The Green Smoothie FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about green smoothies, health and nutrition. If you have a burning green smoothie question, head to the Incredible Smoothies Facebook Page and get answers.

Green Smoothie Weight Loss Questions

Here’s the answer to the top question that I get – How do I lose weight with green smoothies? You can also read about how to make a weight loss green smoothie.

Diet & Fasting: Is a smoothie diet or juice fast healthy?

Can’t Lose Weight: Why am I not losing weight fast enough despite drinking green smoothies daily?.

Need To Gain Weight: How Do I Gain Weight With Green Smoothies?

Green Smoothies & Calories/Sugar/Fructose/Carbs

Calories: Many people ask me if a 350-calorie green smoothie has too many calories. The answer is no, not if you’re drinking your green smoothie as a meal (which is what I do and recommend). Green smoothie meals should have no fewer than 300 calories. If your daily calorie requirements are 1600 per day, and you eat three times per day, you’ll need 533 calories per meal.

Read more about why my green smoothies are so large, (and yes, these are green smoothie meals for weight loss).

How Many Calories You Should Eat Each Day To Lose Weight.

Automatically calculate your daily calorie needs to either lose, maintain or gain weight using the Tools page.

Carbs: Are Green Smoothies Too High In Carbohydrates?

Sugar Concerns: Is The Sugar In Fruit Bad For You? – This indepth article looks at the most up-to-date scientific literature on the subject of dietary sugar, fructose, fruit consumption and how it relates to weight loss, obesity and diabetes. Also: Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load – why bananas and watermelon are actually low Glycemic.

Low Sugar/Low Fructose Smoothies: If you are diabetic, then check out these green smoothies for diabetics. Here’s why I don’t make Low Sugar/Low Fructose Green Smoothies, If you must avoid all sugars, then try these tips for consuming leafy greens without smoothies.

Candida: Green Smoothies For Candida

Green Smoothies & Food Combining

Are there any nutrient interactions or potential issues with mixing fruit and vegetables in a green smoothie?

Food Combining: This question is answered in my article titled about green smoothies and food combining.

Mixing Melons & Fruit: Here’s another article where I specifically address the myth about not blending watermelon with other fruits.

What I Eat When I Am Not Drinking Green Smoothies

I am frequently asked about what other foods I eat, besides green smoothies. I do not follow or recommend a smoothie-only diet.

Detox & Cleansing

All fruits and vegetables facilitate detox. Be sure to use only organic ingredients in your smoothie recipes, and avoid dried foods and additional sweeteners during your detox and find a workout routine that works for you. When it comes to making the “ultimate” detox green smoothies, I use dandelion greens and citrus such as orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime.

Here’s some tips on how make a deliciously potent detox smoothie.

How Often Should I Detox?

Are you experiencing detox symptoms? Find out what they mean and what to do about them.

Is A Green Smoothie Diet or Juice Fast Healthy?

Buying, Storing & Keeping Greens Fresh

How Long Will Green Smoothies Last In the Fridge: Green smoothies will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, but you will lose some nutrients as it sits in the fridge. It will also not taste as fresh after the first day and water separation may occur. Some people make up a big batch of smoothie and drink it over 2 to 3 days. Personally, we don’t like the way smoothies taste after the first day. Fresh is best!

My Epic Fridge: How I Buy, Store, And Keep Fresh Produce From Spoiling

How To Wash And Store Fresh Greens

Avoiding Genetically Modified/GMO: How to avoid genetically modified fruits and vegetables. Also, are hybrid (and seedless) fruits genetically modified?

Green Smoothie Nutrition & Health Concerns

Need Iron: How to get more iron in your smoothies.

Too Much Iron? Are Green Smoothies Harmful If You’ve Got High Iron Levels (or Hemochromatosis)?

Calcium: How can I get more calcium in my smoothies without dairy?

Fiber: Can I add fiber supplements to my smoothies? I don’t recommend it.

Also, does blending destroy fiber in fruits and vegetables?

Vitamin Overdose: Can you overdose on vitamins A and K from green smoothies?

Protein & Building Muscle: What protein powders do you recommend? and what can I add make a muscle-building smoothie?

Nutrient Destruction: Does blending a smoothie destroy 90% of the nutrients?

Gas & Bloating: What do do about gas and bloating after drinking a green smoothie.

Constipation: Why am I constipated after drinking a green smoothie?

Thyroid & Kale/Raw Cruciferous Vegetables: Do raw kale and other Cruciferous (Brassica) leafy greens cause thyroid problems?

Oxalic Acid/Oxalate: Is oxalic acid in spinach a health concern?

Controversies: Green Smoothie Controversies & Why Green Smoothies Will NOT Devastate Your Health.

Smoothies For Specific Medical Conditions

I am not a medical doctor, so I cannot “prescribe” green smoothies or any other food to treat a medical condition that you have.

However, there is some information on this website that may help you. If you have…

Diabetes: Here are some diabetic-friendly green smoothie recipes submitted by readers who have type 2 diabetes.

