Mean Green Smoothie- Drink Your Way to Feeling Better

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greensmoothieI was never very good at eating my vegetables. The folks tried to make me. Even with tried and true methods like, “you’re going to stay right there until you finish those peas!” I would gag and choke on single pea. I am just not a fan of veggies. Fast forward a few years to when came to I understand the nutritional importance of having a balanced diet. I understand that you can’t get all that you need from supplements. The Lord intended for us to eat fruit and vegetables. I still can’t stand most of the greens. I did discover that I disliked cooked veggies. I started eating spinach salads more often but still lacked a well rounded diet.

When I lived in northern Japan, I discovered juicing. I found that I could juice many of the things I hated to eat. Plus, I could down it quick and easy. This fit in well with my cardio and resistance training, I just hated the clean up. I always marveled at the amount of fiber I had to throw out and wondered if I was missing out on too much of what the Lord intended me to consume.

Japan was some twenty years ago now. These days I have discovered that removing that fiber is not so good after all. It turns out that the fructose needs the fiber to slow its absorption rate. This is important for everyone to avoid spikes of insulin, but it is especially important for diabetics. This is why machines like the Vitamix and the Nutribullet are popular right now. These machines break down the fruits and vegetables so that you get both the juice and the fiber together.

The basic recipe for the Mean Green Smoothie follows, along with a breakdown of the nutritional values:

  • Apples (granny smith) – 2 medium (3″ dia)
  • Celery – 4 stalk, large (11″-12″ long)
  • Cucumber – 1 cucumber (8-1/4″)
  • Ginger – 1 thumb (1″ dia)
  • Kale – 6 leaf (8-12″)
  • Lemon – 1/2 fruit (2-3/8″ dia)

When juicing you do not need to add water due to the lack of fiber, but with the fiber I would add a cup of water and some ice.

I also add a couple of trees of broccoli and vegetable based Omega 3 oils as well as a hand full of almonds and pumpkin seeds. This is important for men wanting to balance hormones.

I am still bad about getting my veggies, but now I can down them more easily and get the vitamins and minerals I need straight from the source the Lord intended me to get them. It sure beats the horse pills I used to swallow.

Health Benefits of the Mean Green Smoothie

Weight Loss

A Brazilian study found that women who ate three apples or pears per day lost more weight while dieting than women who did not eat fruit while dieting.

Adding lemon juice to a beverage can help increase weight loss.

One of the main benefits of using kale in your juice blends is that it provides a large nutritional punch with one of the fewest calorie counts per cup of any other vegetable.

Lower Blood Pressure

Celery calms the nerve because of the high calcium content & helps in controlling high blood pressure. Raw celery should be eaten to reduce high blood pressure.

When people who participated in the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Study added foods high in potassium, magnesium and fiber, their blood pressure dropped to healthier levels. Those people in the study who ate a diet rich in these compounds in addition to the other foods on this diet (low fat dairy foods, seafood, lean meat and poultry) lowered their blood pressure by 5.5 points (systolic) over 3.0 points (diastolic).

Drinking lemon juice is helpful for people suffering with heart problems as it contains potassium. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea as provides relaxation to mind and body. It reduces mental stress and depression.

Colon Cancer Prevention

One study found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 43 percent lower risk of colon cancer. Other research shows that the pectin in apples reduces the risk of colon cancer and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.

Kale is a rich source of organosulfur compounds, which is great at fighting many cancers, especially colon cancer. In other research, sulforaphane from Kale has been shown to have a more direct effect on cancer prevention, especially in colon cancer, inducing cancer cells to destroy themselves. This was seen in a recent study in which animals were genetically bred to develop intestinal polyps, a condition that leads to tumor formation. This group of animals was then fed sulforaphane and found to have higher rates of apoptosis (cell suicide) and smaller tumors that also grew more slowly than animals who received no sulforaphane.

Cataracts Prevention

In several studies, people with a history of eating lutein-rich foods like kale had up to 22% lower risk for cataracts, which would otherwise have been severe enough to require extraction.

Alzheimer’s Prevention

A study on mice at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from the kind of free radical damage that may lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Liver Cancer Prevention

Research found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 57 percent lower risk of liver cancer.

