Everybody knows that it’s recommended you have 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. I don’t know about you, but for me that’s been a hard quota to meet. There are only so many salads a girl can eat. However, the benefits one reaps from eating generous amounts of fruits and vegetables are undeniable. Fruits and veggies are a natural source of energy and provide the body with essential vitamins, minerals and fiber needed to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as stroke, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet and noticed that it was easy for me to eat lots of fruit but my veggies were lacking. Well, I found a solution. I’ve gone green…with green smoothies that is!
Here’s the scoop…a green smoothie is a smoothie made with any fresh greens and blended with any fruit that you like. My first thought was that it probably tasted terrible, but to my surprise they aren’t bad at all. In fact, I like them a lot and have starting drinking them several times a day. A good smoothie is about 60% fresh fruit with 40% green leafy vegetables. My recipe is simple and consists of spinach, green leaf lettuce or romaine, banana, strawberries and water (it seems to blend better when a little water is added). Now that I’ve got the hang of it, I do intend to mix it up and bit and start adding things like kale, chard, apples, pears, etc. That’s the beauty of it, you really can mix in whatever you want! In researching green smoothies and how to make them, a lot of folks suggest using a powerful (and expensive) blender such as the Vitamix or Blendtec because they break down the cell wall of the veggies making them easier to digest and absorb the minerals. Because I can’t rationalize spending $300 on a blender, I’ve been using a $20 single serve blender that does a pretty good job and it suits me just fine.
Now, here are some reasons why you’ll want to start drinking green smoothies: more energy and faster weight loss. Need I say more? Okay, if you insist…how about regular digestion, curbed cravings for sweets and salty snacks, fewer mood swings, radiant skin and healthier hair and nails. If that’s not enough to encourage you to make a trip to your local farmers market or produce stand, then I don’t know what is!
There is tons of information out there about green smoothies and several websites dedicated to them. Here are links to a few that I found particularly helpful:
Also, even though the recommended serving of fruits and vegetables is 5 a day, the CDC recognizes that everyone is different and has neat little application for you to find out how many servings you really need. Check it out and browse around the site for additional information on the importance of fruits and vegetables: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/index.html
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