Are Green Smoothies Good For YOU?

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Are Green Smoothies Good For YOU? - Holistic Squid When I opened Facebook this morning, I saw this question from Kayla:

I recently read on a comment you are not a huge fan of green smoothies. Can you please elaborate why?  

Why yes, and thanks, Kayla, for the inspiration for this blog post! Green smoothies are having a hey day with all sorts of healthy conscious folks hailing their virtues, but are green smoothies good for you really?  Let’s find out…

What’s all the hype about green smoothies?

It’s amazing that so much controversy can be stirred up about liquid vegetables in a glass.

Fans of the green smoothie love the ease and healthy boost that their morning drink provides and celebrate increased energy, weight loss, and overall improved health. Parents love that they can sneak veggies into their children’s diets.

Some green smoothie lovers go hard core with green-on-green combos – mixing kale with the likes of dandelion greens, parsley, collards, or chard. Others toss a handful of spinach in with a fruit and yogurt smoothie, and yet others scoop some green powder into their morning blend.

But not everyone is in love…

Critics of the green smoothie cite the oxalate content of some greens can cause kidney stones and worsen yeast overgrowth (source); goitrogens exacerbating thyroid issues (source); and fiber wreaking havoc for those with leaky gut, irritable bowel, and other digestive issues (source).  Many believe that dark greens should mostly be consumed steamed and always with fat for optimal nutrient absorption.

Beyond the yes-or-no on smoothies, folks like to argue about green smoothies vs. green juice and even fruit vs. vegetables (source).  You guys, it’s a crazy world out there.

So… What to believe?

Me and green drinks

Every spring I get a hankering for green juice. It seems to come with a vengeance and out of nowhere, but after the several months of eating meaty stews and other wintery foods, my body’s ready for a mini-cleanse.

I head down to my local organic juice bar and order up a pint of juiced greens with a touch of green apple, lemon, and ginger. I may have a half dozen of these over a course of a month or so. I often make a batch or two of Bieler’s broth or this green soup – cooked versions of the green smoothie.

The cravings soon stop. I move on to eating spring and summer foods, and that’s that.

The big difference between green smoothies and green juice is that the latter does not contain fiber. As such, some experts lecture that fiber should not be consumed without stimulating digestion through the act of chewing. (source)

Everybody’s got an opinion.  Here’s what I know to be true…

Too many raw veggies will damage digestion

It is well documented (and often debated) that the nutrients of many vegetables are more easily absorbed by the human digestive tract when cooked. (source)

In Chinese medicine, it has been known for centuries that too many raw fruits and veggies will damage the digestion, creating symptoms of gas, bloating, poor absorption, depression, fatigue and more. When the digestion is weakened over time this adversely affects the nervous system, immune system, and adrenals.

Raw vegetables contribute an element of cleansing to the diet – “clearing Heat and Dampness”. So when taken in small amounts and/or seasonally, green smoothies, raw salads, and green juice can play a helpful, medicinal role in the diet. This is assuming that the individual does not already have digestive weakness.

On the flip side, raw vegan, 80% raw, or even daily green smoothies may work great for a time – helping the individual to have better digestion, mental clarity, and even reversal of chronic disease (I love this woman’s story here). For most folks, however, there will be a tipping point where the ‘cleansing’ reaches the end of its benefits, and the raw greens begin to contribute to depletion of health.

You need fat to absorb nutrients

I love the wisdom of traditional French cooking that consistently pairs vegetables with cream, butter, or another saturated fat. Turns out, the French were on to something – vegetables are better assimilated when ingested with good fats.

A recent study of over 1.700 Swedish men indicates that consumption of fruits and vegetables was associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, but only when combined with full-fat dairy consumption.

In this study, it was shown that eating salad with full-fat dressing resulted in far better nutrient absorption than eating salad with reduced or non-fat dressings.

Increasing the surface area (via blending or juicing) may help absorption, but you are likely to get maximum usage of the nutrients in the veggies if you include some fat too.

Why I’m not a huge fan of green smoothies

So, despite what you may be expecting, my beef with green smoothies is less from their nutritional downsides, and more with the craze itself – the gun-ho reverence that many people are paying to pureed veggie drinks.

I am not a fan of blindly following a fad because “everyone” says it’s good for you or bad for you.

Green smoothies are not going to forgive all your sins, so if you’re still eating a diet high in processed food, you are only scratching the surface on your way to optimal health. If you have a health condition that will be made worse by consuming large amounts of raw veggies, use caution and consider lightly steaming your greens first. (Bieler’s broth or green soup are a great way to moderate the effects of too much raw.)

If you are drinking green smoothies and juice for their cleansing element, this should be done in moderation (which is a very individual thing). Look for feedback from your body as to when you need less or more.

Finally, for optimal nutritional benefit (absorption), I think that greens and other veggies are best consumed with some saturated fat – so if you’re going to have that green smoothie you many want to throw in a scoop of full fat yogurt or coconut cream.  Or serve it with a side of bacon.

  Are Green Smoothies Good For YOU? - Holistic Squid


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  1. Kimberly Paxton says

    Thank you so much for your take on this new fad. I’ve never heard the flip side of why these may not be ideal long term. I juice almost daily and when making smoothies, always add coconut oil, but will be steaming more greens moving forward. Like the taste so much better that way anyways.

  2. Stephanie says

    Between you and Butter Believer have me questioning almost every single “healthy” choice I’ve made. I swear sometimes I feel like going back to my days of processed foods. Ignorance is bliss. I just don’t know who to believe anymore. Healthy eating, real food, whole foods, whatever you want to call it is the biggest stressor in my life right now. I just don’t know what to believe anymore; it is so frustrating and discouraging.

    • says

      I know what you mean!! It can be VERY confusing with all the information out there! It really is about Bio-Individuality!! One thing that works for you may not work for another. Just stick to whole organic foods and an occasional treat and listen to your body!! If your body feels ok eating it then continue and if not then don’t!! :)

    • says

      Hi Stephanie – Don’t be discouraged! My intent is to help readers to feel empowered to ditch the junk, ignore the hype, and just listen to their own bodies. Don’t eat the stuff that you logically know now to be junk, and other than that let your body be your guide.

    • Jesse says

      I was there. I literally was angry at one lady in particular that I was following. I had to just step back and stop reading everything for a little while. Just implement what you have learned so far…little by little and take small steps. Every tiny bit that you change, will leave you better off than how you started. Don’t give up! :-)

    • brittany says

      Seriously! Every doctor/blogger/author says something completely different and every damn thing is now the “BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THIS!!! Conventional wisdom says x, but actually that’s terrible for you!!”

      I try to be careful/cognizant of my choices but I don’t even have time to give myself a congratulatory pat on the back because the next time I get online, I’m going to read about how my “good” choices are actually somehow killing me. So whatever. All the healthy food blogs like to rag on the “Standard American Diet” but what am I supposed to eat when there are conflicting opinions on EVERYTHING? Whole fat, non fat, vegan, raw, butter, gluten, meat, soy, nightshades, beans – everything is good for you according to one group/book but killing you according to the other.

      • says

        Everything in moderation I say, just eat a variety filled healthy diet and drink plenty of water. I take a multivitamin in the morning along with something for my joints and I have a protein shake after my workouts. Other then that I wont be doing anything else or falling into the trap of relying on expensive supplements or juicing all the time.

