You may have noticed a recent trend on food and lifestyle blogs warning readers of “the dangers of drinking green smoothies,” throwing in cautionary tales of oxalic acid, kidney stones, and people’s faces going numb after consuming large amounts of blended greens. While there are documented cases of these rare outcomes, I’d like to make the case for why you should start (and continue) to drink green smoothies on a regular basis.
Green Smoothies Pack a Whole Foods Punch
The power of green smoothies lies in their ability to provide you with a daily intake of nutrients necessary for optimal health—carbs, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients—in one big whole foods package. We could get the same benefits from eating a salad everyday, but let’s face it: we’re not always in the mood for a salad, we’re not always in the mood to chew our food well (and chewing for at least a minute between forkfuls is essential for breaking down greens), and we don’t always have the time to sit down to eat.
If healthier eating becomes a chore for you, you’ll be less likely to keep it up. But drinking your greens? That works. As you already know, it is so much easier to drink a freshly-made juice or smoothie than it is to eat whole raw fruits and vegetables, especially when you’re on the go.
Green Smoothies Aren’t Meant to Replace Eating Other Foods
Green smoothie challenges are all the rage within health coaching circles (I should know; I host them), but they’re not the be-all, end-all on the journey towards healthier eating. While green smoothies are a great meal replacement and snack, they’re not the only thing that promotes health. Your diet should reflect a wide range of foods (and colors!) to keep you satisfied, energized, and otherwise feeling good in your body.
Healthy Eating is an Individual Act
It can be difficult to figure out the best way to feed yourself, given the mixed messages we receive every day about food and nutrition. One day everyone’s psyched about a “superfood,” and the next day you learn it’s not what it was built up to be. It’s any wonder that we haven’t quit food altogether!
When making changes to your diet, especially if you’re trying to increase health-supportive foods such as leafy greens, be gentle with yourself. Gradually add more leafy greens to your smoothies over a period of time. Rotate your leafy greens so that you can enjoy a wide variety of nutrients and tastes. Listen to your body and notice what changes for you and how those changes make you feel. If you’re on any type of medication or undergoing treatment for an illness or disease, check in with your doctor to make sure that leafy greens will not interfere with your treatment.
Leafy greens are a vital component of maintaining long-term health and well-being, and we shouldn’t be afraid to enjoy them.
Melissa Danielle is a Health Coach and Local Food Advocate who swears by green smoothies for amazing health and vitality. A graduate of Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Melissa works with self-employed creative and wellness professionals looking to simplify their business processes and integrate self-care and sustainability into their lives.Visit Melissa online at www.HoneybeeHolistic.info or follow her on Twitter @BeingMelissa