Green drinks are creating a lot of buzz in healthy eating circles. They’re fresh tasting, easy to make, and jam-packed with nutrition. It’s an easy way to work in some of those pesky 5 serving of fruits and vegetables we should get every day – and let’s face it, most of us don’t.
What’s in a green drink?
In a word, vegetables and fruits, and lots of them. There are plenty of books and expensive powders on the market, but why not go with fresh ingredients? You’ll be most successful if you start with a basic recipe and adjust it until you’ve got a personal combination that you love.
Here’s a green drink recipe that was featured on the Dr. Oz show to help you get started:
Dr. Oz Green Drink Recipe
2 apples, cored.
2 big handfuls of spinach.
1/2 cup of chopped parsley.
1 celery stick, chopped.
1 thumbnail length of ginger root, peeled.
1 lemon – juice only (use peel slice for zest).
1 medium cucumber.
Place ingredients in a blender, add 4 oz. spring water or a handful of ice cubes, then puree quickly for about a minute. Makes two servings.
You can also add in unsweetened fruit juice, a banana, berries of any kind, grated beets, green tea…the list is endless, and each combination carries its own unique blend of nutrients. You can personalize the drink to deliver exactly what you need to make you feel fantastic.
Yuck, spinach? Why would anybody want to drink that?
Admittedly, the drink has a strong taste quite unlike the sugary drinks we’ve all gotten used to. Drinking vegetables may take some getting used to. But there are so many benefits that it’s undeniably worth it. Here are potential ingredients and why you need them:
ñ Apples are high in fiber and vitamin C, and reasonably low in sugar considering the amount of flavor they deliver. In addition, the type of sugar in apples, like most fruits, metabolizes slowly in your body to prevent blood sugar spikes and keep you feeling full.
ñ Spinach has a mild flavor that blends well in combination with other ingredients (nutrition that’s easy to hide). This dark, leafy green is loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, and delivers about 5% of the iron you need every day, plus a little calcium and a gram of fiber.
ñ Parsley is a familiar herb often used as a garnish, but it’s also a green with a punch – it’s loaded with vitamin C, Vitamin A, iron and calcium. It’s also got a little fiber and a little protein.
ñ Celery has a nice mild flavor to tone the drink down and delivers smaller amounts of vitamins A and C, plus calcium and iron.
ñ Cucumber also offers vitamins A and C, plus calcium and iron.
ñ Ginger root and lemon juice are included for taste, but ginger also has some medicinal qualities to help settle the stomach.
That’s the base recipe for a healthy, filling green shake. Make it your own by adding antioxidant-rich berries, mood-elevating beets, carrots for extra sweetness, folate, and a burst of potassium, or even walnuts, flaxseeds or almond for omega-3 fatty acids. You can even substitute the water for something more flavorful – how about almond milk? Some additions will change the color and taste of the drink, but any healthy fruit, veggie, or nut will beef up the nutritional value.
Give it a shot, and be patient. Try different combinations until you find the one that tastes right and leaves you feeling healthy, energetic, and happy. And also a little pleased with yourself.
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Guest Post by: Cindy Johnson is a freelance writer with a new passion for healthy eating and healthy lifestyle that she hopes will help her overcome some health challenges. She loves to travel and is an avid fan of Dr. Oz. Read her recap blog for tips from the Dr. Oz show. When she’s not writing, Cindy loves to hike in the mountains of North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, son, and a small assortment of dogs.
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