GREEN SMOOTHIES & NUTRITION
By Eric Cardella
Green smoothies offer a variety of healthy benefits to add to your diet. They are easy to make, low in calories, pack a serious punch of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients–which result in:
- Increase Energy
- Improve hair, skin, and nails
- Promote healthy Digestion
- Lose weight
- Stay hydrated
- Reduce cravings
- Rid toxins
For the curious, I’ve included a nutritional description for many of the ingredients at the end of this article. Try Green Smoothies and enjoy!
THE SMALL GROUP SMOOTHIE
Made for small groups or four 8 oz smoothies. This one is filled with a host of vitamins and minerals including Vit. A, C, E, Calcium, Protein, Fiber, B6, Magnesium, Folate, Potassium and more. About 110 calories for a 8 oz. Serving.
- 1 med-large Banana
- 1/2 cup Kale
- 3/4 cup Mango
- 1 cup Spinach
- 1/2 cup Pineapple
- 1/2 cup or one large leaf Collard Greens
- 1 cup Almond or Coconut Milk
- 1.25 cup Water
- 1.25 serving Chocolate (or vanilla) Protein- (1 scoop and a quarter)
- 5-10 cubes Ice
- 2 dashes Stevia
- Put half the ingredients in and blend, before adding the rest, depending on the size and power of your blender.
- Add ground Flax seed or Flax oil
- 1 teaspoon of Cacao
Made of just a few ingredients yet packed with powerful vitamins and minerals to keep you going all day. It can be used as a meal replacement, a nice snack, or even a pre- or post-workout drink.
- 1 cup Mangos (140g)
- 3/4 cup Broccoli (frozen or 1 cup fresh)
- 1.25 cup Coconut Milk
- 1 serving Chocolate Protein Powder
- 1/2 cup Water
- 4-6 cubes Ice
- Cacao Powder (1 teaspoon)
- Vanilla Protein Powder
- If you don’t have or like broccoli, you can substitute another green instead
Net carbs: 28g
Fiber: 4 g
Glycemic level: 10
SWEET AND TART
(1 serving, 144 calories)
As the name implies, this one is kind of tart. With the mix of citrus and the peppery taste of watercress, this drink makes for a different tasty green drink. Add some crushed ice after blending for a nice tart slushy.
- 1/2 Lemon juice (half a lemon any size)
- 1 cup Green seedless Grapes (approx 25-30 grapes)
- 1 med stick Celery
- 3/4 cup Watercress
- 1/4 cup Orange Juice
- 5 cubes Ice
Optional: Dash of Stevia (natural plant sweetener. A little bit goes a long way)
NUTRITION ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS
Mangos: Mangos are the number one consumed fruit in the world. Known as the “king of all fruits” they are loaded with Vitamins A and C, and are good sources of beta Carotene, fiber and potassium. They also contain an enzyme with stomach soothing properties that work as a digestive aid that some hold partially responsible for that feeling of contentment we experience after eating a Mango.
Coconut Milk: Just one cup of coconut milk contains:
- 45% Daily Value of Calcium
- 25% Daily Value of Vitamin D
- 50% Daily Value of Vitamin b12
Not to mention it is Lactose, and Cholesterol free, and contains less sugar than milk, making it an excellent substitution for those who are lactose intolerant or just trying to stay away from dairy.
Plus 5 grams of healthy fats (MCFA’s or Medium Chain Fatty Acids) that the body burns as energy instead of storing it as fat, and has been shown to speed up the metabolism (weight loss), good for the skin, supports healthy thyroid function, and actually helps the body absorb important nutrients like calcium.
Broccoli: There was a reason your parents told you to eat your broccoli, even though they probably had no clue of exactly why it was good for you. Ounce for ounce broccoli has more Vit C than a orange, more calcium then a cup of milk, and more fiber then a piece of bread.
Broccoli’s Rich Benefits:
- Isothiocyanates: chemicals in broccoli that have been shown to stimulate the bodies own natural production of cancer-fighting substances.
- Indol-3: Stimulates enzymes in the body to make estrogen less effective.
- Glutathione: Antioxidant Dr. Mark Hyman calls the master of all antioxidants, the master detoxifier and maestro of the immune system. It works by acting like fly paper in the body, any toxin or free radical that touches it, gets stuck and removed.
Protein Powder: Not only for the building and repairing of muscles, but it also boosts immune system health, promotes healthy skin and hair, and can support in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels throughout the day. Also beneficial for weight loss.
Note: Look for proteins containing whey isolates (may be called hydrolyzed, non-denatured). Not concentrates. Isolates are a more pure form of protein, containing 90-95% protein, with less or no lactose, while concentrate only contains about 70-85% digestible protein. Unfortunately most proteins in stores are made mostly of concentrate because its cheaper to make. There are many different types of proteins but whey proteins are the most common in stores. Or you can try plant based protein powders such as Hemp Powder.
Watercress: Excellent natural source of magnesium, calcium, iron, and sulphur–which helps with the healthy growth of hair and nails and getting rid of toxins in the body.
Grapes: All grapes feature high levels of ellagic acid, which is a powerful detoxifier.
Celery: Known to have a restful, and calming effect on the body, plus a natural source of sodium make it an excellent addition.
Lemon: Lemons don’t get enough credit, there always used in negative terms, “that car was a lemon,” but they have a host of benefits. With there antiseptic and antibacterial properties, they help support the liver and kidneys. Even though they are acidic themselves; they actually neutralize acids in the body, and are often used to help calm digestive acid.