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updated: 3/19/2013 10:54 AM

Green smoothies provide health benefits, energy boost

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  • Eating green smoothies can be a good way to get in lots of daily fruit and veggie servings.

      Eating green smoothies can be a good way to get in lots of daily fruit and veggie servings.

 

Green smoothie ... I know what you're thinking -- that sounds disgusting.

What's in a green smoothie anyway? A green smoothie is a shake made in your blender that has numerous health benefits and is quite simple and inexpensive to make. Ingredients might include a few green leafy vegetables paired up with one or two fruits.

Let's take a look at the benefits of consuming green smoothies.

Green smoothies are loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Taking a multivitamin supplement just isn't the same as getting nutrients from real food. Depending on the fruits/vegetables you use in your smoothie, you could be getting a great dose of vitamins A, C, E and K as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and potassium. There are too many phytonutrients to list, but again fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids, flavonoids and resveratrol to name a few.

Consuming green smoothies is a great way to increase your daily vegetable intake. Think about it, how many quality vegetables do you really consume in a day? We could all use more. Kale and collards are two superfoods that are rarely eaten as side vegetables, but can easily be added to a smoothie as green ingredients.

Green smoothies deliver a natural source of energy. Ever feel like taking a nap in the afternoon? Rather than going for a coffee or diet soda, try a green smoothie. The natural sugars from the fruit and vegetables will give you a boost, but the high fiber content and vitamins and minerals will help to prolong the energizing effects. Remember, your body is better fueled by real foods than food substitutes.

Green smoothies have numerous health benefits. Greens are the staple of many holistic programs designed to return someone to optimal health after a disease or injury. Greens can decrease inflammation, aid in blood purification and even improve digestion. Many diseases are caused by prolonged inflammation and improper detox, so consuming green smoothies is a great way to be proactive in the fight against aging and disease.

Try the following green smoothie as a healthy snack or occasional breakfast. Once you master this one, try adding more greens such as kale, collards or spirulina for an added benefit.

Combine in a blender:

• 1-2 handfuls of fresh spinach

• frozen banana

• cup frozen berries

• 1 tablespoon coconut oil

• 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder

• A few ice cubes

• Add water until desired consistency is met

Blend well and enjoy! For a detailed guide of other green smoothie creations, check out Push Fitness Schaumburg on Pinterest and Facebook.

Joshua Steckler is the owner of Push Fitness, a personal training studio located in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning, and nutrition. Contact him at PushFitnessTraining.com.

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