Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Start Your Day Right with a Vitamin-Packed Green Smoothie

Health + Wellness
Design by Lauren Park

By Natalie Butler, RD, LD

Green smoothies are one of the best nutrient-dense drinks around — especially for those with a busy, on-the-go lifestyle.


It's not always easy to get the daily 2 1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables that the American Cancer Society recommends to prevent cancer and disease. Thanks to blenders, you can boost your fruit and veggie intake by drinking them in a smoothie. Unlike juices, smoothies contain all that good fiber.

Smoothies that contain greens like spinach (or other vegetables) in addition to fruits are the best choice, as they tend to be lower in sugar and higher in fiber — while still tasting sweet.

Spinach Benefits

  • provides a generous amount of fiber, folate, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K
  • high in antioxidants proven to prevent oxidative damage
  • promotes overall eye health and protects eyes from damaging UV light

Spinach is one of the most nutritionally-dense vegetables out there. It's low in calories, but high in fiber, folate, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K.

It's also rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants and plant compounds. It's a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that protect the eyes from damaging UV light and promote overall eye health.

Try it: Blend spinach with other delicious fruits and vegetables to make a green smoothie that's full of fiber, healthy fats, vitamin A, and iron at only 230 calories. Avocado makes this smoothie creamy while adding a healthy dose of fat and more potassium than a banana. Bananas and pineapple naturally sweeten the greens, while coconut water provides hydration and even more antioxidants.

Recipe for Green Smoothie

Serves: 1

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping cup fresh spinach
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 banana, frozen
  • 1/4 avocado

Directions

  1. Blend the spinach and coconut water together in a high-speed blender.
  2. When combined, blend in the frozen pineapple, frozen banana, and avocado until smooth and creamy.

Dosage: Consume 1 cup of raw spinach (or 1/2 cup cooked) per day and start to feel the effects within four weeks.

Possible Side Effects of Spinach

Spinach doesn't come with serious side effects, but it can reduce blood sugar levels which may be a problem if you're taking medications for diabetes. Spinach may also be risky for people with kidney stones.

Always check with your doctor before adding anything to your everyday routine to determine what's best for you and your individual health. While spinach is generally safe to consume, eating too much in a day could be harmful.

Tiffany La Forge is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer who runs the blog Parsnips and Pastries. Her blog focuses on real food for a balanced life, seasonal recipes, and approachable health advice. When she's not in the kitchen, Tiffany enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling, organic gardening, and hanging out with her corgi, Cocoa. Visit her at her blog or on Instagram.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Heavy industry on the lower Mississippi helps to create dead zones. AJ Wallace on Unsplash.

Cutting out coal-burning and other sources of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from heavy industry, electricity production and traffic will reduce the size of the world's dead zones along coasts where all fish life is vanishing because of a lack of oxygen.

Read More Show Less

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has restricted the ability to gather in peaceful assembly, a Canadian company has moved forward with construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A gas flare from the Shell Chemical LP petroleum refinery illuminates the sky on August 21, 2019 in Norco, Louisiana. Drew Angerer / Getty Images.

Methane levels in the atmosphere experienced a dramatic rise in 2019, preliminary data released Sunday shows.

Read More Show Less
A retired West Virginia miner suffering from black lung visits a doctor for tests. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

In some states like West Virginia, coal mines have been classified as essential services and are staying open during the COVID-19 pandemic, even though the close quarters miners work in and the known risks to respiratory health put miners in harm's way during the spread of the coronavirus.

Read More Show Less
Solar panel installations and a wind turbine at the Phu Lac wind farm in southern Vietnam's Binh Thuan province on April 23, 2019. MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP via Getty Images

Renewable energy made up almost three quarters of all new energy capacity added in 2019, data released Monday by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows.

Read More Show Less