It’s no secret we’ve all grown up with the advice that greens are great for your body, skin, and overall health goals. There has yet to be any science that disagrees that green stuff is good for you. However, there’s a lot of green stuff out there, and believe it or not, some of it may be detrimental to your gut depending on your body and health goals. We know what you’re thinking: no, all green stuff is good. Sure, at the base level all green stuff is great for your body, but you need to figure out what your actual health goals are. For example, this might be TMI, but if you can’t expel all your waste from your body, eating a ton of raw ruffle is going to create a blockage in your intestines, and that sucks.
So we put together some information on the best routes for your health goals. Remember – it’s important you speak to your health care provider before going down the rabbit hole of the green juice and smoothie life. With that said, are you ready to dive in? Let’s do it!
Most people drink green smoothies or other green things to address some common health issues:
- Gut issues, such as constipation, runny stool, or intense stomach cramping
- Skin issues, such as eczema, acne, and overall dehydrated skin
- Lackluster hair and nail
- Post-surgery issues
- Really just about any other health concern you can think of
So once you establish your reason for embarking on a health journey, that’s when the green stuff makes an appearance. The USDA recommends a minimum of 1 1/2 to 2 cups a day of dark leafy greens into your diet. Now, for some people, this is especially daunting, as leafy greens may be a challenge to eat. That’s when smoothies come into play.
Green smoothies are a great way to retain the fiber of the dark leafy greens, but mixing in some fruit definitely improves the taste. A smoothie with just greens may come off tasting like bitter dirt; you may be into it, but many people aren’t.
Here is a list of fruits that pair well with kale and spinach:
- Apples: Rich source of vitamin A and C, not to mention great for the skin
- Bananas: Lots of potassium and helps control blood pressure
- Strawberries: Rich source of vitamin C and B6, which regulates mood and sleep
- Blueberries: An excellent source of antioxidants, which fight inflammation
- Pineapple: Contains vitamin C and beta carotene; these antioxidants can help reduce wrinkles, improve overall skin texture, and minimize skin damage from sun and pollution exposure
- Mango: Associated with potential anticancer effects as well as improved immunity, digestive, eye, skin, and hair health
Glowing Green Smoothie Recipes
There are a lot of ways to make your glowing green smoothie, and the first thing you want to do is pick your base. Spinach and kale are the main contenders for glowing green smoothie bases if you’re looking for that delectable green stuff that is incredible for your overall wellness. Kale offers a more bitter taste unless you go with kale microgreens, which tend to be less bitter and still offer quite the nutritional punch. Personally, we love adding frozen spinach because it lasts longer in the freezer and acts like an ice cube. Cold smoothies are refreshing, especially if you’re focused on the nutritional components. Below are a few smoothies that offer a few wellness benefits.
Green Goddess Smoothie
- 2 green apples
- 1 banana (frozen preferred)
- 2 cups kale or spinach
- 4 Tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 Tablespoons flaxseeds
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 cups almond milk
This smoothie packs a punch for sure but adds enough sweetness to combat any bitter green flavor. It’s important to remember that smoothies aren’t calorie-free, so adding some protein powder can increase the protein and make a more balanced drink.
Fruity Green Smoothie
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
- 1/2 cup frozen mango
- 1 banana
This particular smoothie is thinner in consistency because water is being used as the mixer. Coconut water is also a great substitute for plain water, as it adds a little sweetness without making your smoothie overly thick.
The Veggie Supreme Smoothie
- 2 cups of kale or spinach
- 1/2 to 1 cucumber
- 1/2 a carrot
- 1 cup of coconut water
This is probably the main smoothie that started the green smoothie crazy. There’s no fruit, so this is essentially a way for people to start their day with a ton of greens. It’s no secret that a majority of people have a hard time getting all their servings of vegetables and fruits into their daily diet. The best part of having a green smoothie every day is that it takes the pressure off eating just raw veggies; not to mention, eating so many raw veggies can also aggravate your body’s waste system, especially if you don’t drink enough water.
So we’ve discussed a lot of health benefits of drinking a glowing green smoothie, but is that really the best option for your health goals? Here is what we like to call the golden trio of things you should do to improve your overall wellness:
The Golden Trio
- Get enough sleep. This can range from five to eight hours depending on the individual, with some studies suggesting that six hours of uninterrupted sleep is critical for bodily functions.
- Drink 64 oz of water a day. This is the bare minimum, and water is important for your gut health, skin, and overall bodily function.
- Move your body every day. This can include walking, yoga, cycling, gym time, and really whatever else. Get that heart rate up and move.
Those three things are vital for your body, but let’s also get into food choices. Everybody is different and needs different things. A 50-year-old woman should not have the same diet as a toddler. Nutrition changes as you get older, but fruits and veggies are important and create a balanced atmosphere in your gut. Nothing you do has to be extreme. In fact, changing what veggies and fruit you eat daily diversifies what nutrients your body receives, and that’s wonderful.
Before you really start any regime, it’s important to discuss with your doctor and nutritionist where your goals are. The diet for a person eating for growth versus the one for eating to get smaller is very different. If there are any underlying health issues like diabetes or Crohn’s, this could also alter how many servings of fruits and veggies you can have in a day. The best part about glowing green smoothies is you can make them however you want. We have friends who put what feels like an entire kitchen sink in there, while others stick 4-5 ingredients max. Protein desires can also alter your smoothies as well. Daily breakfast smoothies that are green can have some excellent supplements inside of them to further enhance your journey towards your health goals.
Regardless of where you want to go with your health, be authentic to your needs and your desires. Happy smoothie-making!