      • Helen says

        I absolutely agree with you! I also cannot afford the amount of organic fruit, vegetables that I am supposed to eat, so I eat some organic and carefully wash everything else. I have never been great with breakfast and I was drinking a smoothie everyday made up of raw cashews, water, frozen Blueberries, frozen Strawberries Banana and a small amount of phyto pea protein powder. It was very filling and enjoyable. I am now put off since going to a cafe the other day and seeing people sipping smoothies out of Mason Jars. I live in the bush and not up with cafe culture in Sydney Australia.I don’t have a fancy super powered blender, just an ordinary kitchen one which I will have to donate due to the plastic jug not being BPA free, so I’m buying a 1200 watt glass blender. We want to enjoy our food and be healthy and help our loved ones to be healthy too. Supporting each other on our adventures in life. None of us need to be frightened into desperation and overwhelm about food. It’s refreshing to read everyone’s thoughts on here. I thought that I was the only one becoming annoyed at the scare tactics and sometimes lack of evidence based statements.

    • Katie says

      If that’s the biggest stressor in your life – be thankful. You have a wonderful life :) Who cares what every blogger/doctor/authour says? Read it because it’s interesting and eat what you like and feel good about. And RELAX! We’re all going to die, it’s just about feeling good and enjoying life while we’re living.

    • stacey says

      I have had a similar problem, but what I realized is that everyone tells us to eat based on “science.” What we really need to do is take a step back and listen to what our bodies are telling us to eat. Most animals out there eat nearly a mono diet. Some eat only vegetables, and some eat only meat, while others eat everything, but none of them ask the internet what they should be eating, they just eat what they eat, and none of it comes from a box! The most important thing to remember is to just avoid the food that is not real, and then the rest is up to your own tastes. May you and all people find peace in their inner wisdom!

    • says

      Please don’t get discouraged! Our goal as Health Coaches is to educate the general public who may or may not be eating vegetables at all. I think what this article misses is the fact that certain greens, like spinach, may cause oxalate damage over the long term (say if you juice every day of the year) and that raw kale (and other raw cruciferous veggies) can aggravate a hypothyroid patient. You definitely need to listen to your body and take a break from certain routines once in a while. That doesn’t mean going back to processed food, but say alternating juicing one day with a fresh, veggie-filled stir-fry the next. Variety is best. I know it’s frustrating to hear contradictory advice, but just know and trust your inner voice as to what is best for your body.

      • Jamie C. says

        I have multinodular thyroid goiter and was juicing kale, green cabbage etc.My thyroid literally hurt it was so swollen.I saw a blog about what veggies and fruits cause goiter, and to steam or gently cook them before consuming.By the time I went to the specialist to have my thyroid checked, the swelling had drastically gone down.What’s great for one, may not be great for another, after all some can have their peanuts while others will die if they do.Love this blog discussion ♥

        • aga says

          I know what you mean, green smoothies have made my ibs so much worse, right now literally every evening is an agony. I’ll try to steam my greens and see what happens, if I’m still in pain I’ll ditch it all together.

    • Carie says

      I agree. Just when I think I have all my children eating super healthy, something comes by and says I am completely wrong. I wish there was one clear way to follow. I have to just give this whole eating thing over to God and ask Him to direct me how to feed us His servants.

      • Kerligirl says

        There you have it. Finally! You hit the nail on the head my dear. Just as your fingerprints are individualized for you, so is your body. He knows EXACTLY what it needs to be in top condition. People spend so much time on the internet trying to get info instead of spending time with the ONE who created them!

    • Shanna says

      I know what you mean! I feel the same way! There is SOOO much out there and everything I ‘thought’ I knew was right or healthy is not necessarily so. I, too, am becoming discouraged for lack of time to make my way through this maze of trying to eat and live healthy and whole.

    • Christine says

      I have to agree with you! I try mt hardest to eat well….all organic….water purifiers etc and yet I will always finds info on how damaging some of those things can be for one reason or another….drives me nuts! I had a kidney stone attack two months ago and have not passed it yet…not sure what to do next. We always enjoy smoothies with greens powder and they give us a lost of energy. Just found out yesterday that my husband has something in his bladder they need to biopsy… thing after another….so hard to know what is right or wrong to do when it comes to eating.

    • Amy Shouldice says

      this EXACTLY how I am feeling , so stressed by trying to do the best for my health only to read contrary info on almost any given food1

    • Kisha says

      I sometimes feel exactly how you feel, but don’t be discouraged. I get so tired of one person saying something is a must, then the next person saying that it will cause harm to your body, so my final conclusions led me to say “If it seems healthy and beneficial, try it out, and if it works for you, then stick with it”. No one knows everything, and never will. Not The Doctor’s, not us, not even all of the healthy bloggers(as much as I love most of them) They help out as much as they can, and they tell us what they think is true, but in the end, we just have to do what we feels is best for us, and go with the flow. Please don’t revert back to the processed junk, because we know for a fact that it’s full of poison. I will tell you who to believe…”Believe your body, and listen to it”. I hope this helps. Good luck, and good health=))).

    • Sondra says

      You just have to listen to your own body. Think about it this way – your body has gone this long on crappiest diet possible – right? So it’s not nearly as much of a baby as most health-writers want you to believe. Once you get to a place where you listen to it, it’ll tell you if something is going awry. There are some “up-front” discomforts with some changes that you just have to weather a little to get to the good sustainable benefits, and yes, your body needs more balance than most fads are asking you to adopt. But ultimately, no matter what the “research” shows, ALL research admits that there are individual differences and only you can tell what is working for your individual body. If it feels bad and that feeling doesn’t go away, stop it. You’ll know LONG before you’re forming any kidney stones if there’s something wrong with a practice.

      Human bodies have been putting things in their mouths to test them out since the beginning of time. Chances are pretty good that if you’re listening to YOU instead of the people saying “oh, don’t worry, it’s just “toxins being released from your body” like I recently was told about my minor maca root OD then you’ll right yourself (as I did). But the key always is listening to yourself and your body and not the fad.

    • nick says

      I’ve been doing green smoothies for about a month now. I eat fish every day and the occasional peanut butter sandwich to.

      Some days I just don’t feel like a smoothie. But then after a day or so I crave one. Get in tune with your body I think is the way. Just as you know when are thirsty, know when you want what you’re craving and have it. All bad things in moderation.

    • Rob says

      There is no reason to believe this guy (or any other self proclaimed “experts”). They are all offering their opinions as if they were fact, but, there are no facts. There are no blogs arguing that the world is flat because we know for a fact that it is round. When it comes to food and health, “experts” all have conflicting opinions because they haven’t got a clue (or they would all agree). The only thing consistent is that they have only ever been wrong and America got fat and sick listening to them.

      It’s time to stop googling for answers and using common sense instead. The Internet is full of junk these days. Studies are funded to sell products like juicers and diet books, or to convince us that deadly products are really good for us. There are no objective studies with our best interest at heart. That fat Australian Joe Cross from that documentary is now selling juicers and both him and the fat truck driver are now fat again.

      None of these drink green juice / don’t drink green juice opinions ever have any explanation or proof to back up what they say. Everything is so vague. why not explain how saturated fats help us absorb more nutrients? The nutrients in green juice are water soluble so why do we need fat? How much more nutrients do we get if we eat butter with our juice? How did you measure it? Does it apply to all or just some nutrients etc. give us something to let us know that you aren’t talking nonsense. Specifics! Not generalizations!