Asthma Help

One recent study shows that children with asthma who drank apple juice on a daily basis suffered from less wheezing than children who drank apple juice only once per month. Another study showed that children born to women who eat a lot of apples during pregnancy have lower rates of asthma than children whose mothers ate few apples.

Lemon juice assists in curing respiratory problems, along with breathing problems and revives a person suffering from asthma. Lemon, being a rich rich source of vitamin C, helps in dealing with respiratory disorders.

Lower Cholesterol

The pectin in apples lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. People who eat two apples per day may lower their cholesterol by as much as 16 percent.

Recent studies show that ginger might also have a role in lowering LDL cholesterol because the spice can help reduce the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed.

Recent studies shown that limonoids in lemons help in reducing cholesterol.

Bone Protection

French researchers found that a flavanoid called phloridzin that is found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones.

Digestion

One of ginger’s most touted health benefits is its ameliorating effects on digestive ailments. It can help digest fatty foods and break down proteins. It is excellent for reducing gas. Many people report that it will also relieve nausea, and can be effective in treating morning sickness as well as motion sickness.

Lemon juice helps to cure problems related to indigestion and consitpation.

Apples contain a natural laxative. When juiced, it helps aid bowel movements. It is most effective when mixed with carrots and spinach juices, you can expect bowel movement the next day. Regularly eating apples also will ensure bowel movements due to its gel-forming fiber, pectin. It improves the intestinal muscle’s ability to push waste through the gastrointestinal tract.

Breast Cancer Prevention

A Cornell University study found that rats who ate one apple per day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 17 percent. Rats fed three apples per day reduced their risk by 39 percent and those fed six apples per day reduced their risk by 44 percent.

Recent studies shown that limonoids in lemons inhibit the development of cancer in laboratory animals and in human breast cancer cells.

Cancer Prevention

Ginger has been shown in animal trials to help slow or even prevent cancerous tumor growth.

Kale contains sulforaphane (especially when juiced), which is a chemical that has anti-cancer properties against many cancer types. The cancer-protective compounds in kale have thus been the subject of intense research, particularly their role in blocking the growth of cancer cells and inducing cancer cell death (apoptosis).

Increased Blood Circulation

Being a warming herb, ginger can help knock out a fever. This property also makes it effective in stimulating circulation of the blood. It can also help relax muscles around the blood vessels and is said to help prevent blood clots from forming. The warming effects make it a natural decongestant as well as an antihistamine, making it the perfect remedy for colds.

Lung Cancer Prevention

According to a study of 10,000 people, those who ate the most apples had a 50 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer. Researchers believe this is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples.

Improved Complexion

The silica in cucumber is an essential component of healthy connective tissue, which includes intracellular cement, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone. Cucumber juice is often recommended as a source of silicon to improve the complexion and health of the skin, plus cucumber’s high water content makes it naturally hydrating–a must for glowing skin.

Lemon juice, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can participate to cure problems related to skin. Drinking of lemon juice mixed with water and honey brings glow to the skin.

Immune System

Kale studies reveal that sulforaphane helps support a healthy immune system, which is a key component in staving off cancer. Sulforaphane has been found to significantly enhance the production of several chemicals that are involved in the immune response, such as interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma.

Heart Disease Prevention

In Kale research, the benefits of lutein also extend to prevention of atherosclerosis. An 18-month study from the University of Southern California found that in a group of 480 men and women aged 40 to 60 with no history of heart disease, those with the lowest serum lutein concentration had a five-fold greater increase in carotid artery thickness, a risk factor for heart disease, compared with those who had the highest serum lutein concentrations. This study also included an in-vitro portion, which compared tissue cultures of cells exposed to various combinations of lutein and detrimental, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is known to promote atherosclerosis. The researchers found that pretreatment of cells with lutein dose-dependently protected the cells against inflammation associated with LDL plaque formation, again confirming lutein’s protective effect against atherosclerosis.

Reduce Inflammation

Ginger can also help reduce inflammation. So it can be used to treat any disease that is caused by inflammations such as arthritis or ulcerative colitis. Some studies show that it can even help inhibit the replication of the herpes simplex virus.