Green smoothies are all the rage right now. There are green smoothie diet plans, articles and segments galore, and even many popular celebrities are now endorsing green smoothies as a way to lose weight, feel better, and get healthier. So what is the truth behind these claims, and are green smoothies just a fad, or is it a trend that is here to stay?
Green smoothies are reported to increase energy levels, help people lose weight, decrease inflammation, and host of other beneficial effects are reported with green smoothie drinks. There is significant research suggesting that 1-2 servings of leafy green vegetables per day can boost a person’s health. Leafy greens: are loaded with B vitamins and vitamin K and C, high in fiber, help lower cholesterol, and are high in calcium. With all the benefits of leafy greens its no question that we should aim for at least 1-2 servings daily, but what about green smoothies? Green smoothies can be good or bad, and like many things, they can have some really good effects when they are used correctly.
If your green smoothie consists of mostly fruit with a few leaves of kale thrown in, just to give it a green color, chances are you will be missing out on many of the potential benefits of a good green smoothie. Of course, drinking blended fresh fruit is better than drinking a coca-cola, but drinking down a ton of fruit can still raise your blood sugar levels, especially if you use some of the sweeter fruits like: peaches, oranges, mango, or kiwi.
Even worse, some people drink green smoothies that are loaded with fruit juice (like apple or orange)… fruit juices that have the fiber removed can cause blood sugar spikes just as high as sugar or soft drinks. Many companies have noticed the green smoothie trend and companies like BoltHouse Farms make “green smoothies” that are sold pre packaged: these drinks are loaded with sugar, pasteurized, and contain very little real nutritional benefit to those who drink them.
Green smoothies, done the right way, do offer some very enticing and rewarding benefits. Keep in mind, that a healthy green smoothie should consist mostly of leafy greens like: spinach, mustard greens, field greens, kale, mustard greens, or chard. For those who can’t stand the flavor of these strong veggies raw, many people add in apple or apple juice, lemon, lime, oranges or orange juice, carrots, beets, or whatever fruit you like to drink along with your greens. The main idea behind green smoothies is that is is supposed to be a way for those of us who don’t have the taste buds, or the time for a salad each day, so that can still get in our beneficial leafy greens.
So are green smoothies a fad? Unfortunately, yes they have become quite the fad. Like most things that become a fad, green smoothies started out with some really great benefits, but pop culture has made it trendy and now many people drink down juices laden with sugar and with very little “greens” actually present in their smoothie at all. Green smoothies can be a great addition to our diets, and I drink one every day (I use water, a small amount of juice, 2 cups of spinach, and sometimes carrots or beets). If you want to try out green smoothies, try to make your own smoothies and fill them with as many leafy greens as you can stand. For the maximum benefit, avoid pre made green smoothies from the stores, and try not to add too much juice or sugar into the drinks you make at home. Green smoothies are pretty filling, and drinking them in place of other unhealthy drinks or in place of unhealthy meals will definitely add nutrition to your diet and help you lose weight is thats what you desire.