If Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell or Drew Barrymore are anything to go by, then these days Hollywood stars are far more likely to be spotted on the streets of LA clasping a green smoothie than a skinny latte. Indeed, green smoothies not only taste delicious, they also offer an extraordinary number of health benefits, which have certainly not been lost on some of our most glamorous celebrities, and are explored in more detail below.
What are green smoothies?
The core ingredients of a green smoothie are supergreens – supergreens are a unique category of superfood that includes vegetables, such as chard, spinach, kale and rocket, as well as a variety of highly concentrated supergreen supplements, such as spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass and barley grass powder. They are typically nutrient dense and all boast large amounts of the natural plant pigment known as chlorophyll, which gives them their trademark green colour.
In addition to supergreens, green smoothies also tend to contain a number of other ingredients, including fresh fruit, fruit juice or raw nut milks, as well as a whole host of delicious superfoods, such as coconut oil, cacao powder or maca powder, which help to mask the supergreen’s powerful flavour and makes them infinitely more palatable. Today there are an almost limitless selection of yummy green smoothie recipes, the majority of which take only moments to prepare and can be enjoyed at any time of day.
Green smoothies – 6 great reasons they’re good to go!
Famous US columnist, Doug Larson, once joked that ‘life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.’ So, arguably the best thing about green smoothies is that they make consuming large quantities of fresh greens a genuine pleasure.
Below are six more compelling reasons why green smoothies are good to go…
1) Green smoothies are nutrient-dense
Green smoothies contain supergreens, which by definition are rich in an impressive range of beneficial nutrients, including protein, fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and chlorophyll. Take organic barley grass powder for example – according to UK nutritionist, Gillian McKeith, this supergreen contains more protein than a sirloin steak, five times more iron than broccoli, seven times more vitamin C than orange juice, and 11 times more calcium than milk! Better still, as the supergreens in green smoothies have already been liquefied, your body is able to digest and absorb all of the goodness that they contain more quickly and easily.
This means that green smoothies are not only a great way to obtain your five-a-day in one single serving; they are also extremely effective at addressing vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially for those who are following a vegetarian, vegan, or rawfood diet. Of course, green smoothies are also ideal for parents whose children refuse to eat anything even remotely resembling a vegetable, but who simply cannot resist a deliciously thick and creamy, yet utterly wholesome drink!
2) Green smoothies promote natural weight loss
Unlike shop bought fruit juices and energy drinks, green smoothies are free from refined sugars and fattening dairy products and contain only natural fruit sugars or healthy superfood sweeteners. They are also pleasingly low in calories and correspondingly rich in fibre. Consuming foods that are high in fibre can help you to feel fuller for longer and promote natural and sustainable weight loss. Indeed, recent research suggests that certain supergreens can be specifically harnessed for their weight loss properties – organic spirulina powder for example, acts as a natural appetite suppressant that can be used to control food cravings and thus help you lose weight.
3) Green smoothies boost immunity
Many of the supergreens found in green smoothies are renowned for their immune boosting properties. Indeed, numerous studies have revealed that by incorporating large amounts of supergreens into your diet, you can help to decrease your risk of developing lifestyle diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Scientists from the University of Illinois reported that consuming broccoli and kale at least 3 times per week could help combat cancer, whilst researchers in Saudi Arabia found that eating regular quantities of arugula may help to prevent stomach ulcers. Meanwhile chard has demonstrated a remarkable ability to control blood sugar levels in animals, and may therefore prove beneficial for diabetics. And, according to ‘A Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies’ by homeopathic doctor Mark Stengler, “spirulina stimulates natural killer cells and similar anti-immune components of the immune system that can help fight cancer cells.”
4) Green smoothies encourage a gentle detox
As previously mentioned, the supergreens that form the basis of all green smoothies contain large quantities of chlorophyll. Organic wheatgrass powder for example, consists of around 70 per cent of this natural plant pigment that helps to detox the liver, cleanse the digestive tract and aid in the elimination of toxins from your body. Enjoy a gentle daily detox in the form of a simple smoothie and you’ll benefit from increased energy, beautiful skin and hair, a svelte figure and an enhanced sense of physical and mental wellbeing as a result – no wonder so many Hollywood stars are ditching their iced machiattos in favour of green smoothies!
5) Green smoothies are quick and easy to prepare.
Green smoothies are an ideal meal replacement at breakfast or lunch and, as they take only moments to prepare, are particularly suitable for those who are short on time. And, all you need to create a mouth-watering range of green smoothies is a high-powered blender and a healthy imagination. Simply pop your chosen supergreens, superfoods, fruit and nut milks into a blender, blitz for 30 seconds and …hey presto! If you have an especially busy schedule you can rustle-up multiple servings at once and then store in your fridge for future enjoyment.
6) Green smoothies are surprisingly economical
When compared to other popular drinks, such as shop bought energy drinks or coffee chain cappuccinos, green smoothies are extremely cost effective, especially if you choose to buy your supergreen ingredients when in season. You can also save money by shopping for green smoothie ingredients in your supermarket’s reduced aisle – even the most bruised and battered green vegetables are suitable for blending. And, don’t forget that, as organic supergreen supplements are highly concentrated, you’ll only ever require a tiny amount for the perfect and most nutritious green smoothie.