Green smoothies, start your day well

There’s a Green smoothie phenomena being adopted all over the world. A green smoothie is a combination of dark green leafy vegetables and whatever else you like (fruit, nuts, seeds, honey, etc) all blended into a filling, hydrating smoothie. Now that the weather is warming up and porridge is not so appealing, I suggest you get into the green smoothie for breakfast. I first started with them when I did a detox that involved giving up my muesli and tea for a smoothie and was surprised at how energising and super cell-replenishing, blood-purifying, immune system supporting and generally overall-nourishing it feels! Now I love them and like to have them daily.

Blending fruits and vegetables together breaks down the cells of plants and improves digestibility, maximizing their delivery to your body. Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. An excellent source of many vitamins A, B, C, K and folate, as well as minerals such as iron and calcium. Dark leafy’s are also a great source of fibre.

As a yoga teacher, I’m out and about during odd hours of the day and some evenings and my meal times can be a bit sporadic. By starting with the greens, I find comfort in knowing I’ve had a good serve of vitamins and minerals first thing. So if my day gets away from me and my diet isn’t quite as fresh or vitamin packed as I could have it, at least I’ve nourished myself well first thing in the morning.

Particularly suited to a green smoothie include: Kale, silverbeet, spinach, dandelion root, cos lettuce, parsley. You should aim to eat at least 3 cups of dark green veges per week minimum, or about half a cup a day. Why not throw a cup (or more!) into your blender first thing to replenish and nourish your body for the day ahead. Then add a cup or two of filtered water or coconut water, depending on how thick you like it.

As well the leafy greens, there’s a few additions (with associated small tricks) to add to the smoothie to get the most out of it nutritionally.

  • Add a spoonful of flaxseed oil to ensure your body absorbs the vitamins contained in the greens most optimally.
  • Add a handful of pre-soaked nuts/seeds (raw & organic). Aim to pre-soak your nuts and seeds overnight in warm, filtered water as this encourages the production of numerous beneficial enzymes (Enzymes are important because they speed up chemical reactions inside and outside cells. Eg. the digestive enzyme found in the saliva, breaks down starch into smaller molecules so that it can be absorbed into the blood). The action of these benefical enzymes increases the amount of vitamins the body absorbs, especially B vitamins.

From here you can really add whatever else you like. Fruit is great as a sweetener (kiwi fruits are great at the moment), also celery sticks, avocado, carrot, beetroot, spirulina, chia seeds, goji berries, honey, raw cacao, whatever takes your fancy or is in the kitchen.

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