I love my green smoothies! They are a great way to start your morning off right. They are super easy to make, are packed full of nutrients and fibre and are an easy way to add more servings of vegetables and fruit to your daily diet. You can also take them on the go if, like me, you don’t have time to enjoy your breakfast at home. I also have them as an afternoon snack on those days when I am intermittent fasting and skipping breakfast.
Let’s talk about how to make the perfect green smoothie and why it is so good for you. I like to start with coconut water or coconut milk for a creamier version. Coconut water is full of electrolytes like potassium so it is very hydrating. It also contains essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Coconut water is good for lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, cleansing, detoxifying, and relaxing (because it has magnesium). If you opt for the creamier coconut milk, you are still doing your body good! Coconut milk contains fatty acids including lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that has antibacterial and antiviral effects and provides instant energy for your body and brain. Although the fats in coconut milk are saturated fats, they don’t raise your cholesterol levels and cause heart damage. Instead, they do the opposite: coconut milk can help you lower cholesterol levels, improve blood pressure, and prevent heart attacks or stroke. It also provides minerals like magnesium and potassium that are needed to maintain blood volume, regulate heart health, and prevent dehydration. Coconut milk is a good plant-based source of iron and it also helps maintain a steady blood sugar so it is good for diabetics or those with blood sugar regulation issues. No matter how you look at it, coconut water and coconut milk make a fantastic base for your green smoothie!
Next, I will add several handfuls of greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard, romaine lettuce, dandelion greens, cucumber, parsley and cilantro. Greens are amazing and are full of vitamins A, C, E, K, folate as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. They are high in fibre, chlorophyll, anti-oxidants and phytonutrients. They have so many benefits including detoxification, building a healthy microbiome, building bones, preventing constipation, increasing energy, supporting weight loss, improving immunity, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and reducing inflammation. What is not to love about greens?!
I also like to add a little bit of fruit to my green smoothie to remove some of the bitterness from the greens. Pineapple is a great addition as it contains bromelain which is a natural digestive enzyme as well as lots of vitamins and minerals. Pineapple also helps reduce inflammation (both acute and chronic). Other great fruits to add include blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Berries are very high in fibre, loaded with anti-oxidants, contain vitamin C and K, folate, and manganese. They help balance blood sugar, reduce inflammation, help lower cholesterol, and may prevent cancer. Plus, they taste amazing and will add a touch of sweetness without too much additional sugar.
The perfect green smoothie would not be perfect without avocado. Avocadoes are very important to the smoothie. Firstly, they add an amazing creaminess and richness to the taste and texture. They are also highly nutritious! Avocadoes provide lots of fibre, essential fatty acids as well as vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Did you know that an avocado provides more potassium than a banana? And, because avocados are high in monounsaturated fats, they can help you absorb some of the key vitamins and anti-oxidants in your green smoothie. Some vitamins and anti-oxidants like vitamins A, D, E and K and carotenoids are fat-soluble which means that they need to be consumed with fats to be utilized by the body. They also support weight loss, reduced inflammation, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, may prevent cancer and support heart health. The bottom line is that avocados taste great and are a highly nutritious superfood so don’t forget to add some to your smoothie!
To complete the perfect green smoothie, there are few more superfods that I like to throw in. Chia seeds are little nutritious powerhouses! They are high in fibre, essential fatty acids, protein and anti-oxidants. They are a great addition to boost the nutritional power your green smoothie. Flax seeds are also an amazing addition for similar reasons. Flax seeds are also high in fibre, essential fatty acids, nutrients, lignans, phytonutrients and protein. So, throw a tablespoon into your smoothie. You can also add ginger for a little extra kick. In addition to the spiciness, ginger brings medical properties, anti-oxidants, stimulates digestion and circulation and is a pain reliever. It makes another great addition to your superfood green smoothie.
As you can see, a green smoothie is an important part of a health, balanced and tasty diet! There are so many different combinations you can create so don’t be afraid to experiment with different greens and fruits to find your favourites. Below I’ve included one of my favourites, the Tropical Green Smoothie. This is part of The Healthy Dish 5-Day cleanse because of its amazing nutritional and detoxification benefits. I highly recommend giving it a try!
Tropical Green Smoothie
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut water
- 2-3 handfuls spinach (or your other favourite green)
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/2 cup chopped pineapple
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 lime, peeled (with some pith)
- 1 handful fresh mint
- Place all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. For a thicker smoothie, add a handful of ice. Enjoy!