Among athletes and healthy eaters, the new buzzword is green, and for good reason. Green drinks are loaded with the nutrients and fiber we all struggle to include in our daily diets. It’s a great way to work in the fruits and vegetables you should be eating every day, and it’s a low-cal fiber-filled snack that will leave you feeling satisfied and energized, but not bloated.
Why Go Green?
No matter what Congress has decided, pizza is not a vegetable, and chances are you don’t get the recommended number of servings each day. Green drinks offer a whole food answer to getting a wide variety of necessary nutrients in a glass. In some ways, it’s better than both juice, which discards most of the healthy fiber pulp, and cooked vegetables, which leach out most of the vitamins during the cooking process. The beauty of making your own is that you can add whatever you want and adjust the quantities until it tastes great and delivers exactly the mix of vitamins, antioxidants, omega-3 oils, and fiber that’s perfect for you.
What Goes in the Blender?
That’s entirely up to you. Fill the blender with any combination of fruits and vegetables and add about a half cup of liquid to smooth it out.
- For vitamins A and C, iron, fiber, and calcium, try cucumber, kale or spinach, parsley (especially parsley, it is just packed with good stuff), or celery.
- For a little zing, mix in a tablespoon of lemon and/or lime juice and a little piece of fresh ginger.
- To get some antioxidant action and a laundry list of nutrients, toss in a handful of blueberries, raspberries, or red bell peppers.
- Carrots or bananas add potassium and flavor.
- Apples add favor and fiber, as well as vitamins.
- Liquids: water works fine, but for a little extra sweetness try unsweetened juice, coconut milk or almond milk.
- Avocado is loaded with nutrients and healthy fats, and adds a creamy texture.
- Nuts or flaxseeds add a subtle nutty flavor, along with healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
The bottom line is pretty simple. Put any combination of vegetables that appeals to you in a blender. Pour in some liquid and blend. Add ice if you like. Add more liquid if the drink is too thick. Then pour it in a container and go on about your day, content in the knowledge that your heart is healthier, your colon is cleaner, and your stomach is full. It’s gonna be a beautiful day.
Bio: Cindy Johnson is a freelance writer with a new passion for healthy eating and healthy lifestyle that she hopes will help her overcome some health challenges. She loves to travel and is an avid fan of Dr. Oz. Read her blog for healthy tips from the Dr. Oz show. When she’s not writing, Cindy loves to hike in the mountains of North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, son, and a small assortment of dogs.