The secret to shake success is the ingredients you choose. Start with a healthy protein powder to give your smoothie staying power. Mix in a variety of fruits to provide flavor and fiber (also good for keeping you full!). To give your shake extra nutritional “oomph,” add a handful of leafy greens. They’re among the healthiest foods on the planet, and combining them with fruit keeps your shake from giving you a sugar high. Your options extend far beyond spinach or kale (although those are both great options)! Different greens offer different nutritional benefits, meaning it’s a good idea to rotate them to get the most out of your green smoothies. Here are a few of our favorite greens for your shake recipe:
Kale: A popular super food, kale is a versatile addition to your shake. A great source of plant-based calcium, kale has iron, potassium, photochemicals, and lutein.
Spinach: Mild in flavor, packed with nutrients, spinach is an all-star. It’s been well-documented to fight cancer, lower blood pressure, improve vision, and reduce inflammation.
Romaine Lettuce: You’re used to chopping it up for a salad, but Romaine has such a mild flavor it’s ideal for adding to shakes. One cup of chopped Romaine supplies 66% of your vitamin A, 22% of your vitamin D, and 2% of your calcium!
Arugula: Similar to kale, this smaller green has a slightly spicier taste, but it’s easily masked by other fruit ingredients in your shake. It has high quantities of iron, and vitamins C, A, and K.
Cabbage: This mild green for your shake has a subtly sweet flavor that blends well with fruit. On top of that, it’s inexpensive and widely available.
Collard Greens: You’re probably more familiar with this green being served steamed, but you can add them raw to your shakes. They’re high in fiber, helping you digest better, and like other cruciferous veggies, are great for fighting cancer.
Chard: Swiss or Rainbow any kind of chard is powerful at regulating your blood sugar making it a great green for your shake if you’re dealing with diabetes. You’ll get a healthy dose of iron, magnesium, potassium, and beta-carotene. This green boosts your immune system and cardiovascular health.
Bok Choy: Familiar in Asian cuisine, this cruciferous green is particularly low in calories. It has an impressive amount of vitamins A, B6, C, and E.
Beet Greens: Most of the time when people buy whole beets, the tops get chopped off and thrown away while the root is cooked and eaten. The greens are actually highly nutritious, most notably containing tryptophan, which helps regulate your sleep cycles.
Carrot Tops: Similar to beet greens, carrot greens are often overlooked. However, they’re full of nutrients including chlorophyll, which fights against tumor growth.
Dandelion Greens: While this bitter green might require getting used to by itself, adding it to a smoothie where it’s flavor is neutralized is a wonderful way to take advantage of the nutrition it offers. Just one serving a dandelion greens gives you as much calcium as a glass of milk! Additionally, dandelion greens are great cleansers for your liver and kidneys.
Celery: It has a strong flavor, so blend with caution, but the phytonutrients in celery are powerful antioxidants that protect your body from diseases at the cellular level.
Cilantro: Zesty and used in many international cuisines, cilantro is a natural way to lower blood sugar and cholesterol. Its flavor makes a unique contribution to tropical shakes!
Parsley: This green is way more than an afterthought sprinkled on top of dishes! It’s full of folate, beta-carotene, iron, and calcium. The taste is peppery, and should be blended with flavorful fruits to mask the bitterness. Italian parsley is milder than its curly-leaf cousin. Shakes are arguably one of the easiest, best ways to replace a meal. They come together quickly, and all you have to do is add a few key ingredients to make them nutritionally well-rounded. For busy people on-the-go, a breakfast smoothie is one of the best strategies to avoid missing the most important meal of the day. For dieters working to lose weight, meal replacement shakes become an excellent way to manage nutrition and calories. The recipe options for a healthy meal replacement shake are endless: as long as you have a healthy protein powder, liquid of choice, and fruits and greens for your shake, the sky’s the limit!
http://www.incrediblesmoothies.com/green-smoothies/beyond-spinach-tasty-greens-for-your-green-smoothie http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-drinks/10-super-greens-add-smoothies-and-juices http://simplegreensmoothies.com/rotate-your-greens