This is no news, studies have proved that increased consumption of fruits and vegetables helps in the prevention of chronic and degenerative diseases.
Plant-based foods hold an array of healthy characteristics such as high fiber content, antioxidants, plant protein, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, as well as high water content. If you are not familiar with these terms, an explanation will be provided at the end of the article.
It is strongly advised to consume five fruits and vegetables a day, preferably two fruits and three vegetables. Raw vegetables contain the most health benefits; since some people are reticent to eating veggies, incorporating them in green smoothies is the perfect way to hide vegetables’ taste with fruits’ sweetness.
13 Green Smoothie Health Benefits:
Control and prevention of hypertension
Control and prevention of obesity,
Control and prevention of cardiovascular disease,
Control and prevention of high cholesterol,
Control and prevention of intestinal disorders,
Reduce risk of certain cancers,
Reduce free radical oxidative stress,
Reduce the risk of depression,
Boost your immune system,
Increase the feeling of satiety,
Help balance healthy hormone levels,
Make you feel incredibly good and gives you energy!
How to make your custom green smoothie at home:
Pick one of the following:
2 Cups spinach
1 Cup kale
1/2 Head or heart of romaine
3/4 Cup raw broccoli
1 Small head of Bibb or Boston lettuce
Pick two of the following:
1 Cup grapes
1 Cup melon
1/2 Cup papaya
1 Cup pineapple
1 Cup berries
1 Cup mango
2 Stalks celery
1 Cup peaches
1/2 Cup cucumber
Pick one of the following:
1 Cup unsweetened soy, or almond milk
1 Cup greek yogurt
1 Cup water
Add one cup ice cubes and blend the whole thing. This is not the only way to make green smoothies but it’s a good guideline to get started. Once you are used to mixing fruits, veggies, flavors and textures, you can add even more nutrients such as chia seeds, matcha tea, flaxseeds, or ginger, for instance.
Now let’s define fibers, antioxidants, proteins, minerals, phytochemicals and let’s explain why are they important for our organism.
Fiber: Dietary fiber represents the carbohydrates and lignin that are naturally present in plant foods and that are not digested and absorbed by the digestive system. There is another type of fiber called functional fiber, which consists in isolated carbs. Fibers help regulate gastrointestinal functions, reduces cholesterol, controls blood sugar level and contributes to the feeling of satiety.
Women’s daily intake of fibers should amount to 25g, while men’s intake should come to 38g.
High-fiber fruits that you can use in your green smoothies: Raspberries (10g per cup), pears (6g), blackberries (8g per cup), roasted almonds (4g per 1/4 cup).
Antioxidants. Oxygen is used to assimilate and utilize the dietary nutrients to produce energy for survival. Oxygen helps in the absorption of fats, proteins and carbs. Oxydation occurs when one atom of oxygen loses an electron. The atom of oxygen that has lost its electron is called free radical. The free radical is going to attack other healthy atoms to capture an electron and a chain reaction begins. Free radicals have been linked to chronicle and degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, decline in brain functions and immune system, among others.
Foods high in antioxidants will help fight cells’ oxydation and prevent diseases previously mentioned.
Foods high in antioxidants that you can use in your green smoothies: apples, red grapes, raspberries, black tea, blueberries, broccoli, oatmeal, cranberries, dark chocolate, green tea, strawberries, spinach, oranges, peaches and greek yogurt.
Proteins: Protein is a nutrient that is vital to build muscle mass. It provides calories or energy. The body needs a large amount of protein daily, to have enough energy to survive. Protein deficiency will result in low energy, moodiness and stress. Protein is mainly found in animal products, nuts and legumes.
Foods high in protein that you can use in your green smoothies: Greek yogurt, almonds or almond butter, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, oats, kale, avocado.
Minerals: Minerals are crucial nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and that can only be provided through your diet. Minerals consist in Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Zinc. Mineral deficiency can lead to serious health issues such as anemia (iron deficiency), osteopenia (calcium deficiency: means your bones do not have enough calcium and are easily fractured.), muscles paralysis (potassium deficiency).
Foods high in protein that you can use in your green smoothies: spinach (iron), bananas (potassium), papaya (potassium), dark leafy greens (potassium), avocado (potassium), almonds (magnesium), sunflower, pumpkin and flax seeds (zinc, magnesium).
Phytochemicals: Plants utilize phytochemicals to fight potential threats such as bacteria and viruses. Consumption of phytochemicals in the form of fruits and vegetables, arms our organism with chemicals that enable us to fight threats to our health. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables contain the highest amounts of phytochemicals and help fight diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases.