Happy Thirsty Thursday!
I am enjoying a Spinach, Pineapple & Pear Smoothie with 1 cup Brazil Nut Milk, 2 T Chia Seeds, 3 T Vega Vanilla Chai & Ice
Like my snazzy new cup?
Got it at Bed Bath & Beyond, BPA-Free COPCO to-go cup. $7.99 used my coupon & proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Foundation. Now I can have my smoothies in style…on the road 🙂
I posted a little bit on Friday about rotating your greens & the leaves I enjoy in my smoothies (and juice). It seems a lot of you that make green smoothies stick with spinach. Then there are those of you that go with variety, but still prefer spinach. I tend to agree that a Popeye inspired smoothie tastes the best. However, it is important to rotate your greens when making these healthy, nutritious drinks we love so much.
So in honor of St. Patty’s Day (shout out to my girl, Susan in Ireland) I will do a GREEN filled post for you 🙂
Life beyond Spinach
I agree with many of you that spinach makes the creamiest, tastiest green smoothie, or green monster, whatever you call them. However, eating the same spinach smoothie day in and day out may raise some caution.
Why you ask?
First off, when eating a variety of greens, you will get a balanced variety of nutrients that your body needs. There are also phytonutrients that your body needs and may not be getting if you are limiting your leafy greens to only a select few. Next, and more importantly you should rotate your greens because the leaves in all plants contain small amounts of toxins as a defense mechanism to protect a plant from predation.
For example,there is caution to be raised when eating greens in the Brassica family. Some members of the brassica family include Kale, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts Bok Choy, Choy Sum and Pak Choi. These greens all have amazing nutrients and healing properties, but if you ate nothing but large amounts of Kale or Bok Choy ALL the time, you may be doing some damage to your thyroid gland. Check out this case where an 88 year old woman ate large amounts of Bok Choy to manage her diabetes and ended up with extreme hypothyroidism due to the over consuming the myrosinase enzyme present in raw bok choy. This doesn’t mean you should avoid bok choy. This was an extreme case where the woman was eating 3-4 raw heads of it per day.
For those of you that load bunches of spinach in your smoothies every day, you may want to be cautious of the oxalic acid present in the plant, which can be problematic in high amounts. Most people without any health problems eating a few bunches of the same two greens every day may not need to worry. However, to prevent a build up in your system or even an overdose of the toxic elements in certain plants you may want to consider rotating your greens regularly.
How to do it?
Rotate a couple different types of greens from different families every couple of weeks. For example, you could make smoothies with mustard greens and kale for 2 weeks, then switch to spinach and chard the next few weeks. You are not properly rotating your greens if you are eating different greens from the same family all the time.
The Green Families:
Knowing what greens and other veggies fall into what families can be a helpful guideline for you when rotating your greens in your diet (not ONLY your smoothies):
(cruciferous vegetables)—Kale, Brussles Sprouts, Cabbage, Broccoli, Bok Choy, Chinese Cabbage, Cauliflower, Choy Sum, Pak Choi, Turnip Root Greens, Rutabega, Arugula, Daikon
Amaranthaceae/ Chenopodiacea Family
Spinach, Swiss Chard, Beet Greens, Beet Root
Romaine Lettuce, Dandelion Greens, Leaf Lettuce, Escarole
The Asteraceae family also contains some of the most helpful, and well known, of all herbs: arnica, burdock, boneset, calendula, chamomile, chicory, mug/cronewort, coltsfoot, dandelion, echinacea, elecampane, feverfew, gravel root, grindelia, liferoot, milk thistle, tansy, yarrow, valerian, wormwood, and wild lettuce.
Parsley, Cilantro, Celery, Carrots
Do I think your spinach smoothies every day will really cause problems? I am not sold on it. Like I said before, you need large amounts of the chemicals from a single plant family to build up toxins. My main reason for rotating my greens is to get the a variety of nutrients in my diet. If you are a big plant eater, and like the same greens over and over again, you should consider switching it up!
Do you rotate your greens, or would you consider doing it?
What’s your favorite NON-SPINACH green smoothie?
Are you celebrating St. Patty’s Day today? How?
fun fact about me: (warning, this is TMI)–I got my first period on St. Patty’s Day in 7th grade. Haven’t really celebrated it since :/
Thanks so much for the AMAZING and SWEET comments on my Second Trimester Pregnancy post yesterday! I will get the 3rd up soon. Trust me, the honeymoon is definitely over 🙁
My 34 Week Photos are up! Check em’ out!
Enjoy Your Day!