The Importance and Benefits of Green Smoothies For Bone Health
Green smoothies are getting all the praise these days and rightly so.
They’re a great way to get your daily dose of nutrition, including bone healthy vitamins and minerals.
The benefits of calcium-rich, green smoothies for bone health come from the ingredients. The following are a few fantastic choices to include in your smoothies:
- Bananas: They not only give your smoothie creaminess, but bananas are also rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin K, which all have the ability to strengthen bones.
- Almonds, almond milk or almond butter: Almonds contain 75 mg of calcium per serving! They are also jam-packed with vitamin E, protein, manganese, magnesium and boast antioxidant properties.
- Kale: If you haven’t heard of or tried kale yet, you may have been living under a rock. This green superfood is not only high in calcium content, but also vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K. Make it a regular addition to your smoothie to truly make it a ‘green machine.’
- Flax, chia or hemp seeds. All high in dietary fiber, flax, chia and hemp also boast bone healthy qualities. They can easily be added to any green smoothie.
What’s the difference between smoothies and juices?
You may be curious about the difference between blending and juicing. In short, juicing is when you separate the fiber from the fruit or vegetable. While blending means you are consuming everything – you blend all your ingredients together and there is no separation.
So which is better?
The answer depends on you! Your lifestyle, your personal taste preference and what supports your health more.
But both have the following benefits:
- Blending and juicing can increase the amount of daily veggies you consume: Most authorities recommend 6-8 servings of veggies per day. The reality is, most of us are not getting enough. But green smoothies and juice are easy ways to increase the amount of veggies you are getting, daily.
- Blending and juicing can expand your horizons for new foods: Do you tend to eat the same veggies day after day? By blending and juicing, you can choose a wider variety of vegetables (which will help with veggie rotation) and gives you a chance to try foods you normally wouldn’t eat.
Additionally, blending and juicing can be:
- Bone Strengthening: Veggies like kale and collard greens give you a healthy dose of calcium, vitamin C and manganese – all bone-supporting nutrients.
- An Energy Increaser: When you juice or blend your fruits and vegetables, your body can utilize the nutrients immediately. You will often feel energized shortly after.
Personally, I go for green smoothies more often than juice. They’re simple, easy – and the clean up is way less than juicing (especially when you’re making them at home by yourself!). Plus, I like that I’m also getting the fiber from the fruits and veggies.
So what are some simple tips to follow when making your next green smoothie? Read on…
Tips for Green Smoothies & Healthy Bones
- Limit Fruit. When it comes to your bones, greens are ‘the all mighty’. You want to add a little fruit to your juices, but it’s important to be restrictive. Adding too much fruit can increase the calories and sugar. Something you don’t want. You can add some berries or a bit of apple to your juice for some flavor, but the majority of your juice should come from fresh organic veggies.
- Add Herbs and Spices: Turmeric root, ginger and mint are great additions to your juices. Not only do they add healthful antioxidants, but also potent anti-inflammatories. Good for your bones and overall health.
- Lemon and Lime. Adding half a lemon or lime to your juice will help stabilize blood sugar. They also cool and alkalize the body. It’s amazing how often we overlook the health benefits of citrus fruits.
- Experiment: Have some fun with your juicing. Add fruits and veggies you normally wouldn’t eat and try new combinations. Eating and drinking should be joyful!
One of my favorite things about green smoothies is that they’re easy. Within minutes you’ll have a fiber-filled meal with the bone-building nutrients you need.
Top 6 Green Smoothie Recipes
The following are some of the top green smoothies I think you’ll enjoy.
Check them out!
Photo: Oh She Glows
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh red grapefruit juice*
- 1 cup (25 g) destemmed dinosaur/lacinato kale or baby spinach**
- 1 large sweet apple (200 g), cored and roughly chopped
- 1 cup (130 g) chopped cucumber
- 1 medium/large stalk celery (85 g), chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 40 g) hemp hearts, to taste
- 1/3 cup (55 g) frozen mango
- 2 tablespoons (4 g) packed fresh mint leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil (optional)
- 4 ice cubes, or as needed
Photo: The Kitchy Kitchen
- 1 large handful spinach
- 1 mango, chopped
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 cup cucumber, chopped
- 1/4 jalapeno chopped
- 1 small handful cilantro
- 2 sprigs mint
- 1 lime, juiced
Photo: bon appétit
- 1 banana
- 1 cup nut milk
- 1 cup torn kale
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Photo: Perry Santanachote
- 2 scoops of your favorite plant-based protein
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 pear, cored
- 1/2 teaspoon of matcha tea powder
Photo: Raw Revive
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 d’anjou pear
- 1 small handful of dandelion greens
- 1 cup of almond milk
- shredded coconut (garnish on top at the end)
Photo: Simple Green Smoothies
- 2 cups kale, fresh
- 2 cups water
- 3 bananas
- 1/4 avocado
- Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (optional)
How to Blend Your Green Smoothie
- Blend in stages. Pour in your liquid and greens first and blend. This will help to avoid green leafy chunks. Then add your remaining ingredients and blend.
- Add ice or freeze your fruit and veggies. Want your green smoothie to be extra cold? Use frozen fruits or veggies. You can buy them frozen or simply freeze ripened fruit or veggies from your countertop (to prevent excess food waste!). But if you like your fruits and veggies fresh, add a little ice. Make it to your preference 🙂
- Make smoothies ahead. Because we all have busy lives, simplify yours! You can blend your smoothie and keep it in the refrigerator for up to two days (in an airtight container to keep it as fresh as possible).
Green Smoothie FAQs
A green smoothie is a smoothie that is blended with dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach or collard greens. It can also include fruits, supplements and healthy fats like coconut oil, avocados, and nuts.
Green smoothies also fall under calcium-rich drinks, as green leafy vegetables tend to be high in dietary calcium. And when you include almond milk, kefir or yogurt – you’re also boosting your calcium content.
Are green smoothies good for you?
In short, yes! Green smoothies are an easy and delicious way to include more greens in your diet. Having your greens blended into a smoothie may also improve digestion as it takes less effort for your body to break down and convert into energy.
Can I freeze green smoothies?
If you’re looking to prepare a big batch of green smoothies the week ahead of time and freeze the rest, you can definitely do that! Then you can easily grab your pre-made smoothie the morning of and get on with your day. (Take out your frozen smoothie and place in the fridge the night before)
How can I get my kids/grandkids to like green smoothies?
- Include bananas for creaminess and berries for sweetness. This will hide the veggie taste and give your smoothie a deep red or blue color – not green!
- Include them in the process! Let them add the ingredients to the smoothie (with supervision) and watch as they become blended. They will love it.
- Try colored cups for green looking smoothies. This way, they will not be worrying about the color of the smoothie and instead focus on the taste.