      Common sense tells us things like: farmers give animals grain to fatten them up. Maybe we should avoid it. We are starting to see evidence that whole grains cause a lot of horrible diseases like MS. Scientists use msg to make mice fat to experiment on. Look up msg induced obesity. Those same glutamates are in 80% of American processed food and they are highly addictive. Cocaine addicted mice choose refined sugar over cocaine when given the choice. Sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine and it is being put in our food along with glutamates to get us addicted and that is why we can’t stop eating.

      Common sense says that anything that stops us eating processed junk and all the chemicals, is probably good. I have a hard time taking anyone seriously when they are warning us about the dangers of vegetables. We have far bigger food problems right now….

    • permaculture says

      This was another awsome informational piece. For those that have all this negativity and confusion, just think about the information. I interpret this as everything in moderation, and it continues to give an example of 1 way an unbalanced diet can affect you, and gives additional information for someone who is implementing these green drinks in their diet. Thank you for your opinion and the info. I love learning about this kind of stuff.

  3. Judy says

    I tend to agree. Listen to your body.It won’t steer you wrong. Not everyone can tolerate green smoothies. My body does not. I do better with Cashew cream as my base and include fruit and some greens. I use my smoothie as a way to get my gelatin in. Filling and delicious.

  4. says

    As a Holistic Health Coach I definitely tell my clients to listen to their bodies! Some people do not do well on raw foods and some people thrive. They can be really great for those people who just don’t like eating their veggies and want to get them in! Even though I love eating my veggies sauteed with some coconut oil or olive oil, I personally LOVE smoothies and have them almost daily. They are so easy to make and very good for busy moms like myself! :) The ingredients may change from season to season and I may steam some items in there or go raw. I’ll add coconut oil, almond butter, or various foods in them. It’s always great to switch it up! My son also loves smoothies and I even freeze them as Popsicles for him too! Even though he will eat veggies and fruit on their own it’s just another fun way to get your veggies and fruits in.

  5. says

    Great post! I often am criticized for cooking my kale in butter/bacon grease and told it’s defeating the purpose of eating “healthy.” I try explaining that the majority of the nutrients are fat soluble, but am often scoffed at. Excellent explanation – thank you!

  6. Marie Redmond says

    I am so relieved to hear your opinion.Thank goodness,and good bacon from the local farmer.I am on day 29 of a 30 day green smoothie challenge.The group is headed up by a Raw team and the thought of never cooking anything is freakin me out.I’m a Southern cook,with ham hocks ready,”ya hear”! I have been working hard to go organic and GMO free,and now also dairy free (the rash on chest went away-a rash that I had for 7 years),so the green smoothies have made me feel great,but I sure as heck don’t want stones.I’m so glad to have found you.Cheers and Happy St.Patrick’s Day from Savannah Ga.

    • Sheila says

      Hi Marie, I am also “Rawkin” the 30 day challenge (for the 2nd time). I will continue with the next one as well. However, I really haven’t felt that I have been doing the best that I can going raw simply because I don’t think that I’m ready to at this point. I do however realize now that I am doing better for my health and body by eating more fruits and veggies where I hadn’t in the past. I still enjoy some fats in my diet and now I can, and will, incorporate them more into my smoothies. I am following and listening to what I feel my body needs. Overall, I do feel better.

  7. says

    Emily, this is the most resonant commentary on the green smoothie craze I have read so far!!!!
    I agree wholeheartedly….it is a fad, that everyone has jumped on! Without consideration of actual needs.
    I actually produce a green superfood blend…algae based bee pollen based no green veg, as algae is really only available in powdered form and the ultimate green, but I advocate using some fruits and fats to carry the nutrients…
    Awesome I have found a kindred spirit, well done on the awesome piece.

    Blessings Shakti x

  8. Libby says

    When you say add some coconut cream-are you saying something different from coconut oil? Could I add a scoop of coconut oil to it.

  9. Nicki says

    I love my green smoothies and try for one every morning. I agree that you want to stay away from certain raw greens such as kale and chard. I started out blending these in and my digestion was terrible with lots of bloating. My favorite combination is romaine lettuce, a little spinach, celery, apple, pear, banana, parsley and the juice of half a lemon. This is basically Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie recipe. For me, this combination every morning ensures that I get my fruits and veggies for the day with lots of energy to get me going. My digestion is awesome, which I feel is directly related to my smoothie. Yeah it happens to be green but that’s ok with me. I never thought of it as a fad because in my book fruit/veggie smoothie’s have always been a healthy way to get nutrition and fiber into the body. Smoothie’s are digested easily since there is less for the intestines to break down (assuming you leave out the kale and such). I agree with Stephanie that there is so much conflicting info out there, and always will be. Go with what resonates for you, and what your body does best with. As always I love reading Emily’s blog, even though I don’t agree with everything. Thank you Emily for encouraging people to think for themselves and not to blindly follow the masses. :) Now, I’m off to make my Green Smoothie…

    • skeet says

      Nicki..the mistake was starting with the kale and chard. The first week or two should be very little spinach and some fruits. What happened to you was detox. Go slowly and gradually increase. Good luck!

  10. Annabelle says

    I am confused as to whether eating bacon is good or bad as it is often recommended in healthy eating posts such as yours, however I’ve heard you should never eat it? I’m suspecting there is good bacon & bad bacon? Can you clarify as I love bacon, but love being healthy more so, but maybe I can do both!?

  11. Danielle says

    Thanks so much for the info!!! I often have green/dairy free smoothies. I use avocado as my base with greens, fruits, water and Chia seeds. I also occasionally add coconut oil…Just interested in thoughts on this type of fat and whether our not it helps with the nutrient absorption.

  12. Elaine Bacio says

    Thank you! This information was extremely helpful! I’ve always had adverse health effects when drinking green juice but don’t know why. Now I do! :)

  13. Karen says

    My parents did green smoothies for a while. They loved them, and my dad lost a lot of weight. But then he got kidney stones, and I’m pretty sure they came from the green smoothies. I wouldn’t risk it.

  14. Robyn says

    Great post! I was a “victim” of the green smoothie fad a few years ago. Thinking I was doing a good thing for my body I was downing 3-4 quarts of green smoothies a day. Kale was my green of choice but sometimes others would find their way in depending on what the budget would allow. Eventually instead of losing weight I was actually gaining, my energy was super low and my digestion was completely out of whack. I developed insulin resistence, leaky gut and candida. It took almost 4 years to get myself to a point where I felt “normal” again. I still need to be careful not to tip the balance and listen to my body. I do occasionally crave a green smoothie and will use spirulina, parsley or cilantro as the base. If you go into green smoothies fully informed they can be a wonderful way to get your fruits and veggies. If not you are most definitely setting yourself up for a physical disaster. Thanks again for a great post!

    • Anita says

      The same thing happened to me. I juiced and did green smoothies every day for a year and a half and felt like crap the entire time. I kept doing it hoping I would eventually feel better. I ruined my digestion and now have IBS and colitis with some ulceration and a rectocele. Now I am on a program to reverse it all, but it is going to take a couple years and a lot of hard work to get it back. I do still crave my green drinks, but am o.k. right now with my avocado, raw cheese, raw milk, butter, sourdough bread, easy to digest diet for the time being. No insoluble fiber for me!

    • skeet says

      That was wayyy too much smoothie. All green smoothies gurus recommend very little green veggies and small amounts of smoothie at first, then gradually increase. Also you might have toxified your body if you were using the same leafy greens every day. I do green smoothies every morning but take a break on weekends. Take care.

