The Ultimate Guide to Leafy Greens

The shining stars of green smoothies are the leafy greens— chock full of phytonutrients, protein, vitamins, antioxidants…the list goes on.

overhead shot of several different leafy greens, all of which you can be added to your next smoothie

The shining stars of green smoothies are the leafy greens— and today I’m taking a deep dive into my love for greens and why you should love them too.

What are Leafy Greens?

Leafy greens are super important for a healthy diet. They’re nutrient dense, green veggies that provide tons of vitamins and minerals. According to research by the US Department of Health and Human Services, a daily serving of leafy greens can lead to slower age-related cognitive decline.

Greens can be found as the tops of other plants (here’s looking at you, carrot tops), or as plants in their own right. Leafy greens come in all shapes, sizes, textures, shades, and seasons. They aren’t even all in the same plant family. If your taste buds have ever balked at something dark green and leafy, never fear! I’ve got some great new options for you to blend.

The leafy greens list

circle of dark leafy greens listed with labels of each type: Bok choy, kale, cabbage, chard, arugula, carrot tops, romaine, collard, beet tops, spinach

I often talk about rotating your greens. This is because greens come from all different plant families, each offering different health benefits. Yet if spinach is your jam, no worries! Your body will tell you when it’s time for a leafy green change-up. Read on to learn about some different types of greens, as well as my fave options in each family.


Having a health issue? Kale can help with that. Seriously, kale is at the top of the superfood chain. With 684% of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, 206% of the RDV of vitamin A, and 134% of the RDV of vitamin C, this dark leafy green packs a health punch. The National Library of Medicine states that kale has the highest level of antioxidants when consumed raw, yet does retain some health benefits when cooked.

Like their other cruciferous family members, collard greens are great cancer fighters. They are also pretty good at helping your body digest foods properly with all the fiber inside. They are most popular as a steamed, dark leafy greens, but adding them raw to your smoothies will provide greater health benefits.

Cabbage is yet another example of a cruciferous cancer-fighting leafy green. This veggie can actually be purple, red, white, or green, but is definitely still considered a leafy green. I love using cabbage as a plant-based taco shell, or blended in a smoothie. Loaded with fiber, folate, vitamin B6, and antioxidants which help fight inflammation.

Bok Choy
This unique green vegetable is typically grown and harvested in China. Full of vitamins A and C, bok choy ranks high for nutrient density as well. All parts of the plant can be used: shredded in a salad or ramen, cooked in soup, or blended in a smoothie.

More than just a garnish, this leafy green has a peppery taste and a full nutrient profile. 1 cup contains 27.7% of the RDV of vitamin K. It has a stronger flavor than other cruciferous greens on my list, yet is fun in salad, pesto, or as a pizza topping on my incredibly delicious plant based pizza recipe in Simple Green Meals.

ceramic bowl filled with raw baby spinach leafy greens


It’s hard to beat spinach when talking about nutrient packed greens. Just one leaf contains a sampling of more than 20 different nutrients. The list of benefits is nearly as long as the amount of nutrients:

  • cancer fighting
  • blood pressure lowering
  • bone strengthening
  • cardiovascular helping
  • brain boosting
  • skin smoothing
  • vision improving
  • inflammation reducing
  • energy increasing

Beet Greens
I recommend branching out and trying beet greens for your next smoothie! They include a wide variety of nutrients, and can easily be substituted in any recipe with spinach, kale, or chard. Our friends at Epicurious will kickstart your love for dark leafy beet greens with some of their fave recipes.

Looking to put a pep in you leafy green step? Chard is a colorful, dark leaf known for its ability to regulate the body’s blood sugar. Translation? If diabetes or maintaining blood sugar levels is a concern, then add this veggie to your regular rotation. Perfect for the afternoon smoothie pick-me-up!


Romaine Lettuce
Romaine lettuce is good for the heart and low in calories. The vitamin C and beta-carotene content help to lower cholesterol and prevent build up on artery walls, which reduces the risk of heart attack. Not a fan of salads? Then use romaine as a food wrap with some hummus + fresh veggies!


