Drink Your Veggies

veggiesBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

If you don’t have the time or inclination to eat two or three large salads every day, you may want to consider adding greens to a daily smoothie.  Chock full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients, green smoothies can help you increase your overall fruit and vegetable intake in support of optimal nutrition.  Custom-made smoothies are quick, easy, inexpensive and satisfying and they offer an array of healthy benefits.  Green smoothies provide concentrated, pure nutrition and vital enzymes, important  when you remember that every time you eat or drink something you are either supporting your health or feeding disease.  Freshly made vegetable juices are nourishing for the body and help to maintain or restore health at a cellular level. 

There is a difference between blending and juicing your smoothies.  Juicing is a process where water and readily absorbable nutrients are extracted, leaving indigestible fiber behind.  Juicing is helpful for those with an illness or whose digestive system inhibits the processing of fiber.  A word of caution here.  Without fiber, liquid juice is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and may cause a rapid spike in blood sugar, especially if the juice is mostly fruits.  Blending, on the other hand, breaks down fiber from the entire fruit or vegetable.  This makes the fiber easier to digest and creates a slow release of nutrients into the blood stream, avoiding blood sugar spikes.  Smoothies tend to be more filling, as the fiber slows down the digestive process, leaving you satisfied for a longer period of time. 

Here are some surprisingly good reasons to drink your greens each day: 

Nutrient absorption – Even if you are eating fruits and veggies most days, to get the maximum nutritional benefit the cell walls of greens must be fully broken down.  Most of us don’t chew our vegetables until they are almost a liquid.  Blending does the work for you. 

Increased energy –  Since our bodies and organs don’t have to work so hard to digest our food and access nutrients, it helps to conserve our energy.  Often times, fatigue is a symptom of dehydration.  Consuming a glass of greens every day, in addition to drinking water, helps to keep the body hydrated.  Green plants contain chlorophyll, which aids in the delivery of oxygen and energizes the entire body.  Balanced slow-release nutrients provide a steady, more lasting flow of energy.

Detoxing – Raw fruits and vegetables stimulate the bowels, liver and kidneys, all key organs of elimination.  The chlorophyll helps to detoxify the body by binding to heavy metals and toxins so they can be removed.  As toxins are eliminated, a healthier intestinal lining is established.  You may notice that your skin, hair and nails all begin to look healthier. 

Appetite control –  Our bodies crave vitamins and minerals, and including these in our daily diet helps to control the appetite.  Increasing the amount of vegetables and fruit you eat also helps to satisfy the body.  One of the keys to losing or maintaining weight is to add more fiber-filled nutrition for a total of 8 – 10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.  When juicing on a regular basis, you may also find that cravings for sweets and sugar is diminished.  While low in calories, the dietary fiber and increased water content of smoothies correlates positively to increased feelings of satiety. 

Decreased risk of heart disease – According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), consumption of fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables and vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables, appears to have a protective effect against coronary heart disease.  A high-fiber diet also helps to lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. 

Immune system boost – According to researchers at the University of Cambridge, compounds found in green vegetables are the source of a chemical signal that activates a fully functioning immune system.  As more than 80% of our immune cells are found in the gut, including lots of healthy portions of green vegetables daily helps to ensure that these cells perform properly. 

Cancer prevention –  Chock full of antioxidants, the phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables help to neutralize cancer-causing free radicals.  The NIH reports the types of vegetables that most often appear to be protective against cancer are raw vegetables followed by onions, garlic, carrots, green veggies, cruciferous veggies and tomatoes.  Evidence for a protective effect of greater fruit and vegetable consumption is consistent for cancers of the stomach, lung, pancreas, colon and other cancers. 

Health-minded people will want to include fresh, raw greens at the core of their diet and include 10 or more generous servings each day to support overall health. 

Add more greens to your diet the easy way with the following nutritious products:

Power Greens Premium BerryPower Greens Premium Berry by NuMedica contains a full complement of vitamins and minerals plus all the naturally occurring nutrients found in greens and superfoodsThis premium formula is loaded with energizing phytonutrients, certified organic wholefoods and plant extracts, including pure spirulina, chlorella, certified organic goji, plus pre and probiotcs.
Quantum Greens
Quantum Greens by Quantum Nutrition combines power greens and grasses with chlorella and blue green algae for live-source supergreens nutrition.
Deeper Greens PowderDeeper Greens Powder by Ortho Molecular provides antioxidant-rich fruits, cruciferous vegetables and greens to provide a great source of nutrients and dietary fiber with a high ORAC value.  This formula contains organically grown fruits and vegetables whenever possible.  Also available in capsule form. 
Sweet Wheat Capsules
Sweet Wheat Capsules by Brightcore Nutrition contains 100% organic freeze dried wheatgrass juice.  Also available in powder form. 



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