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Turn Over a New Leaf This Year!

 

Everyone knows that eating greens is good for you. Whenever Popeye the Sailor Man faces losing Olive Oyl or Swee’Pea he downs a can of spinach to give him the energy to save the day, and the Jolly Green Giant seems to walk over hills for hours singing in that lovely leafy dress powered by frozen peas and green beans. But chowing down on greens hasn’t always had so much support, especially back when First Lady Michelle Obama had to step in with her ‘Let’s Move’ campaign to convince Jay Leno to eat his greens after his claim on The Tonight Show that he hadn’t eaten a vegetable since 1969.

Whether you are in Jay Leno’s camp or love nothing better than to sit down to a plate of mixed vegetables, a trend has emerged that has seriously jazzed up greens consumption – the Green Smoothies!

Smoothie drinkers the world over will know that this year darling, if you’re drinking a smoothie; it simply HAS to be green. Green smoothies are all the rage and there are some fantastic recipes out there.

Why are they so good?

Leafy greens are packed with antioxidants, vitamins (A, C, B2, B6 and K notably), magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium and potassium. They are inexpensive and readily available. By blending vegetables like spinach and avocado up the foods are broken down to a cellular level so the nutrients can be absorbed even more efficiently than when you’re chewing them.

What do I need to watch out for?

Foods like spinach are very high in fiber. There are two types of fiber; insoluble fiber (found in things like nuts, seeds, grains and the skin of some fruit and vegetables) and soluble fiber (found in things like oats, legumes, apples, bananas, berries etc). As the name would suggest, insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve which is why if you make a smoothie with spinach and water it will just separate, the spinach will rise to the top, go brown and oxidize. So, when making a green smoothie always blend your vegetables containing insoluble fiber with fruits/pulses containing soluble fibers. That way you get a delicious creamy smoothie that doesn’t separate.