  15. Liz says

    Brilliant, basically eat like you grandparents, or if your a sPring chicken, grear grand parent, love the French and their butter

  16. says

    I have been happily having green smoothies every morning for months now – if I miss out for any reason I just do not feel “right” for the rest of the day. As many commenters have already said – I think you have to find what works for your body – we are not all the same.

  17. says

    I feel so much better when I start the morning with a green smoothie, but I always put full fat yogurt and/or coconut butter in mine! And usually follow it up with eggs.

  18. Sarah says

    This by far the BEST article I have read on this subject. You really did it justice. I can relate to the once a year urge to drink some raw vegetable juice but after my disastrous attempt at being a raw foods vegan 10 years ago I tend to avoid all of that stuff. (Don’t even say the word “Wheatgrass” in my presence. ha ha)

    I am an acupuncturist and I thought you did a good job explaining the Chinese principle of why its not good to eat a bunch of raw food all the time. It doesn’t seem like a lot of the other “traditional foods” bloggers understand or appreciate Chinese medicine and how valuable it is.

    I work in the same office building as a woman who runs a raw vegetable juice company. She is 100% vegan and all of that. 10 years ago I would have been ALL OVER THAT. And I know she thinks I am completely nuts for eating butter and meat etc… Guarentee that in another 10 years she will be eating WAPF or GAPS type diet. :) things take longer to get to Ohio.

  19. Shannon says

    When I first jumped in the green smoothie bandwagon a couple
    Years back I heard the same sort of information and as such it was recommended to mix your greens add fruit and reduce pulp (fiber) and add avocado …

  20. says

    Love this post, Em! Before I discovered the Weston A. Price Foundation I did a brief stint as a vegan in hopes of resolving my declining health. During that time I started seeing an acupuncturist who very gently encouraged me to start cooking my veggies and serving them with butter (and a big hunk of red meat0. It was one of the happiest days of my life! :)

  21. Jessica says

    I actually always wilt my greens in some filtered water and a touch of apple cider vinegar and then add it to my smoothies with a big scoop of coconut oil. This breaks up the oxalate acid and makes them more easily digested. I add in some extra ice cubes or frozen blueberries etc. to avoid drinking a warm smoothie!

  22. gail says

    Thanks for this article. I am one of those people who don’t do well on raw smoothies or juices. I started making green smoothies with mostly greens, and some fruit and protein– usually one per day first thing in the morning–about 1 1/2 to 2 cups. Tasty for awhile… then I began to find that it was just too much liquid for me and began to become less appealing to the point of making me nauseous just thinking about having one. I switched over to juicing. Enjoyed it much more and not so filling…. Used 1-2 oz wheatgrass each day or some other vegetable/fruit combination. After about a month I began to experience extreme itchiness all over my body– did a lot of reading to see what was causing it, and one day came across an article which talked about histamine reactions from raw greens (especially spinach) and citrus fruits. I stopped juicing and the itchiness went away within days. I am now wondering if I stay off them for awhile if I will be able to have juices occasionally or whether I will have a reaction each time.. Haven’t been brave enough to have any since and instead have opted for cooked veggies.

  23. Kirstin says

    Thanks for this! I make smoothies for my girls and I with avocado and that is about as green as they get. I like making fruit smoothies for them as it is a great way to get a healthy dose of kefir into them. I am going to try making your green soup, it sounds wonderful. However your link for Bieler’s broth doesn’t seem to be working.

  24. Susie says

    This is so interesting – not long ago, I went through a period of about two weeks where I couldn’t drive by our neighborhood juice bar without needing to stop and get some green juice. They’ve always disgusted me before, but the craving came out of nowhere and disappeared just as quickly.

  25. says

    I wasn’t aware of the other side of the smoothie story! I’ve only heard good things so far! Thank you for shedding the light & possibly saving my digestive system!

  26. says

    While I don’t agree with raw foodists that food should only be eaten raw all life long (though I do believe in it to stop disease such as cancer, etc. ) I know there are many sources that back up the green smoothie ‘hype’. I think if people just randomly consume these smoothies without thought and are only using the same greens, same fruits, and adding artificial protein junk to them there is a definite problem. But making sure one has a variety of greens, fruits, and real protein and only as one or so a day and eats a well balanced whole food diet with other cooked foods, there is qualitiy nutrition that will not lead to the health problems you are suggesting. One must be wise in their approach.

  27. Sara says

    I make a smoothie a few times a week that has spinach, strawberries, blueberries, mango or peaches, bananas, whole milk plain yogurt (homemade if I have it), and maybe a little vanilla & ginger. I rarely add a sweetener at all, but if I do it’s usually honey. I figure it has all the colors (not just green), and I can’t get my kids to eat green veggies very well otherwise. They eat fruit all day long, but veggies are harder to get in them.

  28. L says

    I think it’s dismissive to call green vegetables (just because they’re blended) a “fad”. I don’t like it when people dismiss coconut oil as a fad either. I do notice that when something gets really popular, there is always those who want to be seen as ahead and will just flip it over and say the opposite.

    • says

      It’s definitely NOT a fad. Green Smoothies have been used for quite some time…not just for the past year or two or even five. All of the above in the report is not true. Sure, if one drinks only one family of greens every day one can have problems. And if they add artificial additives, one can certainly devlop problems. As for the vast majority of the population, green smoothies, as long as they are not the only source of whole foods and are accompanied by a variety of quality whole foods are a wonderful source of nutrition. One just needs to do the research to make sure one is using the variety needed and eating a well balanced diet along with them. There are a minor few people that may not be able to tolerate them. This is a very very small portion. Most likely if a person has a problem they are not being wise in their choices of variety and other elements of their diet.

      • says

        Thanks Carol,

        You are a breath of fresh air. Greens and fruits really are very important in the diet. Most
        Americans eat 62% processed foods and very little greens. I think there has been great research in this area and assimilation and prior health challenges do play a role in whether greens smoothies work for some people.

        Being in touch with the body and working to clear out and heal the body is very important.

  29. says

    As a CM practitioner, here is my happy medium. I used to preach against raw/cold smoothies, but then I got a Vitamix and fell in love :) I steam greens and freeze them in single servings. Overnight, I thaw the greens along with frozen berries in the fridge, and add fresh veggies (carrots, celery, parsley, etc.). I add HOT water, sometimes homemade yogurt, almond butter, coconut oil, etc. and end up with a velvety, room temp, nutrient dense smoothie that my 3.5 year old begs for ‘refills’ of. I “chew” it and drink it along with something warm to support the yang. I still generally preach against raw/ cold foods, but also encourage patients to approach dietary changes as experiments – try a new habit for 2-3 weeks. If it feels good, stick with it; if it doesn’t, move on.

  30. VeganPastor says

    Green smoothies for life! you can’t go wrong with eating, fresh raw veggies in a smoothie….your body loves it! and needs it. And you if you need a “fat” source, get it from other plant based sources….its really hard to maintain good ‘health’ while including an unsustainable fat source like animal products.

    • says

      You will be glad to know that it is possible to include sustainable animal fat sources in smoothies! The fat in my whole, raw milk from the exclusively grass-eating cows down the road is much more “sustainable” than coconut oil from the Philippines or avocados from Mexico, I guarantee it. :)

      • Sarah says

        Word! Local organic grass fed cream ad milk products are so much more sustainable than tropical foods important which vegans must eat to survive

  31. Flo says

    I was reading through to see if anyone talked about switching the greens up. I finally saw it under Carol’s post on 3/26. I really don’t do this (juice) but read somewhere, recently, that there are different types of greens (including dandelions and other weeds) that can be used but that you should switch types. I don’t know which go in which groups. Some have oxalates and I believe others have other potentially problematic ingredients. That way, you don’t have something always building in your system. It’d be different if you only did it occasionally. So, the author said, switch types and don’t just always have the same kind. This person juiced all the time, I believe.

