Green Smoothies for Weight Loss
A green smoothie is a smoothie combining fruits such as bananas, oranges, and berries with leafy green vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, and parsley and water or yogurt. Although it may sound like a strange combination, the truth is that the taste of the fruit generally overpowers the taste of the greens, resulting in a delicious meal-in-a-glass that even most picky eaters will enjoy.
In addition to being delicious, green smoothies also offer many outstanding health benefits. This hub will focus on the health benefits of green smoothies for people who want to lose weight. If you'd like to skip the nutrition information and skip straight to the blending, please check out my hub Getting Started With Green Smoothies.
Benefits of Green Smoothies for Weight Loss
Green smoothies are great weight loss foods for several reasons.
Green smoothies are low calorie.
Both fresh fruits and leafy green vegetables are very low in calories. For example, a typical blender of green smoothie (about four servings) might include 1 cup of water (0 calories), 2 cups of spinach (14 calories), 2 bananas (about 200 calories), and 2 cups of strawberries (about 150 calories). That's 90 calories per serving, fewer than you'd eat if you simply ate a medium sized banana!
Green smoothies are nutrient dense.
Not only are green smoothies low calorie, they also pack in more nutrients per calorie than almost any other food in existence. Half a cup of raw spinach (about the amount you'd be consuming in the example above) contains about 500% of your daily allotment of vitamin K, nearly 200% of your daily allotment of vitamin A, and substantial amounts of many other important nutrients, including folic acid, calcium, iron, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, dietary fiber, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids. All this in less than 4 calories!
The nutrient density of green smoothies helps promote weight loss because many food cravings are caused by nutrient deficiencies in the body. When the body has an adequate supply of all the important nutrients it needs, it experiences fewer cravings.
Green smoothies are high in dietary fiber.
One of the most important benefits of green smoothies for weight loss is their high fiber content. Both fruits and leafy green vegetables are naturally very high in fiber and one of the advantages of green smoothies over, for example, juice, is that they include the fiber, but break it up so it is easier to chew and digest.
High fiber diets improve weight loss for several reasons.
- Dietary fiber has no calories. Foods that are high in fiber have fewer calories for the volume than foods that are low calorie, so you can eat the same amount of food while consuming fewer calories.
- Dietary fiber is high in bulk. This means that high fiber foods fill you up faster and keep you full longer than low fiber foods, you you eat less food total as well as fewer calories in the food you do eat.
- Dietary fiber helps maintain a healthy hormone balance. Hormone imbalances, especially a condition known as estrogen dominance, can lead to excessive weight gain, and make it harder to lose weight. Fiber binds to excess hormones and flushes them from the body.
- Dietary fiber helps prevent insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is another common condition that makes it easier for the body to gain weight and harder to lose it. If left untreated, insulin resistance can lead to the life threatening disease diabetes. Dietary fiber helps regulate blood sugar levels so they remain at normal levels, reducing the chances of developing insulin resistance.
These are just a few of the many health benefits of green smoothies. Simply by replacing one meal a day with a green smoothie, many people have successfully lost weight and regained their natural health and vitality. Many find that they love green smoothies so much that they start eating them twice a day!
If you are ready to learn how to make a delicious green smoothie for yourself, please visit my Getting Started With Green Smoothies hub, or check out one or more of the following books: