5 Nutrient-Dense Green Foods to Add to Your Smoothies

5 Nutrient-Dense Green Foods to Add to Your Smoothies

Something that most people say when they think about their health is that they would like to start eating better, but what does that mean exactly? It’s different for everyone, but in general it means cutting out processed foods and incorporating whole, organic fruits and veggies. Smoothies are an easy way to get your daily nutrients, so aim to add these 5 superstar foods to yours each morning.

Kale

These leafy greens cruciferous vegetables are packed with vitamins A, C, and K. It is a food that has powerful cancer-fighting properties that can support heart health, improve detoxification, and may inhibit the formation and spreading of malignant cancerous cells. Kale is technically a form of wild cabbage, and is known to be an anti-inflammatory that protects the body against viruses and harmful bacteria.

Watercress

Also a leafy green, this particular vegetable tastes great in salads, soups, and on sandwiches. It contains at least 15 important vitamins and minerals and other compounds in quantities that are higher than a normal vegetable. It contains more calcium than milk, more vitamin C than an orange, and more iron than spinach. It also contains many antioxidants, phytonutrients, and other super nutrients that will help to protect the body against chronic diseases, like cancer. Watercress can be called a superfood, because it strengthens bones, prevents heart disease, and helps protect the brain against degeneration thanks to the high levels of vitamin K. This anti-aging food is said to improve the quality of life of many people.

Parsley

Mostly used as a garnish, many may be surprised to know that it is healthier than many of the dinners that it may accompany. Known to be a powerful herb, parsley has the ability to draw out toxins like heavy metals and release them from the body. It is also high in flavonoids like apigenin and myricetin that aid in deterring tumors and cancer cells. Parsley has also been shown to balance blood sugar levels to prevent diabetes, and to strengthen the cellular matrices of bones.

Broccoli

Not just another cruciferous vegetable that is rich in fiber, though it is also considered to be in the same family as kale. Broccoli is an amazing anti-cancer superfood like no other. It has high levels of sulforaphane—a chemoprotective substance that has been the subject of extensive cancer research. One study out of Johns Hopkins University concluded that not only broccoli, but broccoli sprouts specifically, contains outstanding levels of sulforaphane and consuming this vegetable on a regular basis can help to significantly reduce the risk of cancer.

Sulforaphane has also been shown to inhibit the enzyme known as histone deacetylase (HDAC), which is directly involved in spreading cancer cells. When broccoli is a staple in the diet, it can help to prevent the risk of pancreatic, prostate, esophageal and many other types of cancer. Potassium, choline, phosphorus, and folate are also anti-cancer nutrients found in broccoli and can help to ward off the disease.

Kelp

Kelp is very popular in Asian cuisine and is rich in vitamins and trace minerals, amino acids, phytonutrients, antioxidants, fiber, omega-3’s, and iodine. Iodine is actually hard to find in substantial quantities in many common foods, but it can be found in abundance in many plants from the sea. Iodine is vital for brain development and function of the pituitary gland.

While great on their own or in a dish, these greens work so well in smoothies. Other organic foods that can be added are: kiwi, spinach, collard greens, celery, and aloe vera. Each will add its own great benefits and taste to a smoothie according to what you want.

Photo: Flickr.com/notahipster

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