How Green Smoothies Boost Your Health
Put your jars filled with post-workout recovery powders aside for a moment.
Green smoothies might become the/a healthier and better alternative to those sports drinks and make a real difference to your recovery and performance.
Explore out how you can double up your vitamin and mineral intake in no time by blending together some of your favorite organic greens and fruits.
The following nutritional recipes include green smoothies that are real immune-system boosters helping you through more intense weeks of running and generally in daily life. No doubt that these tasty shakes also speed your recovery.
Green smoothies also serve perfectly as a mid-afternoon snack leaving you feeling light and energetic.
First, let´s take a glance at the facts about green leafy vegetables.
- Contain more Vitamin B12 than cow´s milk and any other dairy milk
- Have a higher Vitamin E content than whole grain wheat
- Contain more Vitamin C than oranges
- Have more beta-carotene than carrots
- Have a complete amino-acid profile found in proteins
- Are filled with essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants and enzymes
- Are the best source of the main alkaline minerals such as magnesium, calcium and iron
- Consist of chlorophyll, a plant molecule similar to that found in human blood (hemoglobin) giving your body a blood transfusion and carrying lots of oxygen
Curious about the benefits when consuming smoothies on a regular basis?
- Experience a huge boost in your physical and mental powers
- Your heart becomes and remains healthier
- Strenghten your body´s natural ability to fight against cancer because it releases agents that can shrink abnormal cells
- Get through cold winter months stemming off bacterial and viral infections, colds, chronic fatigue and even asthma
- After your training run or additional workout nutrient-packed liquids are absorbed quicker and better by the body helping to repair muscle fibres and speed recovery
- Preparing your nutrient-dense shake and cleaning up takes no more than five minutes
- Preparing your green smoothie in the evening and refrigerating overnight is a real timesaver
- All you need is a blender; Vitamix and Kitchen Aid are good brands but cheaper brands are fine, too.
- When travelling smaller-sized and much lighter handheld puree mixers are very handy; additionally pack a tall plastic container
The following leafy greens are ideal in smoothies:
BOSTON LETTUCE, SPINACH, ROMAINE LETTUCE, KALE, CHARD, CELERY
Parsley gives most green smoothies that extra flavor whereas mint adds a refreshing taste to green drinks during summertime.
But how many greens do I need to add to my green smoothies?
Simply, go with your feeling and how hungry you are. Mix and match the ingredients you´re really craving for.
That´s where the recipes are a guideline giving you an idea for ideal fruit and green vegetable combinations.
Start creating your own, very special recipes and experiment.
Sometimes you might prefer bananas in your green smoothie and on other days, a juicy ripe mango takes your fancy.
For extra sweetness add some dates and/or honey or if you prefer a more bitter taste, blend in celery stalks (known for their high electrolyte content) and variations of lettuce.
Make your choice and just put all the ingredients in a blender, mixing everything for about 30 seconds.
For a more pudding-alike consistency a splash of water is enough. Add more water if you`re sipping your green smoothie out of a bottle at your desk and enjoy the delicious flavours.
Ever tried coconut water? A definite must-have in every ultrarunner´s cupboard.
Young coconut water is packed with electrolytes and replenishes lost minerals after and during more intense runs.
Coconut water comes in convenient 500 ml packs and is very recommendable during long ultramarathon races, too. Simply add 1/2-1 cup to your smoothie or mix with water as a superb sports drink.
Now, take a look at these tasty, invigorating green smoothies and check out the following recipes.
And take a look at this amazing collection of simple recipes.
The best thing is that all meals can be prepared in just five minutes.
2-3 bananas (fresh or frozen)
1 cup raspberries or blueberries
2-3 handfuls lettuce or kale
1-2 celery stalks (optionally)
big handful of lettuce or kale
2-3 cups spinach or kale
1-2 TBS carob powder
fresh or dried mint
1-2 dates or splash of honey/agave nectar
2-3 apples, jonathan or gala
big handful of lettuce or kale
3-4 celery stalks
big handful of lettuce or kale
big handful of spinach
bananas and/or avocado with lime juice
Note: By adding 30% more of the ingredients to any of the above green smoothies they serve as a full meal!
What´s a good balance of fruits and greens?
No special rule applies here.
It depends how 'fruity' or more 'earthy' you like your green smoothie.
I found the range 40/60 to 60/40 of fruits to greens the appropriate measure. Obsessing over exact amounts is not neccessary.
Substitute any of the fruits in the green smoothie recipes with the ones you have at hand. The stress of having to buy that one specific ingredient is not worth worrying about.
And why should I combine leafy greens and fruits?
Many people find that they can only eat small amounts of greens at a time.
By blending your greens the minerals from the greens and vitamins from the fruits are ripped and pre-digested. In addition to that, the fruits take away the bitterness of the greens.
Simply, there isn´t a more convenient way of fueling your mineral and vitamin metabolism.
Ultimately, the benefits of drinking green smoothies and easy way of preparing show how simple it can be to boost your well-being and health as an ultrarunner.
Often, we think too hard trying to figure out what is good or best for us as athletes. In reality, being dependent on just science foods should be an exception.
Think beyond just convenience and leave those powders in the shelves for a while and simplify your nutrition by adding green smoothies to your routine.
Go green, become clean!
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