  32. says

    “When food is raw, whether whole or in the form of juice, every atom in such food is vital ORGANIC and is replete with enzymes. Therefore, the oxalic is our raw vegetables and their juices is organic, and as such is not only beneficial but essential for the physiological functions of the body.
    The oxalic acid in cooked and processed foods, however, is definitely dead, or INORGANIC, and as such is both pernicious and destructive. Oxalic acid readily combines with calcium. If these are both organic, the result is beneficial constructive combination, as the former helps the digestive assimilation of the latter, at the same time stimulating the peristaltic functions of the body.
    When the oxalic acid has become INORGANIC by cooking or processing the food that contain it, then this acid forms an interlocking compound with the calcium even combining with the calcium of other foods eaten during the same meal, destroying the nourishing value of both. The result is a serious deficiency of calcium that is has been knot to cause decomposition of the bones. This is the reason I never eat cooked or canned spinach.
    As the oxalic acid itself, when converted into an inorganic acid by cooking or processint the food, it often results in causing inorganic oxalic acid crystals to form in kidneys”
    Extracted from: Walker, Norman Wardhaugh. Raw Vegetable Juices. Pyramid Books, 1970. pag 85

    • Sarah says

      That doesn’t really make any sense. You can’t cook something and then make it “inorganic”. It still contains carbon and is therefore organic.

  33. Susu says

    I don’t mean to be negative, but when l started eating ‘smoothies’ with all the right ingredients, almost immediately digestively, l became terribly constipated and this was very painful. As soon as l stopped the smoothies, all was well. This is very bizarre because everything l ate was super good for me, but maybe the veggies in their super raw state my body couldn’t handle.

    Anybody else have this happen?

    • dp says

      Yes, this exact same thing is happening to me right now. I guess I started off too strong by drinking them every single morning, but not drinking enough water. It’s awful. I understand where you’re coming from. My first day off of green smoothies and i’ve already “gone” 4 times…. I think some of our digestive tracts aren’t able to handle the amount of raw food.

  34. says

    The best thing to do when taking green smoothies are these

    1. make sure you cook you green veggie before consumption
    2. Avoid eating of raw veggie too much
    3. Combine d your green veggie with some fat when consuming them


    ive been doing the GREEN shakes every moring ( organic kale, honey, flax seed oil, strawberries, rotate to spinach, beat leaves, and raspberries) along with a side table spoon of phyllium husk in some water as a sort of shot. i take omega 3,6,9. CLA, b12,b6, 1000 mg vit c,green tea,Echinaca,BCAA .
    ive also been drinking alot of water with cyanne pepper and lemon through out the day….( alternating distilled)
    ive been eating very “paleo” with coconut oil..ocational bacon, carrots, lean meat, ect.

    the last couple days, i have felt as if i have had a type of flu. fatugued, severly bloated and constipated, gassy as HELL ( like so bad my bf cant sleep in the same bed as me) with the occational bowel movement ( every 2 days or so) ….

    can some one please help me and tell me what i need to do to balance my body.. i may be doing do much to detox/ be healthy…. idk.

    thank you

    • Halfistic Polly says

      Enough with the green shakes and psyllium bombs for a while, GGB! The voice of your body is unmistakeable; it cannot digest what you’re trying to feed it. I notice you said “psyllium in SOME water.”
      If you don’t have PLENTY of fluid with your psyllium, simultaneously at the same time together at once, you’re asking for trouble. It doesn’t matter how much water you drink the rest of the day — it’ll just be sloshing up against a psyllium seed dam. Ow ow ow.

      Maybe some moderation is in order? A full serving of cooked vegetable is only a half cup, and raw is only a cup. I’ve been throwing a cup of spinach or collards into a berry smoothie, mainly just because it cheered me to think I could get something so healthy out of the way so easily, but I’m going to cook them first from now on —- mostly.

      I’m beginning to dislike the term “optimal health.” I try to feed myself and my husband well, have to make compromises sometimes, and have numbers of relatives and friends in their nineties who ate atrocious, nuclear food all their lives and are as healthy as any raw foodist. In fact, one of our well-meaning nutrionally-obssessed friends almost killed my husband by talking him into refusing antibiotics, and another friend is convinced he has environmentally-induced cancer, though every test he’s undergone comes up negative. He spends most of every day concentrating on his health, and he feels terrible.

      I’m sorry, GGB. I didn’t mean to rant, and this isn’t aimed at you specifically. But it looks like you are one of a large group of people making themselves sick over themselves, which I think is a symptom of a sickness in our culture. If we really had to work a little harder at surviving, like so many people around the world must, we wouldn’t be stressing over whether or not to cook our smoothies.

    • Steve says

      Lay off the psyllium husks, you’re getting lots of fibre from your veggies.

      Also, why are you taking a 3-6-9 supplement? 6s and 9s are found in so many other sources of food, it’s the 3s you want to take and ideally you want at least a 1:1 ratio in favor of DHA over EPA. I’d recommend ditching the 3-6-9 in favor of a good cod liver oil supplement like Carlsons, they have a lemon one as well if you can’t stomach the taste of unflavored CLO but the unflavored one is pretty cheap at Vitacost.

      What is the source of C? Is it also organic and non-GMO and non-China?

      Best advice is not to take advice solely from blogs, but to find a good Naturopathic Doctor (ND) in your area who will be better prepared to advise you on which things you might be doing wrong, and which vitamins or supplements or protein/minerals/whatever you might be missing from your current morning routine.

  36. Yoda Mom says

    Gee thanks, Emily. I am not a crazed smoothie zealot, but I DID recommend green smoothies for breakfast to a friend who’s diet consists of almost 100% processed and fast food. My friend found this article. I’m SO glad you were there to warn my friend of these DANGEROUS raw smoothies. Perhaps NEXT time you could add that the Green Smoothie Risk is still slightly less hazardous than a cheeseburger, fries and a coke!

    • says

      Hi Yoda Mom… If the cheeseburger was grass fed beef and cheese, the fries fried in tallow, and the bun sprouted or sourdough, I’d really only find the coke to be hazardous. Did you, by chance, READ the post? In case you didn’t, I don’t harp about the DANGERS of green smoothies, only offers a balanced view on this particular health food fad. If your friend extracted something other than that from this post, it probably has less to do with my message, and more to do with that fact that he/she does not really want to drink green smoothies.

      • kelly says

        Emily, Hope my reply doesn’t tick you off but, I’m with Yoda Mom… Just turned my “VERY” unhealthy friend on to green smoothies… after 46 years of eating crap and feeling like crap. Nothing she eats is going to be grass fed or cooked in tallow, in fact, I’m pretty sure it will be the ONLY time she gets anything green in her diet ( about a handful)- I sugessted once a day. I did tell her to switch up her greens and add healthy fats like coconut milk, avacado or soaked almonds to the mix. I though it might be one easy step in the right direction for her. Now I’m confused… ugh! Did I help her or cause more problems for her? This article would apply to people who are going all out on the raw food thing and/or consuming too much of the same greens right? I did read the article, just not sure how to take it.

