Leafy greens are among the healthiest foods we can eat. In fact, a study published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, which ranks plant foods for their nutritional value, placed the leafy greens in the top 10.
They are high in nutrients but low in calories meaning they can always be added to a meal to boost its nutrient value without boosting its caloric value.
Leafy greens are a great source of vitamin K, important for normal blood clotting, and folate needed for cell renewal and the body’s ability to heal itself. They also contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin with support healthy vision.
Brain function also gets a boost when we pack in the greens, as research has linked them to improved memory and cognitive skills. Many studies have also linked eating your greens to having a healthy heart.
Certain leafy greens, such as arugula, bok choy, cabbage and kale, are part of the cruciferous family of vegetables and are some of the best sources of glucosinolates which may protect against cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Green Smoothie – the basic concept
The flavor and consistency of your green smoothie can be adjusted according to your taste. With any smoothie, focusing on the vegetable portion and trying to keep to one portion of fruit would be the most balanced. An ideal ratio of fruit and vegetables per day is 2-4 servings of fruit and 7-8 (at least 4-5) servings of vegetables.
Basic ingredients – to serve 1 person
- 1.5 cups of green leaves (choose from spinach, kale, baby greens, micro greens, boy chow, arugula etc.)
- 1 cup of fruit (banana, berries, mango, melon. You may use fresh or frozen fruit – if out of season, better to use flash frozen fruit as this has more nutrients than fresh fruit that has had to travel long distances). You can also use avocado here if you enjoy a savory smoothie.
- 1 cup of liquid (made up of water/coconut water/nut milk /coconut milk )
- 1 tbsp good fats (coconut oil, MCT oil, hemp heart seeds, sunflower seeds, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds)
- Superfood powder (Optional. If you feel you need a boost then feel free to add here, but technically any whole food is a superfood. You may want to add collagen, protein powder, adaptogenic herbs, vitamin C powder, etc.)