Green Smoothies: Are They Good for You?
Green smoothies are nutrient-rich blends of fruits and vegetables. They’ve become a popular way for people to meet their recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals. Unlike juices, green smoothies retain the beneficial fiber content from whole foods.
At their most basic, green smoothies combine leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula, and microgreens with a base liquid like water. While these greens alone can make for a bitter-tasting smoothie, there are tons of combinations that improve its flavor profile and add nutritional content.
But added ingredients can also increase a smoothie’s calorie count by increasing its sugar and fat content. Leafy greens are naturally low in these nutrients, so make sure to be mindful when adding ingredients to ensure a balanced smoothie.
Based on your preferences, healthy additions to a green smoothie can include:
- Fruits like apple, mango, banana, avocado, or pineapple
- Other vegetables like carrot, beetroot, cucumber, or cauliflower
- Nuts and seeds like almond or peanut butter, hemp or chia seeds, and flax meal
- Herbs and spices like ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, or cocoa powder
- Natural sweeteners like honey, dates, or stevia
- Creamy additions like yogurt, dairy or non-dairy milk, or silken tofu
Smoothies are also an easy way to take supplements like protein powder, spirulina, or other powdered vitamins and minerals just by adding a serving into the blender.
The nutritional content of your green smoothie will vary based on what you include.
As a baseline, an eight-ounce serving with a half-cup each of spinach, kale, apple, and banana contains:
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 30 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Sugar: 15 grams
This combination is a good source of:
Green smoothies are also a great source of B vitamins. The B vitamins found in leafy greens, like folate, vitamin B6, and niacin, help your body release energy from food and can promote a healthy nervous system.
Potential Health Benefits of Green Smoothies
Green smoothies are a great way to incorporate leafy greens into your diet. These greens are a rich source of vitamins and minerals and are most nutritious when consumed raw like in a smoothie.