        • says

          Hi Kelly – Thanks for your question. It’s all relative. If you eat an awful diet and start incorporating some green smoothies, great! If you obsessively drink green smoothies thinking that they are hands-down, no-matter-what good for you, you may want to reconsider.

  37. Shelley says

    I guess I have the perfect storm of health problems to have oxalate issues – bad fat metabolism and a leaky gut. Thankfully, I have a faster marker than kidney stones: a high PTH that causes confusion, memory loss, and more – blood calcium is normal, so I have no tumor. (Parathyroid hormone is released when the body is not getting enough calcium from digestion and signals the body to pull it out of the bones.)

    I always wondered why my PTH remained high and I still did not feel well after years on a paleo diet until my PTH went through the roof on a green juice fast last week (both the paleo diet and most veggies used for juicing contain high oxalate foods that bind calcium). Of course it did not help that I was not digesting fats (which also binds up calcium). On the bright side, I think I have just found my answers. I think a low oxalate, paleo, GAPS diet is possible, though not as sexy, for sure. At least it should not be forever…

    • Anita says

      I have similar health problems and you will never actually heal your body with diet. You have to heal your gut and rid your body of accumulated acids. Look up She has the only program in the country that actually will heal your body. All other programs GAPS, SCD, PALEO, etc. just decrease your symptoms. They are high acid diets and they actually increase your total acid load, which leads to further increases in disease in the future. Like I said, look her up, buy the book and watch all her videos on youtube….you will be glad you did! This is not a quick fix however….this is gonna take about 2 years to heal my gut and I am only about 4 months into it right now.

      • Handful says

        Anita I REFUSE to look up yet another “diet” because that is exactly what she is talking about too from what little bit I read. She claims not to need supplements but in the second paragraph has stated that an herbal product called ” Bowel Strength” is necessary for success and that “…you will also be directed in the aggressive use of a natural and safe substance (called Body Bentonite) to accelerate the elimination of acidity/toxicity from your body, and the healing of your body. ” More facts mixed with crap.

      • says

        Hi Anita,

        I just read your post over the weekend and was really taken by the information. Thank You, I have used Bentonite Clay for years on the advice of my colon hydro-therapist but never long term. I was a really big meat eater back then. Today I have been on at least 32 oz of juice or Green Smoothie and have started to heal my digestion. I think the missing link from all these comments to what they don’t say. Most people do have weak digestion and poor nutrient assimilation.

        I have been on this healing journey for over 20 years and know that this lady with Unique Healing is definitely onto to something.

        You are a gem for sharing this wisdom, Thanks so much.

        I am wondering what you are experiencing from her program. xoxo Sollena

        • Anita says

          I have only been taking the bentonite for about 5 months and the full dose of probiotics for 3 months. From what I have read, it takes anywhere from 9-15 months to reach the healing phase. Right now, I am just trying to be patient and be consistent every day. Any symptom reduction at this point comes from any “crutches” I take in the meantime…like calcium citrate to buffer acids, silver if I have an infection, high protein diet, and bentonite that is both a crutch and a healing tool.
          The bentonite is getting rid of accumlated acid daily and healing my organs. The probiotics are to act like “miracle grow” in your intestinal tract so that your good bacteria can multiply and grow and get to the 100 trillon that a healthy person should have. A lot of people take probiotics….but if they do not take enough, they will never get there and assume probiotics do not work. One thing I will say is that I did green smoothies for 1 1/2 and I felt like crap the entire time and did not know why? I finally figured out that there was just to cleansing for my gut to handle. In other words…fruits especially are to acidic and cause your body to cleanse, which is normally a great thing if your gut is healthy. When it is not, you will get many symptoms from ingesting carbs like lightheadedness, sweating and hot flashes, acne, bloating, short menstral cycles, very dry skin, frequent UTI’s, low blood sugar….etc. etc. When people get these symptoms they traditionally go on a PALEO type diet and feel much better (cause there body isn’t trying to cleanse). This is only a temporary fix cause the body will continue to increase it’s acid load from all the high acid proteins and eventually lead to greater diseases down the road. I could go on and on……..but I will stop now. If you would like me to email you when I get to the healing part of this program to see how I am doing, and keep you updated, I could do that.

  38. Handful says

    I was as discouraged as Stephanie a few days ago and now this article has me second guessing my choices yet again. Vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, GAPS, raw, cleanses, detox… the list goes on and on. Am I harming my and my husband’s health by adding kale or spinach in sometimes with our homemade milk kefir fruit smoothies? Well, he hasn’t felt quite right the past three days since his hospital procedure… although we have been drinking them for a while and did not get our fruits in before we began making smoothies.

    I like meat. I like milk and cheese. I like fruits and veggies and nuts and seeds. And grains too. Our ancestors ate all of this except dairy and did just fine! (I also like an occasional apple fritter, cookie and candy bar.) I am going to have them all. I am not going to deny my body any one food group or force fed it strictly raw foods. If I don’t like it I am not gonna eat it for long. We eat 90% whole food and very little chemically processed food but as I said I WILL have a candy bar if I really want one. That is the best I can do for now. I am not going to create stress where it does not need to exist.

    Mix it up. Variety is the key in my opinion. Perhaps the best advice I have found is to not eat chemicals. The cave men didn’t.

  39. Home says

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and
    also the rest of the website is also very good.

  40. Steve says

    The problem is that the studies don’t compare the differences between eating raw vegetables that have been pulverized in a VitaMix or masticating blender vs. eating just raw vegetables. I have read that the difference can be drastic, with 20~30% of the nutrients being available when eating raw vegetables via chewing versus 90% via a smoothie in a proper blender. Also with the fibre intact your body can regulate blood sugar better than when straight juicing.

    I have smoothies in the morning, adding in berries, ginger, beets and lemon to my greens (kale, celery, rainbow chard, broccoli, rotating not all at once) along with some Non-GMO whey protein powder cold processed and organic wheatgrass powder (all veggies organic whenever possible and washed properly if they’re not getting peeled). I’ve been doing this for breakfast MON~FRI for a year and have seen all my ailments disappear including eczema, acne and asthma (yes, not using an inhaler for the first time in 25 years and haven’t needed it for a year now). My endurance has doubled in the pool, my previous mile time has been smashed even when I’m swimming two miles, I’ve gone from 40″ waist to 35″ waist and 245lbs to 205lbs and I will definitely not be quitting my smoothies.

    I do eat meat as well, grass fed beef or bison only, organic chicken, no CAFO meats, no hormones, etc., and I looked cooked beets and carrots in a stew.

    No doubt if you’re planning on ONLY eating green smoothies every meal time for the rest of your life you may want to reconsider, but certainly there’s no way on Earth I’m getting the amount of servings of veggies I get through the VitaMix with cooked veggies whole.

    The only reason to steam broccoli or kale before blending that I’ve read about (Blaylock) is a toxin they contain that affects thyroid function in those susceptible that is killed with mere moments of steaming. So it’s deifnitely not cooked until soft.

    • Steve says

      You go ahead and eat Monsanto’s GMO corn straight from the cob, I’ll eat organic bacon, see who has more health problems in 20 years. =D

  41. Colleen says

    So for a number of reasons I suspect I have thyroid issues. I also drink a green smoothie daily. Do you think adding a tablespoon or 2 of coconut oil would minimize the thyroid damage being done by the raw greens or would you suggest quitting the smoothies all together? Many thanks for any input! :)

    • Heather says

      Colleen, I have hypothyroid and adrenal issues. Steaming the greens will help with the goitrogenic veggies. I don’t think coconut oil will help that but should help with the absorption of nutrients.

