Green smoothies pack a nutritional punch

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The latest “green” trend to catch fire isn’t made of recycled material, energy saving or even packaged in biodegradable material. It’s called a green smoothie, and the benefits that come with it have made the beverage a hit among health experts and novice healthy eaters alike.

“It’s not about a diet … it’s not all about losing weight, it’s more just how I feel,” said Linda Wakefield, the artistic director of the world-renowned BYU ballroom dance company. She discovered green smoothies last summer through a dance student who had been using the smoothies for weight loss. She now drinks green smoothies on a regular basis and has been successful in convincing her husband and other students to drink them as well.

A typical green smoothie usually consists of fruit juice, leafy greens and whatever else one might prefer in a smoothie. Those leafy greens can include spinach, kale or romaine. Nuts, beans, berries and other nutrient-rich ingredients are among other possible healthy additions to a green smoothie. The goal is to get as much nutritional benefit as possible in a drinkable form.

“It was something quick to do in the morning that would give me fruits and vegetables all in one twist,” said vocal performance major Courtney Whitear.

She said drinking the smoothies has had a positive affect on her overall health.

“Any time that I take the time to put good things in my body, my body is always appreciative, I think, by being nicer to me,” Whitear said.

More than 9 out of 10 Americans are still not getting enough of the raw nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, according to guidelines published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Green smoothies pack the needed nutritional punch. The smoothie varies depending on what is put in it, and the drink itself doesn’t have to be the color of a freshly-cut lawn. However, it’s namesake does come from the idea of including leafy greens into the typically fruit-dominated smoothie.

Other benefits reported from green smoothie users on greensmoothiegirl.com include weight loss, increased energy and even reversal of certain health problems. While the thought of adding leafy greens to a smoothie may make some wrinkle their nose, it doesn’t have to taste like drinking a salad.

“I didn’t even know there was spinach in there,” said public relations major Caroline Slater about trying her first green smoothie. Her smoothie was made of equal parts spinach, mixed berries and orange juice.

Robyn Openshaw, author of the book, “The Green Smoothie Diet,” will give a free seminar in Sandy on June 30. Her blog, greensmoothiegirl.com, was key in spreading the popularity of the peculiar health drink.

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