I’ve recently developed a new morning ritual and I’m wondering why I didn’t start it sooner! A green smoothie in the mornings is the perfect way to start your day off with a healthy dose of nutrients. It will leave you feeling energized, refreshed and ready to take on the day!
Each morning I fill my Vitamix with a variety of ingredients that are loaded with health benefits. It changes a bit each week depending on the produce I have on hand (I like to use up anything that is on it’s last days to prevent waste) but the base of dark green veggies and coconut water remains consistent. Play around with the ingredients to find your perfect combination!
GREEN SMOOTHIE INGREDIENTS
// The Base //
Staying hydrated is nutrition 101. Natural coconut water is low in calories, naturally fat and cholesterol free, high in potassium and super hydrating . Be sure to check your labels and avoid using products with any added sugars. Use ice to make a thicker smoothie-like consistency or leave it out if you prefer a veggie juice.
// Leafy Greens //
Load them up! Low in fat, high in dietary fiber, and rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, as well as containing a host of phytochemicals, such as lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene – you can’t go wrong with a variety of leafy greens.
// Veggies //
Most of us don’t get enough veggies throughout the day so blending them up is a great way to get a healthy serving first thing in the morning. Choose from a variety of colourful vegetables to stock up on vitamins and nutrients and reduced your risk of many chronic diseases.
// Fresh Herbs //
Add an enticing aroma, fresh flavour and remarkable health benefits with fresh herbs. Herbs have significant amounts of the essential vitamins A, C and K as well as a wealth of protective polyphenols — plant compounds with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
// Fruit //
Greens on their own tend to be quite bitter so tossing in some fruit adds a natural sweetness. Fruit is as a good source of vitamins and minerals, and plays a role in preventing vitamin C and vitamin A deficiencies. Fruit is also an important source of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, vitamin C and folic acid.
A dash of spice can add a bit of a kick and surprising flavours to your smoothie. Known for their metabolism boosting and anti-inflammatory qualities. Many spices also aid in digestion, provide mood benefits, and some may be good for the heart and regulating blood sugar.
// Nuts & Seeds //
Nuts and seeds benefit your health because they offer key essential nutrients and play a role in disease prevention by keeping you healthy as you age. Add them to your smoothie for a nutty flavour and an added dose of protein and healthy fats.
You really can’t go wrong when you stick to a wide variety of fresh fruits and veggies. Opt for organic and locally grown whenever possible. I personally like to add some extra benefits to my smoothie by mixing in some BCAA’s (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) a natural collagen supplement and glutamine. One full Vitamix makes about 4-6 mason jars full and they will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. The biggest improvements I’ve noticed since starting this ritual are an increase in energy, no mid-afternoon crash, my skin is glowing and fresh and my nails are growing like crazy! Try it out this week and let me know what combination you come up with ?