  42. Heather says

    My coworker’s “healthy” 17 year old son started juicing everyday not knowing he had a parasite (pin worm, I think.) He developed chronic hives and still has them going on several years now. The juicing in combination with a compromised gut was too much.

  43. rosebud101 says

    I am both a cancer survivor and am hypothyroid. So I have a conflict in terms of steaming vs eating/drinking oxalic veggies raw. Crucifers like broccoli, kale, cabbage, etc. fight cancer best when consumed raw. But for thyroid issues, it’s best to lightly steam them. Since cancer is more of a concern, I consume these veggies raw. I take medication – levothyroxin – and my T3 and T4 levels are under control with the medication. Do you have any thoughts about this?

  44. Moriarty says

    Your brain also requires fats to function properly and ward off depression. Coconut oils and animal/dairy fats are good sources. I’ve always been kind of upset when doctors recommend low fat diets to everyone when they should be recommending low sugar/ low refined grains.

  45. Kiki says

    Thank you! I think that’s the best assessment of green smoothies I’ve ever read. Hubby and I have adrenal and digestive issues and somethings like spinach and kale just do not work for us. Definitely you need some fat in your smoothie and less fruit because it’s high in sugar and potassium. Bottled green juices are the same. I wish the world would get off this non-fat, low-fat kick. It is soooo annoying to go into Walmart or Wholefoods and not be able to find full fat plain yogurt or greek yogurt. 0% fat products are not good for you because they are so processed. And yes, the french do have it right. If you are going to eat fruit, you need to pair it with a fat, apples or grapes with a double creme brie. Yum! Vegetables with butter. You are right about raw vegetables being too yin. Thanks again.

  46. says

    I agree with some of the points you have brought up, like the goitrogens and the need for healthy fats.

    I think it is important to remember that we are also quite unique, so we won’t all handle the same foods the same way. For instance, I find that I do not handle red meat or bacon well, even when taking HCL and digestive enzymes, but I do believe in consuming good-quality protein so I don’t eschew the products I do well on, like organic, free-range eggs and chicken, and non-farmed fish.

    More apropos of green smoothies, I find that they actually handle my digestive issues rather than increase them. When I have a green smoothie several times a week, I get hardly any heartburn or indigestion. That said, I will say that I do not include raw crucifers and other goitrogens in my smoothies, but consume broccoli, cabbage etc cooked and not every day. I also watch the amount and GI of the fruit I use – some people add WAY too much fruit IMO, and I don’t believe that is great for general health as it can cause blood sugar issues and feed candida, among other thing. Also, fruit is very cooling so I don’t believe in consuming large quantities of fruit during cold weather months.
    And I agree that adding good fats is a good idea. I usually add coconut oil to my smoothies, and I find them much more satisfying and enjoyable that way.

    I really enjoyed this post and like the rest of your blog, it was very informative. I just thought I should pop in to share my experience, since I firmly believe it is true that “One men’s food is another man’s poison” and that most things are not absolutes when it comes to food (natural food, that is – processed foods are a whole other kettle of corn ;-))

  47. Glennie says

    I think there is something to be said about that old saying “trust your gut instinct.” The contradictions from each and every avenue/source of health and diet is becoming a minefield to navigate. I think trusting our body to do the talking is the only way to go…I’m talking healthy alternative here, not processed, number/ alphabet soup diet…because we are all different and what one body needs is not necessarily what it’s best friend’s body is needing. The body knows if you have armed yourself with the information and are in tune to your own body talk!

    • says

      “We are all different” has been blown out of proportion by our nutritional society. Granted we may all be at different points towards enjoying basic health, but our bodies are the same inside and out, physiologically and biochemically. Our wants may be different but our needs are all the same. Our basic physiological or survival needs. Here’s just one tiny “counter” to demonstrate how free enterprise takes advantage and tries to brainwash us”: A decade ago there was even a book “Eat For Your Blood Type” that had zero references. Not only was it all conjecture, but even the youngest biochemical student saw the flaws in the “reasoning”. Read the book and you will see that it was more of a novel than a science book! (Make sure you check the hundreds of mistakes with a prior knowledge of basic biochemistry; especially animal blood. Note the writer’s examples on canine and feline blood in particular for starters!) My point is that we are constantly brainwashed into believing that we are all different, when that only applies to the minute details not the basics of life, of which diet plays the most important part. By the way you are right in trusting your gut instinct but first one must “train their gut back to its natural state” . It is like your taste buds. When used to eating the wrong food, then the right food does not taste good. This, people mistake for “well it must not be good for me”. Or how about when poor eaters complain “but I have a craving for xxxxx so I guess my body needs it!” Like a drug addict craving drugs. The first and most elusive step for most people is to become aware and centered as to what their real needs are. Our society has been discouraged to do that for centuries at the very least. So when you trust your “gut” you have to realize that it may be a programmed gut not your natural gut. Thankfully, this can reverse with the proper awareness. And patience. Enough said. Yours was a good post. I am not here to disrespect just shed some light as one who has gone a bit further down that proverbial path. Have a good day.

  48. Sarah says

    I just was reading your article about green smoothies. We do not do this, however you wrote that eating too many raw fruits and vegetables can actually be harmful in the long run. My son will only eat raw vegetables. IF I cook them, even lightly team he will not eat them. Any insights or thoughts? I want to make sure he is getting the proper amount of everything. Thanks

    • says

      Hi Sarah – Thank you for your question. If that’s all he’s craving right now, that’s fine. If someone is eating raw because they are convinced it’s healthy, yet they are not healthy, then they should reconsider.

  49. Irene says

    I agree that it’s better to eat your fruits and veggies whole rather than in juice or a smoothie, but when my wisdom tooth was really bad last year (I finally got it extracted) green juice was the only way to get veggies down my gullet

  50. says

    Speaking from experience not just research I can confirm that green smoothies (made with green leafy vegetables, not vegetables per se) with bananas as my main calorie source have helped me to never suffer from cold or flu or any chronic disease major or minor for 13 years in a row. And that is just the tip of the ice burg. Vegan for 35 years, raw for 13. And to top it off, I am stronger now at age 54 than when I was eighteen and bodybuilding. Also, I have gained fifteen pounds in the last two years, and my waist has gone down an inch (again) as I focused on consuming more not less green smoothies made with bananas as my primary calorie source. The proof is in the pudding as they say. Decades of personal experience and study. And I am not the only one here in my little wellness center where we silently disprove most of the “popular” nutrition dogma of the day…

  51. Meg says

    I just wanted to add that if you are making an attempt to eat healthier weather it is blending, juicing, or eating them, you are taking a step in the right direction. As a mother (and health nut) of a son who would rather not eat for days than to eat a fruit or vegetable, I find some comfort that I can at least get him to drink a smoothie. It is as easy as throwing spinach, carrots, a banana,strawberries, some chia seeds, OJ and a little honey in the nurtibullet and he can go to school with some nutrition. So basically, do the best you can, as long as you care and are taking an effort- that is all that matters!

  52. Patricia says

    I’ve been looking for this article without even knowing. I’ve always been a picky eater and green things were top of my no-no list, so juices and smoothies have been my go to for eating greens, but I’ve found that my body doesn’t digest my smoothies once I started adding greens! I thought it was just my condition (IBD), but now I know the problem is deeper than that. I’ll stick to my green juices and have plain old fruit smoothies from now on. Thank you for the awesome insight! (:

    • says

      If you have IBD/Lactose intolerance/Fibromyalgia you should look into eliminating Gluten from your diet to see if you are gluten intolerant.
      Just quit eating anything Wheat/Rye/Barley for a few weeks. You might be surprised by the results.

