A smoothie can be a great meal substitute, as it’s delicious, easy-to-make and healthy. Blending together various organic ingredients such as vegetables, seeds and dairy to make a beverage can provide you with various nutrients without the hassle of cooking.
However, that doesn’t mean you can just throw whatever ingredients you have into your blender and call it a smoothie. A smoothie requires careful research and experimentation to get the flavor and nutrients just right.
This recipe was submitted by James McLoughlin, co-founder of the Green Press in Australia. It uses kale and spinach as the base, giving the smoothie its distinctive green color.
Other ingredients such as dates and pumpkin seeds add flavor, as well as their unique nutrients. All in all, this smoothie is one great way to chomp down on nutrients, especially if you’re pressed for time.
- 1 cup of organic kale
- 1 cup of organic spinach
- 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds
- 3 dates
- 1/2 cup of ice
- 1 1/2 cups of organic coconut milk
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend to desired consistency.
Kale Is a Superfood You May Not Have Heard About
Kale is a dark, leafy vegetable related to the cabbage that has been dubbed as a superfood due to its nutritional density. There are many reasons why you should add kale to your diet. First, it has all the essential amino acids and nine non-essential acids for protein, totaling to 2 grams of protein per cup. Compared to meats, the protein in kale is easier to digest, which means that less energy is spent breaking down the food.
You’ll be happy to know that kale also contains generous amounts of omega-3, which can provide optimal health throughout your body. Along with this, it contains twice the daily recommended value of carotenoids, which are vitamins that can help provide healthy eyesight.
Spinach Adds Various Nutrients and Antioxidants Into the Smoothie
We all know that Popeye eats spinach to make him stronger, but is this true when it comes to real life? Just like kale, spinach is also a leafy green vegetable. It’s packed with vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as minerals such as magnesium, potassium, copper and manganese. It practically has everything you need to make your body grow big and strong, just like Popeye.
Spinach contains specific flavonoids (antioxidants) that can help keep cholesterol from oxidizing in your body, especially in the colon. It also contains folate, a nutrient that can help maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Studies have shown that spinach can help maintain a healthy brain and boost your memory and mental clarity.
Pumpkin Seeds Provide Health Benefits Without Affecting the Flavor
Blending seeds in a smoothie is a great way to add various health benefits without affecting the taste, and one of the best seeds you can use is pumpkin seeds. Just a quarter cup of pumpkin seeds can already provide half of the daily recommended value of magnesium. This mineral can help maintain healthy heart function, proper bone and tooth formation and regular bowel function.
In addition, pumpkin seeds have zinc, which provides a wealth of benefits, such as cell growth, insulin regulation and improved immune system function. Adding pumpkin seeds to your diet (or other zinc-rich foods) can help you ward off illnesses such as the common cold, flu, fatigue, depression and acne.
Coconut Milk Offers Essential Healthy Fats
By now, you may have heard about the various benefits that come with eating or drinking coconut products. Similar to kale, coconut is a superfood because it contains various fatty acids that are known to provide various health benefits.
Thanks to its saturated fat content, coconut has been found to have a positive effect on your cardiovascular health. Consuming it regularly may increase your HDL (good) cholesterol levels, which can help lower your risk of heart disease.
Coconut can be ideal for weight loss, too. It contains medium-chain triglycerides that help curb your appetite by making you feel full for longer periods of time. This helps reduce the amount of food you eat, allowing you to burn off the excess pounds easier, especially when this method is combined with proper exercise.
Lastly, coconut contains lauric acid. This acid contains antimicrobial properties that can help protect you from common bacterial and viral infections. Lauric acid can eliminate bacterial strains such as Staphylococcus aureus and yeast such as Candida albicans.
About the Author
James McLaughlin is the co-founder of the health and wellness website Green Press. Originally from Alice Springs, Australia, he obtained his nutritional education while living in New York for three years before moving to Melbourne. McLaughlin’s love for healthy food, along with his desire to be an entrepreneur, drove him to start his dream eatery, together with his nutritional educator and partner, Lindsay.
Tags: Fruits and Vegetables