Nutritious and Delicious Green Smoothie Recipe
Why drink a green smoothie?
Good nutrition is one of the most important components of the immune system. Despite claims to the contrary, there isn't one pill, supplement, food, or recipe that magically reverses or prevents disease. That doesn't mean that a bionic immune system isn't attainable, and a strong immune system tremendously improves the body's ability to fight disease of any type. Significantly reducing or eliminating processed foods and sugar and adding a lot of fruits and vegetables to your diet is a great way to start. However, I found that getting a minimum of six servings of vegetables a day was a challenge, especially when trying to add a lot of fresh, green, cruciferous vegetables such as kale. I found that the best way for me to accomplish this was by eating one green blended smoothie a day.
How did I do it?
Most people prefer to juice vegetables (frequently mixed with fruit juice), mostly because there is a common belief that more concentrated nutrients can be consumed through the juice alone. Also, it is fairly easy to drink a blend of vegetable and fruit juice. On the other hand in my experience it is very difficult to get a lot of juice out of green leafy vegetables like kale, and the remainder of the pulp contains very valuable nutrients as well as fiber. Therefore I choose to make a blended smoothie using the whole vegetable.
Why all These Vegetables?
A diet rich in antioxidants and fiber strengthens the immune system and reduces the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. A daily green smoothie is a significant benefit and easy to include in your routine. I also discovered a compelling study that showed that a 20% increase in plant foods corresponds to a 20% decrease in cancer rate and a 20% increase in cruciferous vegetables corresponds to a 40% decrease in cancer rate. OK...I'm definitely tossing in at least one cruciferous vegetable. Examples of cruciferous vegetables are kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower.
Sample Green Smoothie Recipe
- 2 cups Kale
- 2 cups Spinach
- 1 Whole Cucumber
- 1 cup Tomato Juice, Make sure the juice is organic and doesn't contain any additives
Why Did I Pick These Veggies?
Kale: My favorite cruciferous vegetable, kale has a lot of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. It ranks as equal to the highest nutrient density of any foods (with collard greens and mustard greens).
Spinach: This is also one of the most nutrient dense foods, contains cancer fighting antioxidants, improves cardiovascular health and brain function, and protects against aging.
Cucumber: This contains cancer fighting properties. regulates blood pressure, and has the added bonus of promoting healthy hair and skin.
Tomato Juice: This is used primarily to improve the taste and to create a thinner consistency so I could drink it faster with a straw, but tomato juice also contains antioxidants and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Mixing it all Together:
It helps to add the tomato juice first so the vegetables blend better and are less likely to stick to the side of the Vitamix. Water could also be added to make it a little thinner, but I like to minimize the quantity of juice to drink. This may sound crazy but when I flip that switch on the Vitamix I feel empowered, like I am taking charge of my own health and well-being. Note - adding wheat grass juice was a colossal mistake because it made the flavor too strong to stomach - making the already difficult task of drinking the green smoothie completely impossible.
Drinking My Green Smoothie
After it is blended, I pour this "delicious" concoction from my Vitamix into my glass. Some people try to chug their smoothies fast, but I have a hard time doing that so I drink it with a straw so I don't feel so overpowered by the taste and texture. I try to do something fun and relaxing while I drink it, such as watch a favorite TV show, talk with a fun friend, or read a great book. That way I have a positive association. I also found that over time my body almost begins to crave my "health fix" (even if my taste buds don't).
I have to emphasize that I drink it for the nutritional value rather than the flavor because after all the goal is to build a strong immune system as fast as humanly possible. For added nutritional value I throw in a scoop of wheat grass powder. This will add to the nutritional value but not the flavor. Try to use organic veggies if possible because the pesticides on non organic vegetables add toxins that weaken the immune system. Take the challenge of adding one green smoothie a day and let me know what recipe works for you and how it makes you feel. Cheers to Good Health!!