“Lit, Natural Health Approach” column by Paul Gaucher (R.TCM.P) and his wife, Dove Sprout (R.TCM.P), co-owners of Creston Acupuncture and Natural Health Centre
Health Benefits of Green Smoothies
Spring and summer are the time of year when my family and I consume more green smoothies. This is a great way to make a quick, healthy and tasty meal when you’re on the go! There are quite a number of health benefits to drinking green smoothies, and the ingredients that you can use are limitless.
1) Boost Fruit & Vegetable Intake (Particularly Greens) – Green smoothies are a quick and convenient way to get your vegetables and dark, leafy greens without tasting them. The fruit masks the flavour so even though all you taste is banana or berries, you are consuming a healthy dose of spinach, kale, or any other vegetable that you put in.
The average green smoothie contains three to five servings (or more) of fruits and vegetables. Replacing a meal each day with a green smoothie lowers overall calorie intake, while increasing fruit, vegetable, and fibre intake. Also, green smoothies help reset your taste buds so that you want to eat healthy, and you actually start craving healthy foods.
2) Increased energy – Green smoothies provide a powerful boost of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients without bogging down your digestive system. Since you are eating natural, whole foods in the most optimum form for your digestion and nutrient absorption, you will have more energy to get things done and enjoy your day.
3) Boosts Nutrition – Green smoothies are jam-packed full of nutrients. The average green smoothie provides more than 100% of your daily value of vitamins A (as beta-carotene), C, and K.
They also provide a good source of B vitamins (except B12), vitamin E, and folate. As for minerals, green smoothies are an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and many other trace minerals.
4) Increased absorption – Blending fruits and vegetables together breaks down the cells of plants and improves digestibility. Your blender unlocks the nutrients and maximizes their delivery to your body more than chewing any salad could. Green smoothies are quicker and more convenient than preparing and thoroughly chewing a salad.
5) Improves mental clarity and focus – With a healthier diet comes greater mental clarity and focus. Green smoothies have replaced my morning coffee ritual. I get more energy from a green smoothie, and there isn’t any afternoon slump, or caffeine-related side effects.
6) Promotes Clear, Radiant Skin and Strong Hair & Nails – A lot of people say that their skin, hair, and nails look healthier and stronger while drinking green smoothies. This has certainly been my experience, as they are rich with chlorophyll and therefore purify the blood and rejuvenate your body giving a healthy glow to your skin.
7) Alkalizing – Many natural health experts promote the alkalizing effects of green smoothies (or fruits and vegetables). Most fruits and vegetables help neutralize blood pH and prevent the body from becoming too acidic. It’s now thought that an acidic diet leads to many chronic ailments, so add veggies liberally to your diet.
Starting out, try using baby green spinach and work up to a handful of kale leaves with stems removed. After drinking green smoothies over time, I noticed that my tastes changed and bitter greens were less and less noticeable in my smoothies. It can take a little time to get used to the flavour of nutritious food if that’s new to you.
Try this recipe as a great beginner’s smoothie recipe:
- Two cups of frozen blueberries
- One banana
- One cup of fresh raw spinach (or one tablespoon greens powder)
- One cup of your favourite milk (regular, almond, soy, rice)
- One cup of warm water
- One tablespoon of omega oil of your choice (fish, nut/seed blend)
- One to two scoops (whey) protein powder
Paul Gaucher and Dove Sprout co-own Creston Acupuncture & Natural Health Centre located at 218 Northwest Blvd. in Creston. They can be contacted at 250-428-0488 or email@example.com