At some point or another, almost everyone has heard that eating 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables is good for us.  If you haven’t heard, fruits and vegetables are our best protection against certain cancers, heart disease, cholesterol, and weight gain.  Not only providing our bodies with important vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables contain incredible amounts of phytonutrients, antioxidents and other compounds that are essential to our bodies for repair, restoration and maintenance of healthy cells, bones, tissues, and skin.

 

Most of us don’t manage to eat the recommended number of fruit and vegetable servings over the long term, however.  We continue to eat our Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) - high in sugars, salt, bad fat, refined grains and excess animal protein, and wait for the day when we’re forced to change course.  If there was one great prescription pill, however, that came with the promise of lowering our risk of cancer and heart disease, reducing our cholesterol levels, improving our skin and extending our life, we would want that pill immediately. (Of course many pills to treat many conditions do exist - but they come with a hefty dose of side effects and don’t change our habits for us.)

 

So I’m offering a pill in a blender by way of a green smoothie.  Guaranteed to give you 4 or 5 of your 9 servings of fruits and vegetables for the day, it’s quick to make in the morning, and easily transported to drink in the car or at work.  The nutritional benefits are huge - packed with Vitamins A, E, and C, plus fiber, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and loaded with antioxidents such as anthocyanins, zeaxanthin and lutein.

 

I met a woman in one of my raw foods classes who told a story about going through an extended period of grief following the end of life care, and finally death, of her elderly mother.  She couldn’t eat, and her health was diminished.  Her husband started blending a green smoothie for her every day to provide some nourishment and calories. Today she credits the smoothies with helping her to survive through that difficult period – as well as radically recucing her cholesterol levels.  She went to the doctor during this time, and he found that her normally high cholesterol levels had plummeted without any explanation - or drugs – in spite of the high stress she had been under.  The only major change to her lifestyle was her diet - taking in the bulk of her calories through the green smoothie.

 

I realize that I’m not going to win a crowd of believers from this next claim until you try it - the smoothie tastes great as well.  Blending a handful of organic dark leafy greens (loaded with Vitamin A, C and antioxident rich phytonutrients) with a half of an organic banana (for potassium, sweet flavor and smooth texture) or avocado (for creamy texture, Vitamins A and E), plus frozen organic blueberries (the most affordable way to eat organic blueberries, topping the charts with antioxidents and Vitamin C), pineapple if you like (blending the core is where you find the enzyme bromelain, which helps to reduce joint pain and inflammation), almond milk or almond butter (for antioxident Vitamin E, protein, magnesium, zinc and calcium) with maple syrup (for sweetness, plus manganese and zinc) makes for a smooth, slightly sweet and satisfying morning meal in a glass. 

 

So there you have it - a springtime green nutritional booster, and a painless way to put a dent in the daily 5 to 9.

 

Green Smoothie

 

2 organic collard leaves, center ribs removed

1/2 cup cut up organic pineapple - with core!

1 tablespoon freshly ground flax seeds

1/2 avocado, pit and peel removed

1 date, pit removed

1 teaspoon real maple syrup

1 1/2 cups filtered water   

 

2 organic kale leaves, center ribs removed

1/2 organic banana

handful frozen organic blueberries

1 tablespoon freshly ground flax seeds

1-2 dates, pits removed

1 teaspoon real maple syrup

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 1/2 cups filtered water 

 

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