Blended Bliss

For a fast way to supercharge your health, look no further than the liquid nirvana of healthy green (or pink, or orange) smoothies. Drinking your veggies allows you to ratchet up the nutritional content of your diet while starting your day with a boost that rivals that of coffee.

Fiber-Full

All you need to prepare a smoothie packed with vegetables is a high-speed blender (a Vitamix is ideal, but not necessary; less powerful blenders still do the trick!). As opposed to juicing, which leaves behind the fibrous part of the plant altogether, blending not only retains the fiber; it breaks it down so it’s easier to digest.

Many people fall short in their fiber consumption because they don’t get the five to ten servings of fruits and vegetables they need each day. You can quickly take in three or more servings with one 8-ounce smoothie, which puts you that much closer to meeting your daily requirement.

Awash with Antioxidants

In addition to boosting your fiber intake, fresh fruits and vegetables contain ample antioxidants, which protect your body from the damaging effects of free radicals. This is important because over time, free radicals can wreak havoc on your body’s tissues, and if left unchecked can lead to serious health problems such as cancer.

Inspiring Ingredients

If you’re someone who resists eating your greens, blending them into a smoothie helps them go down easier. Mixed with an apple or your favorite fresh berries, you’ll hardly notice they’re in there! Here are some ideas for what to throw in your blender. Pick anywhere from 2-8 of these raw foods to pack in along with filtered water (and ice cubes, optional) and you’re in for a nutritional treat:

GREEN VEGGIES

Kale

Collard greens

Swiss chard

Watercress

Spinach

Dark-leaf lettuce

Parsley

Cilantro

Cucumber

Celery

SWEETS

Beets

Organic apples

Pears

Organic berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)

Dates

Pineapples

Carrots

TART

Ginger

Lemon

CREAMY

Almonds / Almond milk

Hazelnuts

Avocado

Banana

SUPERFOOD BOOSTS

Chia seeds

Hemp seeds

Cacao nibs

Make sure you don’t just blend fruits or you’ll be in for a massive blood sugar spike—and subsequent crash! This is a common mistake many people make. While eating more fruit obviously benefits your health, adding more vegetables to the mix helps provide sustained energy to carry you throughout your day.

Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe that you enjoy? If so, we’d love to hear about it. In the meantime, bottoms up!

Author’s content used under license, © 2012 Sprouted Content, LLC

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