You can barely move on the Internet without bumping into a drinker of green smoothies. They’re everywhere, and they talk about it a lot.
What’s the big deal about drinking pulped-up veggies and stuff? It sounds healthy. It is healthy. But there’s more to green smoothies than the straightforward benefit of upping your overall fruit and vegetable intake.
Just choose your fruit and veggies, throw them in a blender, and drink the smoothed mixture. OK, it’s not so easy if you don’t own a blender. In fact, it’s dashed difficult. Ever tried forcing raw spinach through a sieve? If you have a blender, then it takes no more time and effort to make a green smoothie than to drink one!
Kept cool and sealed, most green smoothies will stay fresh for 24 hours or more. So with the right container, you can take a chilled green smoothie with you almost anywhere—work, the park, the gym, the train—to keep you refreshed. Glass or stainless steel containers are often suggested as the best storage options, so a vacuum flask might be the way to go if you want to keep your smoothie cool on the move.
This is the fun part: you can add all kinds of ingredients to your smoothie. Use fruits, vegetables, and liquids you like; don’t add what you don’t like. All the smoothie fans I know have their own favourite recipes that they’ve developed by experimenting with different combinations of ingredients.
Despite a few scare stories online that suggest the oxalate levels in green leafy vegetables might damage your health, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that men following a low-calcium diet (which used to be recommended for patients with oxalate toxicity problems) suffered twice the rate of kidney stones compared to men eating a higher-calcium diet.
What contains plenty of dietary calcium? Kale, that green smoothie favourite. Studies show its calcium is easier for your body to absorb than milk calcium, and its oxalate levels are low, too.
If you’re the type of person who feels hungry again half an hour after demolishing a snack, the extra fiber in a green smoothie could be the answer to your appetite. And if you’re dieting, a green smoothie before your main meal of the day will help you feel satisfied with smaller portions. Drinking plain water before a meal helps to fill you up, but the fluid-plus-fiber combination of a green smoothie works even better.
To the bathroom, I mean. If you’re suffering from constipation, a fiber-rich green smoothie won’t just fill you up and leave you that way. It helps at the other end, too. Aloe vera is a popular ingredient to help ease your digestive system into action.
Some women recommend adding cranberry to green smoothies to help prevent urinary tract infections, and, although scientific study results vary, many experts support this advice.
How many diets have you heard of that involve replacing your meals with a shake, a smoothie, or a soup? All that does for you is give you a meal’s worth of calories without the enjoyment and fullness. Green smoothies are different: drink them at any time of day, and eat regular meals as well.
If you’ve ever felt the stab of heartburn or acid reflux, you know you’d drink just about anything to make it stop. Next time, try a green smoothie instead of plain water or milk. Green smoothies are naturally alkaline and might help to put out that burning pain in your chest.
One thing you hear often—sickeningly often—from green smoothie lovers is that they’re loving it up in the bedroom since they started blending their own drinks. Some fruits and vegetables have a circulation-boosting effect that makes you feel sexier and gives you an attractive glow.
Even if you don’t believe a word of the hype about green smoothies, believe this: doing anything that you think of as “healthy” affects the way you feel about yourself and your lifestyle. It gives you a psychological lift that can even bring your physical stress level down a notch or two.
On top of that, one purposely healthy action makes it more likely that you’ll do other healthy things, because the human mind just loves to be consistent. So drink that green smoothie and you’ll feel more inclined to try other recipes or get some exercise, too!
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