The Green Drink: Not Your Average Breakfast Shake
|By Petra Trudell, Managing Editor on Friday, April 6, 2012|
|The best way to start your day may be in a glass. Find out more about these sippable veggie concoctions. ||
Eat your vegetables. Eat your vegetables. It's the one piece of advice we have gotten all of our lives and for some reason, don't want to stick to, despite how important it is. So what if eating plate after plate of green stuff just doesn't appeal to you? Is there a way to speed it up?
Green drinks give you all the benefits of the top greenies without the hours of cooking and chewing. Gulping your greens may be the fastest way to a healthier you.
Rosie's Green Sip
On the April 6 episode of "Dr. Oz," guest Rosie O'Donnell declared her love for a green drink she enjoyed every morning. As part of her new diet and exercise plan, she credited the drink with helping her shed 15 pounds. Friends and family have also commented on her more radiant complexion. By starting off the day with something healthy, she sets herself up for success and Dr. Mehmet Oz recommended replacing your typical breakfast with this magical green slurry.
What is a green drink?
If you are wondering what ingredients make a drink "green," here is the best way to visualize it: Picture the entire produce section of your grocery store -- yes, all of it. Now, imagine stuffing all of those goodies into a massive blender, and there you have it, a green drink. These drinks contain the best of the best, the green superfoods you always read about, and you get them all in one chlorophyll-packed glass.
Green superfoods are rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients that can help you enjoy a more healthy, balanced diet. Popular green superfoods include asparagus, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, alfalfa and spinach. Other great greens include wheat grass, blue-green algae and aloe vera gel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are some of the ingredients that make these foods so super:
Consuming fiber regularly promotes digestive health and helps the body rid itself of toxins. Fiber, found in artichokes, can also prevent coronary artery disease. Not to mention, fiber keeps you full if you are watching your weight, making veggie drinks a great choice at the start of the day to prevent snacking before lunch.
Doctors recommend women especially consume a diet rich in folate if they are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Folate, found in spinach and asparagus, can reduce the risk of brain and spinal cord birth defects.
High blood pressure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and consuming foods rich in potassium, like beet greens, can help lower high blood pressure.
Look out for your eyes, especially night vision, by taking vitamin A. This vitamin is also known to help improve skin conditions, like acne, for a more radiant complexion. Greens like kale, collard and turnip (the tops) are packed with vitamin A.
We all know about vitamin C, and the story remains the same, but orange juice isn't the only place to get it. Brussels sprouts and peppers have high amounts of vitamin C to promote wound healing and dental health. Plus, vitamin C is a known immunity booster.
What else is in there?
Green drinks also take advantage of fruits and other brightly colored veggies for a well-balanced mix. Look for tomatoes or tomato paste, berries like acai and and cranberry and root vegetables like carrots and beets. Finding a blend with fruit means more sweetness and the acidity can cut the harsher tastes of the greens. The more ingredients the better -- just make sure that long list is full of foods you recognize and low in sugar and calories to get the most out of it.
Enjoying a Green Drink
Green drink mixes make getting your veggies easy. They do all the measuring and mixing for you so all you have to do is add liquid and enjoy. Most mixes allow you to combine with juice or water, which can improve the taste and add some extra power to a shake or smoothie.
Now, if you want more control over the amounts of ingredients in your drink, you can make your own in a blender. Just buy the real thing (and lots of it) from your favorite grocery store or farmers' market and get blending. Mix until you get a smooth liquid (adding water) that is tolerable in taste and texture.
No matter which you choose, temperature can take this liquid meal from unbearable to delicious. For best results, try to make it cold.
So next time someone gives you that look and says "eat your vegetables," tell them to shove it in their blender and drink up.
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