benefits. To get the most vitamins and nutrients out of your fruits and vegetables it is important to increase the amount eaten in their raw form. Green smoothies are a beneficial way to absorb these important nutrients because the cell walls have been ruptured by the blending process and the nutrients are extracted in a more digestible form.
A green smoothie is a blend of greens such as kale, spinach or collards with other vegetables and fruit. Green smoothies are a beneficial and easy way to increase the amount of raw fruits and vegetables in your diet. The most important element of a green smoothie are the greens which are filled with antioxidants that help brain function, stress reduction and promote cardiovascular health. Some of my favorite greens to add to a smoothie are kale, spinach and collards; other greens you might like to try are romaine, parsley and cilantro. Green smoothies can help give the digestive track a rest and aids irregularity. Additionally green smoothies support weight loss, increase energy and can help reduce cravings.
Many people enjoy doing a green smoothie cleanse especially when they are feeling sluggish or have been over doing cooked and processed foods. A cleanse can be as easy has drinking one quart once per day or as many as three to five times per day. A green smoothie cleanse can be supplemented with 60-80% raw foods including vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, sprouted legumes and sprouted grains. The remaining 20-40% can be supplemented with cooked whole grains, steamed or lightly sauteed vegetables and lean proteins such as beans, tofu or tempeh.
Today you can find a number of packaged green smoothie drinks at grocery stores, health food stores and gas stations. However, it is important to read labels because many packaged green smoothies are filled with sodium and preservatives. The best way to ensure the highest quality of nutrients is to make your own smoothie at home. To make a smoothie at home you will need greens, vegetables and fruit as well as a high speed blender. Simply combine your choice of leafy greens with your favorite fruits and vegetables and blend on high until smooth, adding water as needed to help the blending process. One easy recipe is one cup spinach, two green apples peeled and cored, one banana peeled and one cup filtered water. Place in a blender and blend until smooth.