Green smoothies provide a wealth of health benefits. However, everybody has their own reasons for embracing the green smoothie lifestyle. I started drinking them to increase my fruit and vegetable intake, then discovered their weight loss potential.
The five top health goals that attract people to green smoothies are:
5 - Better Nutrition
Click any of the links above to jump right to some specific tips and information to help you achieve your green smoothie health goals.
5+ Servings of Fruits & Vegetables Every Day
Increasing my fruit and vegetable intake to the recommended five or more servings per day is the main reason I drink green smoothies. I have always loved eating fruit, but I hated eating salads and vegetables. I used to force myself to eat carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes, but I didn’t enjoy them at all.
If you had asked me back in 2007 what my favorite green was, I would have given you an odd look. Ask me now and I would present a list of dark leafy greens like dandelion greens, kale and bok choy.
I can easily get 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables in one large green smoothie. On a typical day, I have more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables before lunch then the average person on the Standard American Diet has all day (or even all week). I am also able to add fruits and vegetables that I wouldn’t normally eat on their own like beets, celery and grapefruits, not to mention bitter greens that hide behind the flavor of fruit like kale, dandelion and collards.
If you are interested in drinking green smoothies to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet, I suggest you take a look at my green smoothie basics article. It will show you how to get started adding fruits and vegetables in the right combination to create delicious, smooth and nutritious green smoothies.
Weight Loss With Green Smoothies
A lot of people are interested in losing weight. It’s natural that they would turn to green smoothies. However, there is an art to shedding pounds with green smoothies.
The biggest mistake people make when they try to lose weight is not getting enough calories. Sure, you want to reduce calorie intake, but not starve yourself! When I was trying to lose weight, I consumed 1600-1700 calories per day! Now I eat over 1900 calories to maintain my active lifestyle. The first thing I would recommend you do is find out how many calories you should consume for weight loss.
The second thing I would recommend is that you track your calories and nutrients. Do it for at least for the first month. Tracking your calories will show you how much food you need to eat in order to lose weight. You will also learn how many calories are in the foods you eat. Plus, you’ll be able to ensure you are meeting your nutrient requirements.
As I mentioned before, making a weight loss green smoothie is an art. There are certain foods that are going to help weight loss and certain foods that are going to hinder weight loss. Check out my article on how to make a weight loss green smoothie for more details.
Still not sure what to do or you need more help? Check out my Green Smoothie Weight Loss program. It shares all my tips, strategies and advice that I learned when I lost 40 pounds with green smoothies and whole foods. It comes with a 21 day weight loss meal plan, my Green Smoothie Remedies & Prevention e-book (200+ recipes addressing 45 heath concerns based on research from over 120 scientific studies), my 15-minute fitness workouts, and SO much more to help you lose weight and experience the same health benefits I did.
Detox & Cleansing
Green smoothies are great for detoxing and cleansing. They provide all the nutritional health benefits of green juices, but unlike their juice counterparts, they also contain healthy fiber.
Just like making a weight loss green smoothie, there are certain foods that hinder detoxification and certain foods that help speed up the detox process. Essentially, you want to focus on water-rich fruits like citrus and blend them with very bitter greens like dandelion or kale. Use a little fresh ginger for a cleansing kick. Read more tips on how to make a detox green smoothie.
If you are interested in taking all the guess work out of doing a cleanse, or you are skeptical about the commercial detox products on the market (and you have good reason to be), then check out my Detox in 4 Days e-book. This is an in-depth guide to detoxing with whole foods and green smoothies and will get you started with a 4-day, complete detox regimen for each season of the year.
Fighting & Preventing Illness
Green smoothies are not medicine, but research consistently shows that people who consume higher amounts of fruits and vegetables have lower risk of many diseases including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer.
I would never recommend trying to cure cancer with green smoothies alone, but a citrus-kale smoothie with some freshly grated ginger really helps me when I’m feeling a little stuffy. In fact, I have not gotten a full-blown cold in over four years. I used to get them at least twice each year, but since green smoothies came into my life, the seasonal cold (and flu) has made itself scarce.
If you are interested in giving your body the best shot at preventing illness, or perhaps looking into the potential therapeutic effects of some fruits and vegetables, then check out my new e-book called Green Smoothie Remedies & Prevention. The book contains over 200 green smoothie recipes using fruits, vegetables and other ingredients that address 45 health conditions and based on research published in more than 120 peer-reviewed, medical and science journals.
Green Smoothies are an excellent source of many essential nutrients. They provide a rich source of vitamins A (as beta-carotene), C, K (found in leafy greens), and B-vitamins (except B12). I regularly get over 100% of these vitamins every day with a significant amount coming from green smoothies.
Green smoothies also provide a rich source of minerals such as calcium (up to 50% daily value depending on the recipe), iron, magnesium and manganese when you add dark leafy greens such as kale and dandelion greens. They are also a great source of copper and potassium.
You can add foods like blueberries, blackberries, red grapes and acai berries for their super high antioxidant content and possible disease-fighting phytonutrients. Blackberries are among the top ranked antioxidant-rich fruits and also contain high levels of fiber, manganese, copper and vitamin C with only 61 calories and 2 grams of protein per cup.
Leafy greens are also a great source of fiber when you add three or four handfuls of them in a smoothie. Four lightly packed cups of fresh baby spinach contains about 2.6 grams or 11% of your daily value of fiber. I regularly get 18 to 20 grams of fiber in a typical green smoothie that I make.
Green smoothies can also be a great source of protein. A typical green smoothie might contain up to 10 grams of protein depending on what you add to it. Toss in a scoop of your favorite protein powder and you’ll double the protein content.
While fruit is relatively low in protein, greens are a protein powerhouse. As you get into green smoothies, gradually increase the amount of leafy greens to maximize protein intake. Four cups of spinach contain 3.4 grams of protein, four cups of dandelion greens contain 5.9 grams, four cups of kale contain 8.8 grams and 1 head of romaine lettuce contains 7.7 grams of complete protein.
As you can see, green smoothies have something for everyone. You can use them to lose weight, detox, get extra nutrients and so much more.
Browse more than 300 green smoothie recipes and learn how to make the most delicious smoothies. Got questions? Check out the Green Smoothie FAQ page. Don’t forget to learn more about my Green Smoothie Health & Weight Loss program.
Tracy Russell is the creator of the Green Smoothie Weight Loss Program, the 30-Day Whole Foods Challenge and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She is passionate about helping people improve their health with green smoothies and a whole foods lifestyle.