Green smoothies have been a staple of vegetarian, vegan, raw food, and even more mainstream diets for decades, yet their powers are continuously questioned. The difference between a green smoothie and a green juice is that a green smoothie contains all of the fiber of the fruits and greens being blended, while juicing fruits and greens eliminates the fiber. Fiber is what allows us to feel satiated after eating, and it also aids in digestion.
The Pioneer Behind Green Smoothies: Victoria Boutenko
Victoria Boutenko, award-winning author of Green for Life, is the pioneer behind the green smoothie. Victoria and her husband raised their two children in the raw vegan lifestyle, and when she felt they had hit a plateau, she began to research what could be missing from their already healthy diets. Victoria began to extensively study the eating habits of chimpanzees, due to their genetic similarities to humans. Victoria found that the majority of a chimpanzee’s diet is made up of dark leafy greens and fruits, like bananas and oranges. It was then that Victoria realized the most important food for humans to consume is dark leafy greens, but after doing some biological research, she found that in order to get the benefits of greens, they must be chewed to a creamy consistency, which is virtually impossible for the condition of human teeth today. So Victoria began blending her greens with some fruit, and the green smoothie was born. Victoria says that after consuming a green smoothie everyday, her family began to notice a difference in their health, including more energy, stronger nails and less wrinkles. She began to share her smoothies with family and friends, and everyone loved the results they were seeing by including these smoothies in their diets.
Why You Need to Chew Your Homemade Smoothie AND Juice
Because the fruits and greens in a green smoothie are blended together, the majority of the “chewing” part is already done, but it is very important to chew the smoothie as you drink it to make digestion easier. All digestion begins in the mouth so chewing is vitally important, even with green smoothies and green juices. Additionally, the body is able to absorb all of the vitamins and minerals more easily. The fruit in green smoothies increases your energy and the dark leafy greens balance out the sugar in the fruit.
Green smoothies are a great way for children to get the vitamins and minerals they need from leafy greens without having to eat heaping mounds of salad. Blending fruits like apples, bananas or oranges with leafy greens masks the bitter taste of the greens, making it a very enjoyable meal for children.
It is also important for children to have enough fiber in their diet. Fiber helps food move through the digestive system and can help maintain a healthy weight due to it’s “filling” effect. Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of fiber, and blending them into a green smoothie is a great way to make sure you and your child are getting enough fiber.
What is a Green Smoothie
It is a common misconception that green smoothies and green juices are one and the same. However, these two drinks are very different.
Green smoothies are made in a blender with greens, fruit and water. The ingredients are blended together to create a thick smoothie, full of fiber as well as vitamins and minerals. The fiber in the smoothie keeps you feeling full and is good for the intestines. Blending fruits and greens for green smoothies is also a great way to get more antioxidants, as blending breaks open the fruits and allows more antioxidants to be released.
What is a Green Juice
Green juices are made by using a juicer to extract all of the juice out of fruits and vegetables. During the juicing process, however, the fiber is removed. The benefit of extracting the fiber is that green juices require little to no digestion and are therefore immediately absorbed into the bloodstream.
Healing Asthma Juice
A Kale-Celery-Cucumber-Carrot Juice was very healing to my young son when he had asthma as a young child. I call it the “Healing Asthma Juice.” After only 11 months, his asthma was completely gone.
Both green smoothies and green juices are excellent for your health, but fiber-rich green smoothies will leave you feeling satiated much longer and aid in maintaining the health of your digestive system. Green juices are super mineral-rich from the green leafy vegetables and great for giving the digestive system a break.
By Karen Ranzi, M.A.
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