When it comes to being healthy, smoothies are some of the best foods out there. The cool part about smoothies is that you can customize them to suit your needs and preferences.
More or less, you can put any kind of fruit or vegetable in a smoothie, plus additional flavors. There is a whole world of flavor combinations that awaits you when you venture into the world of smoothies.
With that being said, if you are looking for the most health benefits possible, the best type is the green smoothie.
Green smoothies look fantastic, they taste great, and they come loaded with nutritional benefits. Today, we want to take a closer look at what green smoothies are, their benefits, and how to make a green smoothie.
- What are Green Smoothies?
- Benefits of Green Smoothies
- How to Make a Green Smoothie: Step by Step
- Making Green Smoothies: Some Tips
What are Green Smoothies?
These smoothies are green in color because the main components are leafy greens.
However, many other ingredients can be added. Leafy greens such as kale, spinach, broccoli greens, and Swiss chard can also be used to make these smoothies. Green herbs such as basil, parsley, and others may also be used.
You can also add various fruits, milk, yogurt, juices, powders, honey, nut butters, and other ingredients to achieve a creamy texture and great taste.
The simple fact is that green smoothies consist of leafy greens and other ingredients to provide additional health benefits.
Benefits of Green Smoothies
You may be wondering what’s so good about green smoothies. The fact of the matter is that green smoothies come loaded with health benefits that you need to know about.
Loaded with Vitamins
Leafy greens and the other ingredients that you may add into your smoothie are high in B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for eyesight; it helps decrease the risk of cancer; it supports a healthy immune system; it reduces acne, and it supports bone health.
B vitamins are known as energy and metabolism boosters. They aid in brain function, healthy digestion, nerve function, cell health, and more.
Vitamin C is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, supporting bone and tooth health, absorbing iron, and producing collagen. Leafy greens, particularly spinach, are also very high in vitamin K.
Loaded with Minerals
Green smoothies made with leafy greens like kale, spinach, and swiss chard are also loaded with healthy minerals, including zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.
These are minerals that the human body needs to thrive and survive. When it comes down to it, your body could not function without these minerals.
Lots of Antioxidants
When made with the right ingredients, green smoothies can also be very high in antioxidants. These substances can help prevent and reverse the damage caused to our cells by free radicals.
Antioxidants also help prevent cancer, heart disease, and various age-related conditions, particularly mental decline.
Loaded with Fiber
Greens are full of fiber, which is necessary to aid in proper digestion. Green smoothies can help make you more regular and help control issues related to the digestive system.
Great for Weight Loss
Due to the high levels of metabolism-stimulating B vitamins in green smoothies, they can be ideal for weight loss. Moreover, if you use the right ingredients, green smoothies can also be very low in sugar and fat.
They fill you up with the fruits and veggies but don’t have to make you put on the pounds. In fact, this can be one of the most significant benefits when it comes to weight loss. This is something that ‘The Smoothie Diet’ Program focuses on something we recommend checking out.
How to Make a Green Smoothie: Step by Step
Now we know what a green smoothie is and what its benefits are. Let’s go through a step-by-step guide on how to make one.
Step 1: Choose Your Greens
The first step is to choose the greens you want to go in your smoothie. The greens you choose will depend on your tastes.
Good options to consider include spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, bok choy, Swiss chard, collard greens, broccoli greens, and dandelion greens. To add flavor to the mix, consider adding parsley, basil, or other herbs, although this is purely optional.
Step 2: Choose Your Fruits
Most people won’t like a smoothie made out of just vegetables, especially leafy greens. If you make a smoothie only with leafy greens, you will end up with a somewhat grainy and earthy tasting drink.
If you don’t mind this, you don’t need to add fruits or anything else, but we wouldn’t recommend it.
To add a bit of sweetness and great flavor to your green smoothie, consider adding some banana, mango, berries, orange, avocado, peach, apple, pear, pineapple, or any other fruit that you enjoy that works well in smoothies.
Step 3: A Creamy Thickener
The next step is to choose a thickener. Just fruits, greens, and liquids alone won’t make the creamy smoothie you are used to.
Therefore, something like yogurt, protein powder, chia seeds, ground oats, or any of the many nut butters will help thicken it up. If you choose the right thickener, it can add a good deal of flavor.
Step 4: Adding Liquids
Next, to bring everything together, you will want to add a liquid to the mix. Many people choose milk due to its creaminess, flavor, and calcium and mineral content.
However, if you don’t want or like milk, you can always choose something like orange or apple juice.
If you are looking to lose weight and you don’t want any extra sugar in your green smoothie, water will do as well. Coconut milk and almond milk are great alternatives.
Step 5: Adding Extras
Finally, you can add some extras to the mix, anything to help add some more flavor. Honey, cocoa powder, and other ingredients are at your disposal.
Step 6: Blending
The final step is, of course, blending everything together.
Making Green Smoothies: Some Tips
Let’s quickly go over a few tips on how to make the best green smoothie possible.
- A good idea is to stick to the 60% fruit to 40% greens ratio to avoid having your green smoothie taste bad
- It may be a good idea to start with just one or two greens, as adding too many different kinds can create an overwhelming flavor
- To avoid having chunks in your smoothie and to avoid having your blender seize on you, blending the leafy greens in small batches is recommended
- If you want your smoothie to be cold, but you don’t want to add ice, try freezing the fruit first
- If you want to lose weight, avoid adding too many sugary fruits, and try using all-natural sweeteners such as honey
For more ideas on making healthy smoothies for weight loss, check out ‘The Smoothie Diet’ online.
The bottom line is that green smoothies are some of the healthiest that you could be putting in your body. Go online and do a bit of research to find some killer green smoothie recipes you will love.