Spring is a great time to add green smoothies to your daily yogic diet to give you extra energy as well as to help keep the body light and flexible.
Greens have more valuable nutrients than any other food group on the planet. You might be surprised to learn that greens even have high-quality, easily-assimilated amino acids – enough to build the protein that supports the muscle mass of the mighty, greens-eating gorilla, pound-for-pound the strongest animal on earth.
Here are 10 reasons to drink your greens:
1. 100% alkaline: Greens are the highest alkaline-forming foods which help prevent inflammation and ward off cancer and lifestyle diseases.
2. Very easy to digest: For many, eating raw food can be challenging for the digestive system.
3. Highly nutritious: The greens are full of vitamins A, K, D, and E, which are all fat-soluble. Vitamin K helps calcium and phosphorus bind onto the bone protein matrix.
4. Eating more live foods: you consume more fresh fruit and greens per glassful than you could ever eat in a salad or vegetable dish.
5. Filled with lots of fiber, which we know we need for elimination. Freshly made vegetable juice is easy to digest and good for health but lacks fiber.
6. You will get more of the nutrients in a well-blended green smoothie. Most of the cells in the greens and fruits are broken down; they actually begin to be digested in your mouth.
7. Simple and quick to make and they actually taste good because they have lots of sweet fruit in them.
8. Greens help widen our blood vessels, helping the blood flow, inhibiting the development of blockages, and destroying inflammation because they are full of a gas called nitric oxide.
9. Greens are full of chlorophyll, which purifies the blood, prevents tooth decay, aids in proper digestion, helps detoxify the liver, keeps the thyroid gland in balance, cleanses internal organs, enhances capillary function, supports hormones, decontaminates inorganic chemicals, and builds up red blood cell counts.
10. Improved health: Many notice the need to sleep less, as well as better elimination and stronger nails and teeth.
There are any number of green smoothie variations out there, but a few things remain constant. First, choose a base of either water, juice, almond, hemp or coconut milk or water. Then add in handfuls of your green of choice (kale or spinach is best; Swiss chard can be a bit too bitter) and some fruit. Higher sugar-content fruits like pineapple, mango, or apples will make the drink sweeter. If you don’t mind a “greener” taste, stick to lower-sugar fruits like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. From there add in any extras like raw cacao powder, maca powder, goji berries, spirulina powder, ground flax seed powder and/or chia seeds – to make a super green smoothie.
So go ahead – BLEND up your greens and empower yourself physically, as you continue to reap the benefits of classical yoga!
-By Sita Miriam Zernis – Sivananda Yoga Teacher, Certified Holistic Health Counselor & Health and Wellness Writer.
For information about the 2 week Juice Fasting and Detoxification Programme offered at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Camp, click here.