Carrot Tops
Who knew those frilly greens on the tops of carrots could come in handy? #nofoodwaste Filled with chlorophyll, which can fight against tumor growth and acts as a cleansing agent, carrot tops are the perfect addition to smoothies. If you really want to boost your next smoothie, toss in the carrot + its top.

just washed dark leafy greens on a cutting board

How often should you rotate greens?

Most of the smoothie/meal recipes I create use kale or spinach. That’s because these are the most easily found + affordable leafy greens available at the grocery store. Plus, they are in different leafy green families, so it makes rotating my greens easy peasy.

Alkaloid Build Up

Why is it important to rotate through this leafy green list? All greens have small amounts of toxins. If you only consume greens from one family, your body may start to experience alkaloid build up. This is very rare, and easy to avoid. Just try a new/different leafy green every once in a while. I recommend rotating your greens once a week. This way, your body doesn’t get too much of a good thing in one leafy green family, and you get the chance to reward your body with new nutrients from a different green family.

Basically, by rotating greens on a regular basis, you avoid building up the toxins from one leafy green. And, this gives you a reason to try that new fun green you’re always eyeing at the farmers market. While our green smoothies are super easy to swap out one green for another, I’ve also got a meal planner full of plant based recipes. Rawk the Year makes finding new recipes a breeze, and helps you incorporate the whole rainbow into your week. This meal planner also equips you with the kitchen skills to change up your veggies with ease!

Freezing your leafy greens

Ever wonder how to use up all that beautiful produce you just bought, before it starts to wilt? Even though I make green smoothies daily, I still find that my greens never stay fresh as long as I need. To lengthen the shelf life of those leafy greens, and make rotating your greens as easy as opening your freezer, I came up with a way to freeze your greens. This way, you can have your greens and eat them too! Since I typically buy spinach and kale at Costco, I found that freezing them in ice cube trays then storing in freezer containers is the perfect solution to maximizing the freshness. Plus, frozen greens can really help keep that smoothie cool.

big stalks of curly kale leafy greens on wooden table top

The Ultimate Green Smoothie App

Our amazing app, Daily Blends, has 100s of recipes ready for you to work your way through the leafy greens list! Click here to get it.

What are your fave leafy greens? Drop a comment below and let me know if this list has inspired you to try a new ingredient, or if you’ve got a new green for me to try!

#1 Green Smoothie Of all Time— no joke!
About Jen Hansard

Mom of 2, ran across the Grand Canyon and lover of smoothies, coffee & tacos. I transformed my family's health with a realistic plant-based diet. I also found myself again along the way.

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Ratings & Comments

  1. Sobia says:

    After how many days its ideal to rotate spinach r else greens?

    I have available with spinach..and very often coriander
    And cabbage alao.
    Beet greens r seasonal.
    So what would be the way to rotate my greens..as i have only one or 2 greens
    Plz guide

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Jen’s fav thing to do is to switch out greens once a week. So if you’re only using 2 greens, use one the first week, the other the next, then switch back and forth week-to-week. This will keep any toxins from one particular green from building up in your system (which is rare, of course).

  2. Kim Thompson says:

    I recently bought a bunch of radishes with the leafy greens and wondered about using those. Are there any green vegetable tops that shouldn’t be consumed?

    • Simple Green Smoothies says:

      Hi Kim! Radish tops are totally fine to blend up – great idea! Many other ‘tops’ are great to add to your smoothies – especially carrot tops. We’d stay away from the leaves of potato and rhubarb plants though, as those can be toxic. When in doubt, check with a nutritionist or doc to be sure before consuming.

  3. SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

    Hey Nick,
    Way to blend while in college! That looks like a delicious smoothie. If you’re drinking it in place of a meal, I recommend adding a healthy fat + a protein to make it a complete meal. Not getting enough fats + proteins may be the reason for your 5pm slump and/or your feelings of grouchiness. You can read about our favorite fat + protein combos here: https://simplegreensmoothies.com/recipes/meal-replacement-smoothie

  4. Jessica says:

    This is such a wide-ranging list! I know it doesn’t include every leafy green out there but it’s a great start for those of us who are looking to expand our smoothie ingredients beyond spinach and kale! 🙂

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      So glad we can help expand your tastebuds + help you find more great smoothie ingredients!

