Eating raw greens is a great way to loose weight and keep your metabolism running smooth to build and maintain your healthy habits. However, sometimes it can be hard to eat a lot of greens at once because of their occasionally bitter taste. Most people just cook the flavor out and while you should add lots of greens to your everyday cooking like in soups, pasta dishes, and ground meats, you end up losing some of the essential vitamins and minerals during the cooking process. So why not add raw greens to your smoothies?
I love to add fresh greens to my salad but sometimes I don't feel like preparing a bowl of salad, so instead I add plenty of greens to my daily smoothies. Smoothies are delicious and so good for you! Because of the natural sweetness from the fruits and berries in smoothies you won’t even notice the hefty servings of greens.
I recommend all my friends replace one meal a day with a healthy, nutritious, and energy packed smoothie. This is a great way to loose weight, stay in shape, and still get a full serving of nutrients. While your at it, why not pack it full of great greens to help you build your healthy habits.
Spinach is one of the first things I recommend people eat more of if their looking to loose weight and build healthy habits. I eat spinach at least five times a week! On its own, spinach tastes fantastic so unlike some of the greens in this list you actually won’t have a hard time eating it whole. This makes spinach a perfect addition in smoothies.
With a lot of smoothie ingredients, I recommend people take it easy. While they can be healthy and delicious, they may be harming your healthy habit goals in the long run, but not spinach! Add as much of this amazing green ingredient as you like, just remember to leave room for your other ingredients. Spinach has good amounts of both potassium and vitamin B. Potassium helps keep your blood pressure steady and is extremely vital for muscle function, which is perfect for anyone going to the gym a couple times a week.
I remember I was living with my sister in Los Angeles when the whole kale craze started. People were walking around with bottles full of kale juice because everyone was told, “it’s a superfood that burns fat”. I also remember how a few weeks later people felt sick because of over consumption. Like I always say, everything in moderation, even if it’s something as healthy as kale.
However, kale truly deserves its role as “king of superfoods”. It has fantastic health benefits that many other greens just don't have. One of the key differences is the lutein in kale. Lutein is an antioxidant that protects eyesight. In fact it is more effective for eyesight than beta-carotene or vitamin C. So while carrots are great you really should be eating kale for your eye health. What better way to mask the bitter taste of kale while maintaining its nutrients than to add a few servings to your daily smoothie? As long as you’re not eating an excessive amount of kale everyday and nothing else, adding this leafy green to your smoothies is a great way to stay healthy and happy.
Most people either throw out their celery greens or just buy ones without leaves. In general I recommend buying vegetables and roots with their greens still on. This is because uncut leaves mean that the produce has been processed and handled less, its more wholesome, plus the greens on carrots and beat roots look gorgeous. More importantly, however, these greens are packed with amazing and healthy nutrients!
I never throw away my celery greens; instead I cut them off and use them in my smoothies! With greens like kale you can get a slight hint of flavor in the smoothie but with celery greens the fruits and berries in the smoothie do a great job of hiding the bitter taste without compromising the great health benefits. These leaves have plenty of calcium, which are not only essential for your bones but can help recover nerve and muscle cells. They also have antioxidants like vitamin E. Not to mention celery leaves are extremely low in calories so make sure to add plenty into your next meal-replacing smoothie.
Some people have a natural aversion to parsley, which is unfortunate because of how good it is for you! Anyone who cooks usually adds parsley as a toping to salads, soups, or even homemade pizza. This is all great but a lot of people can’t stand the strong flavor. While I personally like parsley my son doesn’t, so it was a real challenge getting him to eat this amazingly healthy green. I thought to myself, I make smoothies everyday why don't I add some parsley in one and see if he’ll notice. Guess what? He didn’t!
Parsley is incredibly healthy and if you’re only using the tip of the leaves in small amounts as a garnish then you are missing out big time! Parsley is a great detoxifier and has natural anti-inflammatory properties. Because of the high vitamin content, including vitamin A, C, and K, parsley is also a natural immune booster. One really unique thing about this green is that it helps fight against the formation of kidney stones. So next time don't forget to put a handful of this amazing herb into your green smoothie.
Avocado. Avocado? Yes Avocado!
I know what your going to say, “avocado isn't a leafy green”, but I wanted to include it in this list because of how amazing of an ingredient it is, especially in smoothies. I love using avocado! I cut up large chunks for salads or dice it up as a toping in stews (it really works great) or on sandwiches with whole grain bread. One of the best uses of avocado is in smoothies. Usually I add frozen bananas to my smoothie blend to add a nice creamy texture and sweet taste but if you want to shake things up a bit avocado is the way to go.
Avocados have amazing nutrients and healthy fats that not only keep you satiated and are great for weight loss but the monounsaturated fatty acids are very heart healthy. If you’re worried about the calories, use only a quarter of an avocado instead of half (about an eighth should be good for one serving in a smoothie). This creamy fruit has loads of vitamins and minerals including vitamins B5, B6, and potassium. The funny thing is not only can the texture replace bananas but also avocados have more potassium than bananas per serving. They are great for eye sight, cholesterol levels, and they help in the absorption of nutrients from other plants. It’s a no brainer; add some avocado to your next green smoothie.