So here’s another fun article from Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse (“Lyssie”) Lakatos, The Nutrition Twins®.
“What’s the one thing I should be eating to improve my health?” As registered dietitians, this is one of the most common questions we hear. Our answer? The title of our most recent book, The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure, says it all. Yes, veggies! Greens, specifically, are the number one food you can eat regularly to improve your health.
From arugula and Swiss chard to romaine and spinach, leafy vegetables are a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that protect against heart disease, diabetes and cancer. They prevent damage from free radicals, stopping chronic inflammation and the associated diseases in their tracks, as well as cell deterioration and the age-related decline that comes with it. Plus, they help to keep skin youthful and radiant thanks to their collagen-promoting vitamin C and their vitamin A/beta-carotene content, which also aids in the inflammation battle and calms the redness surrounding a skin flare-up. And greens assist your liver in its detoxification process—so if you’ve had a couple cocktails, a few too many refined foods or been in a smoky room, these are the foods to help “undo” the damage. In fact, greens like kale and bok choy are two of the few foods that actually assist the liver in both phases of its detoxification process, so they’re superstars when it comes to ridding the body of toxins.
If salads are feeling so 2014 for you, there’s a new way to get your greens and reap all these benefits (and it’s a lot more appealing than a mound of steamed greens on the side of your plate). It’s easy, delicious and even breakfast-friendly—it’s a green smoothie. After all, many greens become undetectable when combined in a smoothie and they take just seconds to transform. And what better way to start your day than with a simple, nourishing breakfast that packs in greens? Here are some pointers for making the most of your smoothies and easy, at-home ways to get your nutrients.
Create your own green smoothie by following these green-smoothie basics. (If you simply want to try a green smoothie recipe that’s tried, true and delicious, make one of the recipes below by blending the ingredients together.)
This light and refreshing smoothie packs a nutrient punch with carrots, kale and spinach. Ginger helps to soothe the stomach while also assisting in fighting inflammation, and the lime adds immune-boosting vitamin C.
Cool, sweet and refreshing, this smoothie is potassium-packed and ultra-hydrating thanks to spinach, cucumber, orange juice, lime, pineapple and coconut water. This combination helps to quickly flush bloat by keeping you hydrated.
Sweet and fruity, the peach and apple complement the spinach and vanilla soymilk, making it a great way to squeeze in those greens in the morning (or for a snack)—all for just 73 calories. Again, eat a lean source of protein with it to make it more satisfying and to round out the meal.
The good-for-you monounsaturated fat in the avocado boosts the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins beta carotene, vitamin E and antioxidants from the green tea and apple, as well as the avocado.
Rich in water and potassium, this smoothie helps flush sodium and restore normal fluid balance. The sulforaphane, a phytochemical found in the kale and chard, helps the liver to flush out harmful toxins, while the phytonutrients in the green tea, fruits and vegetables stave off damage from invading particles.
**article originally shared on ACEFitness.org http://www.acefitness.org/blog/5507/5-must-try-green-smoothie-recipes