Are you getting enough greens in your diet? Does your daily diet include five fruits or vegetables? If you’re like many of us, the daily recommended allowance of five fruits and vegetables isn’t something that you always have time to consume. Yet, if you do consume them, you’re lowering your chances of many types of cancer, you’re getting antioxidants that can help to prevent free radical ravages, you’re cleansing your system, and you’re offering your body solid nutrition in a way that tastes good if you’re not someone who likes or enjoys green vegetables.
What do raw green vegetables offer?
Raw greens of all types are simply loaded to the extreme with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and even phytonutrients and in many cases, protein. Iron is just one of the things that you can get from green vegetables that you may not have considered.
They can offer prevention against many types of cancer (including lung cancer, colorectal cancer and intestinal tract cancer), may help to prevent macular degeneration and even fight free radicals that can cause the signs of aging.
In order to tap into the power of green smoothies, one of the things that you’re going to need is a high speed blender. The juicer and several other kinds of blenders can be used in a pinch, but they simply don’t do the job as well as the lower speed blenders and you don’t get a complete smoothie. Instead, you will get something that is a bit more chunky in nature and quite often has a taste or texture that you and your kids may not like.
What is a green smoothie?
The green smoothie is, for all intents and purposes, a healthy salad with a twist. It’s easy to carry with you, easy to drink, has a flavor that literally masks the greens that are difficult to get your kids to eat, and offers a great deal of nutrition.Green smoothies take fruit, nuts, and of course, green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, lettuce, kale, and other leafy or cruciferous vegetables and incorporate them into drinks that are smooth, creamy, and easy to digest, as well as easy to use. They are a wonderful way to get your kids and even adults who are not fans of vegetables – to make them a part of their every day diet.
More than 80 percent of people worldwide do not get enough leafy green vegetables or cruciferous vegetables as part of their everyday diet. In fact, the USDA research shows that the numbers may actually be higher than that.
What Causes the Vitamin Deficit?
In many cases, our lifestyles are to blame for the fact that we’re simply not getting the nutrients that our bodies need. Not every person is deficient in every vitamin. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that in many cases, we don’t eat as we should, we’re lacking one vitamin or another from day to day and typically we’re not getting enough fiber to keep our bodies humming along smoothly.
In some cases, the reason for the deficit may be that we don’t like those particular vegetables. In other cases, we simply do not have the time to create a balanced diet three times during the day. This means that no matter what vitamins we may be getting, we are lacking some nutrients or minerals on a daily basis. While these deficits may change from day to day, in a country that is among the most developed in the world, the fact that so many people have nutritional deficits is a source of consternation, and is nothing short of amazing.
The question is, now that we know that we do have this issue, how do we correct it? How can we ensure that we get the nutrients and the fiber that we need every day and make sure that our bodies remain healthy?
What’s the Best Way to Get Those Nutrients?
We’re glad you asked that question. In fact, the best way, the smartest and easiest way to find the nutrients you need and to ensure that you’re not one of the 80 percent not getting the vitamins that they need is to use smoothies or green smoothies to incorporate those nutrients into your diet in a quick and easy way.
By using fruits which are slightly stronger tasting in nature, such as peaches, bananas, raspberries and others, we can incorporate leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and others into our diet in such a way that much of the flavor is masked, yet the nutrients are still available to our body.
Children, in particular, love smoothies, and really enjoy the greenish color, which makes them far more likely to drink the smoothie and to get the nutrients, than if you were to attempt to present them with spinach or broccoli on a plate as part of a more traditional meal.
What’s the Down Side?
Some types of green vegetables contain high levels of oxalates. Keeping these oxalates flowing in a regular way, such as in a daily smoothie may help to contribute to kidney stones, according to some research. Ensuring that we do not take in oxalate rich foods on a daily basis, but rather, limiting those to two to three times a week is a good precautionary way to take in the greens that you want and to keep oxalate levels lower.
Taking in spinach and kale on a daily basis may help to encourage the presence of oxalates in the body. Still, these vegetable can be an important part of your diet. In order to assure that you get the nutrients that you need, yet avoid the unnecessary risk of kidney stones and other calcium deposits, it’s recommended that you use kale and spinach in your smoothies only about twice a week, while other green vegetables, such as leaf lettuce, broccoli, and other vegetables which are not high in oxalates are used the remaining five days.
Just a few of the green vegetables that are quite high in oxalates include these, which – in order to err on the side of caution, should be incorporated just a few times a week: okra, spinach, beet greens, parsley, collard greens and leeks.
In taste studies which were accomplished with children between the ages of 5 and 14, kids were more likely to enjoy vegetables as a part of a smoothie when they may reject the same vegetable on a plate.
If you’re interested in giving your kids – and your own body – the kind of nutrition that we all need to protect our good health, offering them smoothies as opposed to trying to force vegetables during a meal may be the answer that you’re looking for.