Green Smoothies: A Delicious Way to Drink Your Nutrition

I have always enjoyed fruit smoothies, but never considered adding greens and other veggies to up the ante. I have to admit that at first, it really didn’t sound too appealing. However, from the very first day that I added some fresh baby spinach to my banana, soy milk, and frozen strawberries, I was utterly hooked! It tasted wonderful and I noticed the positive side effects immediately. They helped to reduce cravings for sweets and aided in my digestion and elimination. (Sorry to have to bring up that topic so quickly, but without healthy elimination of wastes, we are bound-literally speaking-to be unhealthy and unhappy).

Before I continue, I would like to note that I used to make most of my smoothies with soy milk. Nowadays, not so much. Because soy can interfere with the natural production of hormones, I found that too much soy decreased my libido. I do love my soy milk, but I love my libido even more! Not everyone has the same results, and I know that other women benefit from eating more soy. It depends on the individual.

Here are the benefits of drinking green smoothies:

– Green smoothies encourage healthy digestion and elimination.

– Cells in the fruits and vegetables are broken down by the act of liquefying, therefore your body assimilates the nutrients quickly.

– Green smoothies control cravings for sugar because the natural sugars found in veggies and fruits satisfy our need for sweet food. Also, our cravings for sweets are often a signal from our bodies that something is missing. Green smoothies fill that gap.

– Green smoothies are an easy and satisfying way to include leafy greens into our diets.

– Green smoothies hydrate our bodies, making it easier to get the liquids that we need daily.

– Green smoothies provide much needed fiber.

– Green smoothies help us to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.

– Green smoothies provide enzymes from the raw fruits and vegetables. (These enzymes help us to digest our food).

– Green smoothies help to alkalize our blood pH. A high acidic pH leads to illness and disease, and drinking green smoothies neutralizes this acidic environment.

– Green smoothies provide chlorophyll, which cleanses and builds blood, among other things.

– Green smoothies are antioxidant rich, helping our bodies to fight free radicals and toxins in our environment.

– Green smoothies help to reduce inflammation.

– Green smoothies provide a way to include superfoods into our diets, if you are so inclined. Throw in some chia seeds, maca powder, gogi berries, aloe vera, hemp seeds, raw cacao, spirulina and blue-green algae. It’s a tasty and convenient way to include these power houses of nutrition.

Early on, I made my smoothies in a regular blender and kept it pretty basic-some fresh fruit (usually bananas), some leafy greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard, romaine, dandelion greens, etc.), and frozen fruit. I also used avocado quite frequently. If it needed a little sweetener, I would use maple syrup, raw agave nectar, or raw honey (in very small amounts).

In the regular blender, I needed to add some liquid in order to sufficiently puree it. I would use organic whole milk, coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, yogurt, or clean water. (I have since lowered my intake of soy milk and soy products). Sometimes, I would add orange/pineapple juice and use fresh mango or pineapple for the fruit. For those tropical green smoothies, I would also use a little canned coconut milk. There is really no end to the combinations of fruits and veggies. Just make sure that you listen to your body, and if you experience discomfort, make some changes the next time around. Some combinations of fruits and veggies can cause gas or bloating in some people. If you find this to be true, keep your green smoothies simple while you figure out what works best for your body.

If you find that you’re no longer enjoying how they taste, or you find that you’re having a difficult time finishing them, try switching the greens and the fruit because your body may be craving variety or different nutrients. Also, keeping it simple for a few days may be what your body is asking for. I have also found that under-processing green smoothies make them less palatable. Make sure that you run your blender long enough to liquefy the fruits and veggies, and break down the tough fibers. If your smoothie is unappealing, try processing it longer and you may enjoy it so much more.

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