Our brilliant, resident personal trainer, Riss from Larissa Beer Personal Training, has some great advice regarding the green smoothie concept that is taking over breakfasts everywhere!
Hi Nesters, I am not a fan of fad diets. I find that that are impossible to maintain, do not provide enough daily nutrients and often cost a whole lot of money that could better be spent elsewhere. Definitely no Atkins or lemon detox diets for me!
Having said that, I was recently asked by a client about green smoothies and whether they had any benefit. I have done some research about the potential health benefits green smoothies actually have on the body, and whether they are something we should all include in our diet.
Basically, I wanted to find out whether they were just another fad or something worth trying. After all, my mum has always told me to eat my greens and Popeye is extra strong after a mouthful of spinach!
Image: Linda Wagner
So, unless you have been living under a rock, you have undoubtedly heard of green smoothies. Fruit-based blender drinks of raw leafy green vegetables, blended until smooth. Here are some of the health benefits green smoothies have to offer.
- Green smoothies offer a great source of nutrition. The amount of vitamins you’ll get depends on the fruits and vegetables you choose for the smoothie. However, most fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins A and C.
- Smoothies as opposed to juices blend the whole fruit/vegetable therefore you are getting not only all the vitamins and minerals it has to offer but the fibre content as well
- Green smoothies are a great way to eat your veggies without even realizing it. Although most people like fruit, many have trouble getting their daily requirement of vegetables. When you make a green smoothie, the taste of the greens is hidden by the taste of the fruit, so you don’t even notice the veggies are there.
So, what kind of greens should to add to your green smoothie? I think it’s often best to go for something with a milder flavor like spinach, this will also blend up easier. Having said that, it’s not the only green vegetable you can add. Also try romaine lettuce, swiss chard, bok choy, kale or parsley. You could even use broccoli but keep in mind it does have a stronger flavour than the leafy vegetables, so use only a small amount.
All in all I think green smoothies are a fine inclusion into your diet, it’s a great way to include those extra vegies we may not be getting normally, and remember you can add different fruits and liquids to alter the flavours and change it up.
To get you started here is my favourite green smoothie recipe:
1½ cups water
1 head romaine lettuce,
½ head of large bunch or ¾ of small bunch spinach chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped
1 pear, cored and chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
Blend until smooth.
As always, if you have any health or fitness questions please email me at email@example.com
Happy health Nesters!