It seems that just about every Victoria’s Secret model lists a green smoothie as a key element to their health and beauty regime these days, so I’m often asked: What’s in a green smoothie that makes it so good for you?
Well, the secret is in the pigment! All green plants contain the pigment chlorophyll which gives them their colour and also traps the light they need for photosynthesis. When consumed in the form of green vegetables, chlorophyll has many health benefits. It supports the liver detoxification process by acting as an anti-oxidant. It binds to environmental toxins (for example in air pollution) that would otherwise cause damage to cells and lead to premature ageing and disease, and helps to safely eliminate them from the body. Chlorophyll supports digestive and immune health as well as neutralising body odour and has been shown to support wound healing. Good sources of chlorophyll include: leafy greens, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, peas, alfalfa and super greens like spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass and kale.
Dark green leafy vegetables also contain a carotenoid called lutein. This nutrient has been found to be protective against heart disease, cataracts and some cancers.
Making a green smoothie creates a powerhouse of nutrition that helps to cleanse and nourish the whole body. The blending action of the smoothie helps to break down the fibrous cell wall of the plant to expose the nutrients and make them more readily available for absorption. Green smoothies differ from fruit and vegetable juices in that they contain fibre. When juices are extracted, you get vitamins and minerals but no fibre. Fibre has many important health benefits, including maintaining stable blood sugar levels.
Green smoothies are the perfect way to start the day, and a great way to get kids eating more greens. They help boost energy levels, support immune health, weight loss and help to maintain a clear complexion.
- 1 cup of spinach
- 1 banana diced
- ½ lime, peeled
- ½ cup of celery diced
- 1 ½ cups of water
- 4 ice cubes
Pop all the ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth. Serves 2.
When starting out with green smoothies, and particularly when making them for kids, it’s good to include some fruit to give them a more palatable flavour. You can modify the recipe to taste, replace the banana with apple, replace spinach with kale, incorporate cucumber or add some fresh herbs such as parsley or basil. To bump up the protein level you can add a scoop plant-based protein powder. The options are endless and updating the recipe is all part of the fun!
Yours in natural health,
Always consult your healthcare professional before commencing a new dietary or exercise regime, before using any supplements and before making any changes to prescribed medications.