May 07, 2014 / by Ann-Marie Giglio / No Comments

Fruits smoothies are cool and refreshing. Plus because they contain fruit, they just seem healthy.
But are they?

Well consider this: On the Jamba Juice website, a large Aloha Pineapple Smoothie contains 540 calories and a whopping 119 grams of sugar, over 4 times the amounted recommended for women. Keep in mind that the American Heart Association recommends women should have no more than 25.2 grams a day (six teaspoons) , men no more than nine 37.8 grams (nine teaspoons) a day.  My lunch usually contains 540 calories and little or no sugars!

This is why green smoothies have been catching on lately as the healthy drink of choice.  Green smoothies are made by blending raw, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, beet greens, celery, parsley or broccoli with fruit and water or ice.

Here are 12 reasons for you to make a green smoothie part of your daily ritual:

1) They are good for you – Green smoothies are a low fat “whole food” beverage that provides you with nutrition, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, healthy carbohydrates and fiber.

2) You’ll lose weight naturally – Green smoothies are low in calories plus they are very filling.  So you’ll find yourself craving less junk food, unhealthy sweets, sugars and fats and settling for smaller portions come dinner time.

3) They’re an easy way to “eat” more fruits and vegetables – If you find it a challenge to get your recommended daily serving of fruits and vegetables, green smoothies are the answer.

4) They taste great – Don’t eat enough vegetables due to the taste?  Green smoothies make taste a non-issue because if you do it right, the taste of the fruit overpowers the taste of the vegetables.

5) They are easy to make – The only equipment you need is a blender and a glass.  Once you get the hang of it, your daily green smoothie batch will take you less than five minutes to make.

6) They are easy to digest – If you suffer from from indigestion, green smoothies could ease your discomfort as they are extremely easy to digest.

7) You’ll be less susceptible to disease and illness – Because the green vegetables are so high in antioxidants and phyto-nutrients, with each green smoothie you are ingesting a wide variety of natural substances that will contribute to your optimum health and well-being.

8) Easy way to get more fiber in our diet – According to the WebMD website, the average adult only eats 15 grams of fiber per day.  The Institute of Medicine says women need 25 grams of fiber per day and men, 38 grams per day.  Fiber, essential for good colon health, keeps everything in working order.

9) You’ll be enhancing your immune system – Chlorophyll, a green pigment found in algae and plants, not only strengthens your immune system, it is also known to improve the health of your circulatory, digestive, and detoxification systems.  Together, the greens reduce systemic inflammation in the body.  And any cuciferous vegetable you use, for example broccoli, contains anti-carcingenic compounds.

10) You can take them anywhere you go – Buy a good thermal container and you can take your green smoothie with you when you’re out and about.

11) You can perfect the taste until you get it just right – You can use recipes but you can also experiment until you get the taste you like.

12) They are a good way to get kids to eat their vegetables – It can be very difficult to convince children that they need to eat their fruits and vegetables.  It’s much easier if you tempt them with a refreshing drink that tastes great.

To balance flavor and nutrition the typical ratio in a green smoothie is about 60% fruit to 40% vegetables.

Other things you can add to your smoothie: coconut water, green tea, ginseng, whey protein, almonds, peanut butter, hemp seeds or flax.

Do you have a favorite recipe?  Send them to us and we’ll share them with our readers.