We all know we should be getting more greens in our diet... not only because of the fiber, potassium, and magnesium they contain, but also because of key vitamins and minerals that influence our energy levels and hormone balance.
Dark leafy greens are rich in calcium and can help improve bone density and reduce the risk of age-related bone loss. They are rich in iron, and thus can help prevent anemia—especially if this plant-based form of iron is consumed in conjunction with vitamin C to improve absorption. They are rich in B and E vitamins, which are important for functions such as energy, wound healing, and immune function.
What's more, multiple vitamins contained in leafy greens—including vitamins C and E as well as B vitamins—are used by the liver in its natural detoxification functions. One of the liver's functions is to regulate hormone levels by breaking down and removing excess hormones from the body; therefore, if the liver is not working efficiently, hormone levels in the body can get off kilter. This is one of the reasons consuming leafy greens is a key recommendation for women dealing with infertility and other reproductive hormone-related problems—and it's one big reason I've begun adding a handful of spinach to my morning smoothie every single day.
I never would have predicted this, but if the spinach is well blended you really can't taste it and almost wouldn't notice it's there! Other types of leafy greens such as kale and chard may work if you have an extra powerful blender, but baby spinach has the softest leaves (and no stems) so in most cases works best, especially if you're new to smoothies with blended greens. Here's a recipe for you to try out blending your greens. If you add in other delicious things, I promise you'll find yourself not minding it and even enjoying and looking forward to your daily green smoothie!
If you're not quite ready to blend up a leafy plant in your smoothie, try it first with the Power Greens Boost and get your greens in powdered form.
PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY GREEN SMOOTHIE
8 oz filtered water
1/2 large ripe banana
1 cup fresh spinach (tightly packed) or 2 scoops Power Greens Boost
1 cup frozen blueberries
4 ounces Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
Blend all ingredients together in blender until smooth and enjoy!
Container counts: 2 purple, 1 green, 1 red, 1 teaspoon
(Omit the banana or blueberries, or cut the amount of each in half, if you are sticking to a meal plan that only allows one purple container at a time, such as 80 Day Obsession.)