Green smoothies are blended drinks that contain green vegetables combined with water, ice, sweeteners, and/or fruit.
Vegetable juice fasting and green smoothie diets have exploded in popularity in the past few years. If you are looking for a green smoothie diet plan, we have a few tips for you! You probably already guessed that you want to eat more than just green smoothies. Green smoothies can be suitable for vegetarian, vegan and raw food diets, as long as the ingredients are all suitable to their dietary restrictions.
Green smoothies typically contain a combination of fresh fruit and vegetables and other ingredients that are low in calories and high in fiber to help suppress your appetite. A balanced meal in a smoothie must contain sufficient healthy fats and proteins to stave off unhealthy food cravings and hunger pangs.
But there are a few other factors that you may want to consider when it comes to making your green smoothie diet plan:
Fiber Balances Blood Glucose Levels
Use fresh, raw fruits and vegetables in your green smoothie for a heavy dose of fiber. Dietary fiber helps to balance your blood glucose levels and prevents you from feeling hungry, shortly after eating. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends getting at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day. Fruit such as apples and blueberries provides soluble fiber, while cucumbers and tomatoes give you insoluble fiber. Where possible, keep the skin on fruit and vegetables for an added punch of fiber.
Ingredients for Weight Loss
When you make a smoothie of primarily vegetables and fruits and use it to replace higher calorie foods in your diet, you work toward gradual weight loss. Eating more fruits and vegetables is linked with preventing obesity and overweight. Fruits and vegetables tend to have low calorie counts and high fiber counts, which makes them ideal for weight loss. Dietary fiber intake is inversely associated with body fat content and body weight.
Protein Helps Reduce Hunger
A green smoothie that is a full meal must contain protein to help you feel full and provide your body with the macronutrients it needs. Protein-rich foods give your body the raw materials it needs to build, grow and heal. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests adding ingredients such as soy milk and low-fat yogurt to ensure your green smoothie has plenty of protein.
Making Your Own
One simple way to reduce calories with green smoothies is by using one to replace a daily meal. A drink with a lot of veggies may have a bitter taste if you’re not accustomed to it, so start by adding just a small handful of spinach or other greens to a fruit smoothie, and increase the amount as you acquire the taste for more greens. You aim for a ratio of about 60 percent greens and 40 percent fruits. In a powerful blender or food processor, combine your greens, fruits, water or crushed ice. Blend and serve immediately.