  53. Lisa Harris says

    As a result of my green-smoothie fact finding mission, I’ve come up with a simple solution that I feel promotes better digestibility, and nutrient assimilation: I put my broccoli, kale and a tablespoon of coconut oil in my blend-tec with a cup of water, and set it on “soup”. After the greens are blended and gently heated I add my vegetarian protein powder, a teaspoon of macs, some berries, a little honey and some ice. Pulse until smooth, and enjoy.

  54. says

    I am amazed at all the strange “green smoothies” that people concoct that are totally opposite of the whole point of a green smoothie, and are merely shots in the dark towards good health. A green smoothie consists of greens (green leafy vegetables not broccoli) and a sweet fruit. With water, coconut water or similar as a liquid base. Adding things like coconut oil, nut butters, or other concentrated fats will only hamper digestion and assimilation. But anyone who has done this long enough to truly clean up their diet, and is aware of their exercise/ work/ activity output as well as their immediate and long term health will come to this. Of course, if a person consumes the SAD (Standard American Diet) and has some of these “green smoothies” in place of a typical SAD meal then it is a slight improvement, to a point. The real purpose of a green smoothie is to serve as a relatively high octane, convenient nutritious calorie source. Depending on the quantitiy and proportion of the (ripe) sweet fruit and dark leafy greens in the mix, one can achieve a few different specific goals. Those TV infomercials for super blenders where they add seceral random vegetables and fruits and other ingredients is just for marketing purposes to appeal to the masses who believes that they have to eat “everything but the kitchen sink” in order to enjoy greeat health. Personally I have been consuming green smoothies as 60-80% of my calories for more than a decade and I have not suffered even the slightest cold or flu symptom during that time (after my initial year or so of cleansing on a raw diet of course, and then learning how to do it right for optimum athletic performance as well. The absolute best way to know whether a particular food plan is working well is to measure 1) Your health (how many years or decades can you go without even the slightest sore throat, headache, stomach ache, congestion, aches, pimples, etc. and 2) Your barbell squat & dead lift strength continues to improve, as well as your dynamic strength, and total body enduerance. Trust me when I say that you can literally triple your endurance (measurable) by eliminating most of the “foods” that we were all brainwashed to eat, and by managing our food intake with the right amount of the right foods. And they are not that many as most would have you believe!

  55. Debra says

    I read a good article about eating with the seasons not to long ago and to me it made sense. I was drinking green smoothies about 5 days a week for about 9 months then once winter hit I didn’t want them anymore. I was craving more protein and fat and winter squashes. The down side is I think I have gained some weight this winter but now that spring is around the corner I’m starting to crave my green smoothies again. I would say the best approach would be to switch what greens you use around a little, sometimes I have spinach then I might do kale and dandelion greens (from my yard) in the spring and fall. In the summer I love a zucchini in my smoothies and avocado smoothies are super creamy. I think if we eat with the seasons we are less likely to get to much of any one food.

  56. says

    Just dont go overboard on any one type of smoothie, mix it up.
    day 1 savory greens with cilantro/garlic/1/2 avocado
    Day 2 fruit smoothie with coconut milk and at least 3-4 fruits + another 1/2 avocado.
    Day 3 something else….etc. Switch out ingredients. do not eat too much supergreens. Try to theme your smoothies around what you enjoy eating.

  57. Tami says

    Hi, So if raw spinach isn’t too good to use in smoothies all the time. Then is lettuce, celery or the spring mix from eb farms ok to add in? I usually use lettuce or the spring mix. I have severe Gerd and I have to be careful of certain fruits and veggies. I definitely don’t won’t kidney stones. I deal with enough health issues. I did need a break on my digestive system. Too many processed foods, had me nausea and not able to eat because of Gerd. I’ve lost 30 pounds from juicing and making smoothies. I still eat though. I think last week I didn’t eat or drink enough water and was quite dizzy. which is scary. Not to be negative, I swear we can’t win for losing though lol. Eat processed you’ll die. Eat healthy you just may die as well, if consumed incorrectly, yikes. I’m so confused with everything. I’m trying not to get discouraged because I need this fat on me gone. It’s not healthy.

    • says

      Hi Tami – Thanks for your comment. Many believe that dark greens should mostly be consumed steamed and always with fat for optimal nutrient absorption. So if you are experiencing some digestive issues, try lightly steaming your greens and adding a bit coconut oil to your smoothies to see if that helps.

  58. says

    What do you think of adding avocado to a smoothie for the fats portion? When I do have smoothies, I only have about 4 ounces and I drink it along with a lean wrap with lettuce, turkey breast, tomato, and a thin slice of swiss cheese. I never use a smoothie as a meal replacement.

  59. Kim says

    I drink Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothies 5 times a week with a tablespoon of cocnut oil or Udos oil. I incorporate healthy fats, fish, chicken, eggs and on occasion I will eat lamb. I don’t bother with dairy as I find it makes my throat very mucousy. It can be very frustrating and discouraging with all the info out there on what is good and what is bad. I very much listen to my own body. I find so far that green smoothies have had a great impact on my health and energy. Since I am anemic I wont cut out red meat entirely. Its about finding a balance that works for you.

  60. Diane says

    Would adding avocado to your smoothie add the needed fat? And what if you steamed your veggies, froze them and then made them into smoothies, would this make them better for you?

  61. Sheri says

    I like this article and the conversations in the comments. I feel like crap and am constipation if I eat nuts or eggs. Even the smell of fish makes me want to vomit. I try to listen to my body and eat what I crave. Some days I just don’t want anything to eat at all. And that’s ok by me. For the most part I crave soups. Different soups depending on the time of year. Sometimes I want a smoothie sometimes I don’t. I try to listen to my body

  62. says

    I pretty much agree with what most on here are saying. Just listen to your body and everything in moderation. Eat less processed. But I must say something. How can green smoothies be that bad for you? They are just fruit and veggies. People have been eating salads to be healthy forever. It’s just a liquid salad. Obviously not a miracle food or a cure all but certainly a quick, easy way to get your nutrients. As far as the coupling it with fat thing, why not throw some olive oil, coconut oil, nuts or nut butter, or an avocado? There are plenty of fatty things better for you than butter. Also, the fruit usually kills the greens flavor pretty well anyway, lightly steaming the veg should be fine. I say, no matter what route you go you’re likely to be better off than the average American eating the processed crap diet.

  63. Mariam M says

    Thanks so much for this article! Im always hesitant to follow food fads and this has been a big one, especially among people obsessed with working out. I just couldn’t stomach it and now I know why.

  64. V says

    Hi, just read your article and I have to say I am a huge green smoothie fan. I never even really knew there was a fad out there, i just did it because I felt amazing afterwards. Using a high speed blender is the best way to get nutrients absorbed because it breaks everything down that our teeth wouldn’t be able to, so it’s much easier to digest and get all the phytonutrients. Coconut cream is not that great for you, I use hemp seeds and chia seeds. I think everyone should eat for their body type so while a green smoothie may be excellent for one person, it may not work for someone else. Kimberly Snyder’s book is awesome her way of eating has changed my life.

  65. Idelle Musiek says

    When juicing or blending greens and veggies like carrots that require fat for absorption, I add a little coconut and that does the trick!

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