All Other Medical Conditions: Check out my new e-book called Green Smoothie Remedies & Prevention. This e-book features over 200 green smoothie recipes addressing 45 health concerns based on research gathered from over 120 peer-reviewed, scientific and medical journals.

You can see some sample recipes and research from this book here and here.

Blending & Smoothie Making Tips

Banana Substitutes: Banana-Free Smoothie Recipe Tips

Mango Substitutes: Is There A Substitute For Mangoes If I’m Allergic?

Wheatgrass: Can I Blend Wheatgrass In A Green Smoothie?

Blending Fruit Seeds: Is it okay to blend fruit seeds?

Blending Tips: Tips for easier smoothie making in your blender and the master guide on how to make a green smoothie.

Blender & Juicer Recommendations

My green smoothie blender of choice is the Vitamix.

I also like and use the Blendtec Designer Series blender.

Looking for juicer recommendations?

Miscellaneous Questions

Blending vs. Juicing: Which is better, green smoothies or green juices?

Rotating Greens: Why (and how) you should rotate your leafy greens.

Best Time Of Day: What is the best time of day to have a smoothie?

Cold Weather: Cold weather green smoothie ideas.

Bee Pollen: What are the health benefits of bee pollen?

Fruit Flies: How to get rid of them fast.

Do I have to put greens in my smoothies?

You don’t have to, but we highly recommend that you do! Greens are rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin A (as beta-carotene), C, K and many B vitamins. They are also rich in chlorophyll and antioxidants. Most people do
not eat enough leafy greens each day so blending them with fruit in a smoothie is the best way we have found to sneak more greens into our diet.

If adding leafy greens to a fruit smoothie just seems too alien of a concept, or even disgusting to you, try it out by adding just one small handful of fresh baby spinach to a fruit smoothie. You won’t taste it! Once you’ve taken this
first step, add another small handful and work up to 2 handfuls of leafy greens per smoothie. Before long, you’ll be blending an entire bunch of kale or dandelion greens!

Find out more about the health benefits of green smoothies.

How many green smoothies should I drink in a day?

I try to have at least two 32 ounce (1 liter) of green smoothie every day using an entire bunch of leafy greens in each smoothie. Most often, I drink up to 70 ounces of green smoothie in a day – one at breakfast and one at lunchtime. They are about 400 to 500 calories each.

If you are starting out, this will probably be too much for you. Start with a 16-ounce smoothie and work your way up to a quart. Then go from there. We don’t necessarily advocate or recommend a liquid, smoothie-based diet.

For us, it’s purely for convenience. You can get the same or similar nutrition by drinking one 16-ounce green smoothie in the morning and having a large salad or vegetable meal at lunch.

How much is a “bunch” of greens?

When I say a “bunch” of leafy greens, I am referring to how you would typically purchase them in a supermarket – such as several stalks of kale, dandelion or Swiss chard bundled together. Typically, there are about 3-4 cups leafy greens in a bunch when chopped.

A bunch can also be an entire large head of green/red leaf lettuce or romaine. I would consider 2 heads of baby bok choy or 3 heads of baby romaine lettuce as one bunch of greens.

When it comes to bagged or packaged salad mix, such as spring mix or fresh baby spinach, I consider a “bunch” to be about 4 cups (or handfuls) of packed or chopped greens.

My general recommendation is to consume about one bunch or equivalent of a variety of leafy greens per day (up to 2 bunches per day if you are on a raw or mostly raw vegan diet in order to obtain sufficient minerals).

Why do your green smoothie recipes not have milk or yogurt?

None of my green smoothie recipes call for milk or yogurt because dairy is not necessary for making a rich, creamy smoothie. Dairy doesn’t facilitate detoxification, it contains hormones and promotes animal cruelty (as well as providing young calves for the inhumane veal industry). It is easy to make a thick, creamy smoothie using the right types of what I call “base” fruits like banana, mango and durian. Read Smoothie Making 101 to find out how to make a creamy smoothie using fruit as the base.

If you still want to use milk, try these nut milk recommendations or make your own. You can find brands at most supermarkets that are fortified with calcium and vitamin D as well. They are much healthier alternatives to cow’s milk.

Is it okay to use frozen fruit in a smoothie?

I regularly freeze strawberries and bananas when they are on sale and I frequently buy frozen wild blueberries.

Freezing does destroy some of the nutrients but not enough to really worry about as long as you eat plenty of fresh, ripe, non-frozen and raw foods. Try not to use too much frozen fruit, though. Drinking and eating ice cold (or steaming hot) foods can interfere with digestion or cause damage. It’s best to drink a green smoothie at room temperature, but if you do not like to, then add a few frozen berries to chill it slightly.

Do you have a green smoothie question that isn’t answered here? Head over to the Incredible Smoothies Facebook Page and get answers!

Tracy Russell is the creator of RESET 28: A 28-Day Program For Energy, Weight Loss & A Healthy Glow, and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She has been helping people take control of their health and well being with green smoothies, a whole foods diet, and fitness since 2009.