Including the healthiest vegetables in your green smoothie is a perfect way to increase your intake of vitamins and minerals. The list of green vegetables (although you should try not only green vegetables, but all different colors of vegetables), should give you an idea of what health benefits can you expect from each vegetable.
We basically understand now that we need to have a larger amount of vegetables vs. fruits (LINK) in our healthy smoothies. Avoiding extra sugar is very important, so while limiting the use of fruits is a great idea, we still need to know which and why we will add each green vegetable to our smoothie.
We discussed the incredible health properties of kale earlier (health benefits of green smoothies). The following green fruits and veggies also have the ability to deliver certain physical and mental benefits.
Listed alongside each piece of produce are a few of the known health advantages of eating that particular food. Simply pick and choose from the list below to see positive change in many areas of your life.
For example, start making green smoothies with Swiss chard to lower a high blood sugar level. Spinach in your smoothies leads to healthy, glowing skin and naturally high levels of energy. Bok choy promotes bone strength and heart health.
Green smoothie drinkers report the most all-around health improvements by continually changing the types of green veggies and fruits they blend, including mixing up different colors of the same vegetable (for example: carrots, and beets)
Healthy Benefits of Green Vegetables
1. Swiss chard
As just mentioned, Swiss chard is great for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. It is full of vitamins A, C and K, as well as magnesium, potassium, iron and manganese. Aside from helping you manage your blood sugar, Swiss chard promotes overall heart and cardiovascular health, improves bone density and helps your lungs work properly.
2. Bok choy
As we said above, bok choy promotes bone strength and heart health. It is full of vitamins A, C and K, and folate and calcium. This means that while it is good for your heart, bok choy also helps your bones grow strong.
If you are familiar with the cartoon character Popeye, you will know that spinach can make you strong. That is because one single leaf of spinach delivers more than 20 different nutrients! We said earlier that spinach is good for creating strong, healthy, young looking skin and high energy levels.
Spinach also naturally fights cancer, improves your vision, boosts heart health and your immune system, acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and helps lower high blood pressure.
4. Beet Greens
When you buy beets, make sure they have their greens attached. Don’t just eat the beet root. The long, leafy stocks that grow above ground and which form the greens part of the beet support healthy blood, skin, vision and bones. This is partly because of the vitamins A, C and K beet greens contain, as well as essential minerals copper, calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese.
5. Romaine Lettuce
Romaine lettuce is easier on the taste buds than kale and Swiss chard. Although it doesn’t look as deep green as some other greens, it is full of large amounts of calcium, magnesium and manganese, as well as vitamins A and K, and the B complex vitamins. You will also find copper, phosphorous, potassium and zinc in romaine lettuce. From your heart to your skin, your circulation to your digestion, romaine lettuce provides plenty of health benefits.
Rich in cancer fighting antioxidants, vitamins A, C, K and the B complex, and chlorophyll, arugula gives your immune system a boost. It also helps your brain function properly and strengthens your bones.
7. Carrot Tops
Don’t throw away the greens that are attached to the top of your carrots. Rich in magnesium and chlorophyll, calcium and potassium as well as vitamin K, carrot greens keep your muscles and bones healthy.
8. Collard Greens
Related to kale, broccoli and cabbage, collard greens are what is known as a cruciferous vegetable. They are excellent for cleaning out your system and promoting good digestion, which helps you regulate a healthy body weight. The vitamins A, C and K found in many healthy green fruits and vegetables are present here, as well as other vitamins, essential minerals and antioxidants.
9. Dandelion Greens
Did you know that every part of the dandelion plant, from its roots to its flower, is edible? Dandelion greens are more bitter than even kale, so a little bit goes a long way for flavor. These greens are one of the best sources of calcium and iron in the green plant kingdom.
They detox and cleanse your liver, have excellent anti-inflammatory properties and promote lung, heart and vision health. These super greens also make a complete protein, are full of calcium and iron, as well as vitamins A and C.
Parsley also kills free radicals that do damage throughout your body, protecting you against conditions like colon cancer, diabetes and asthma.
What’s that you say, you never would have thought about making a smoothie with broccoli? Start adding broccoli to your green smoothies tomorrow, because this cruciferous vegetable is considered a true superfood. It prevents and treats diabetes symptoms, protects against multiple cancers, has high levels of vitamins C and K, and like most of the greens on this list, helps promote healthy digestion while regulating your body weight.
This green is technically a fruit and not a vegetable. Like broccoli, it is regarded as a superfood in nutrition circles. Avocados are full of essential fats that your body needs to promote healthy functioning throughout, and deliver anywhere from 20% to 42% of 9 minerals, nutrients and vitamins your body craves in just a 1 cup serving.
They are loaded with dietary fiber to keep your digestive tract working properly, have more potassium than bananas, can lower high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and they strengthen your heart. Also, called an alligator pear, the humble avocado reduces blood pressure and protects against heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. Avocado fights inflammation and cancer, metabolic syndrome and belly fat, and the unique fat in avocados helps your body absorb more nutrients from other plant foods that you eat.
Very low in carbs but high in nutrition, the minerals and nutrients in a cucumber protect against inflammation throughout your body. They lower your risk of developing cancer and protect your brain health. Cucumbers are 90% to 95% water, so they help hydrate and cool your body.
Approximately 2/3 of the fiber in celery is not digestible. This means celery can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight while keeping your digestive system healthy. Celery has been linked to cancer prevention and has high levels of vitamin K, and also fights inflammation.
Celery is rich in antioxidants and enzymes that your body craves, in addition to vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin B6. Celery is heart healthy, and has antioxidants and phytonutrients that promote a healthy liver, skin, eyes and cognitive abilities.
If you are having a hard time increasing your vegetable intake each day, juicing with one or more of these healthiest vegetables could be your best option to feed your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to run effectively.