  5. Erin says:

    This is awesome! Can’t wait to look for some new leafy green options next time I grocery shop. I love that you can swap any green out in smoothie.

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      I love that, too! And I love experimenting with greens I wouldn’t normally think about using in my smoothies.

  6. Meg says:

    I have a question about your article about freezing greens in ice cube trays. You mention 2 cups spinach in the blender and 1/2 water. Do you mean 2 cups spinach and 1 cup water?

    I love the green protein powder that I bought from you!!!!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hi Meg! It should say 1/2 cup of water (sorry about that and we’ll get it updated). We use just a small amount of water because the main goal is to preserve the greens and we need just enough water to help blend them into a liquid you can pour into your ice cube trays. Start with 1/2 cup of water and if you feel like you do need more, add just a little at a time until your spinach (or other leafy green) is completely blended.

      Also, so glad you love the Protein Smoothie Boost!!! 😀

  7. Sonya Tanner says:

    I like spinach or kale. I need to try the Dandelion greens!

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Sonya, def give the dandelion greens a try! And don’t forget a banana to balance out the slightly bitter taste of the greens. 😉 Let us know what you think after you try them!

  8. Dawn says:

    Can I use Bok Choy as the green in a smoothie?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Hey Dawn! You can definitely use bok choy in your smoothies. It has a mild taste, similar to cabbage so keep that in mind when deciding which fruits to mix in (I might use fruits that are on the sweeter-tasting side).

  9. Jason R Cox says:

    I am thinking of growing cardoon. What do you think?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Jason, we are always fans of kitchen gardens and growing your own produce. 🙂

  10. Lori says:

    I always like to use spinach + kale or spinach + power greens in my smoothie. I buy it in bags. In a pinch, i.e. I’m out of bagged greens, I forage from the “weed patch”, a.k.a. my yard and get wild dandelion, plantain, herbs, violet leaves, whatever.

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      Lori, I love that you forage in your backyard! There’s so much good stuff out there that most of us call “weeds” and it’s great that you take advantage of what’s right outside your door. 🙂

  11. Michelle Fox says:

    How do I find smoothies that use each of these greens? Do you just substitute for whatever greens you are eating that week? Also, do you have recipes for smoothies that “flip the ratio” as you mentioned to have more greens than fruit?


    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hey Michelle,

      Most of our recipes you can swap the greens for whatever you have on hand or to keep up your rotation. Also we do not have specific recipes for the “flip ratio” because you can use that with any recipe we have. We like to keep our recipes easy and versatile. All you have to do is find a recipe you like and simply switch the fruits and veggies amount and your smoothie will be “less sweet”.

      Hope that helps!

  12. Flo says:

    Hi wow very helpful tips. Love juicing. Just learnt from a friend that she adds amaranth leaves to her smoothies! I didn’t know that.

    Do you have recipes?

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Flo,

      While we don’t have any recipes with amaranth leaves (yet!), don’t let that stop you! Our recipes are here to inspire you, so don’t hesitate to change it up + try adding amaranth leaves to any of our recipes!

  13. Al F says:

    One of the best investments that I have made was in a Vitamix blender! I’m loving mine every morning to make my green smoothie. There are other great blenders on the market as well. To our health!

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Al,

      We love Vitamix too! Nothing beats a powerful multi-purpose blender!

    • Deborah Korch says:

      I also just bought a Vitamix. It’s powerful and slightly freaks me out. I now can safely get rid of my other 2 juicers that also won the intimidation game.

    • SGS Rawkstar Carissa says:

      Hey Deborah,

      That is so exciting!!! I bet you are loving it already. It can be really intimidating though so I definitely get that. Pretty soon it will feel like second nature and that you’ve had it forever 🙂

  14. Keeny says:

    I am doing a 10 day green smoothie cleanse. I use a power blend of greens (chard, spinach and kale) everyday. Is this a bad idea?

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Keeny,

      Worried about oxalate build-up while using your power blend? Try not to sweat rotating your leafy greens so much. Your body is wise enough to let you know when it’s time to change things up.

      Just a reminder, alkaloid build-up is rare. And if you do experience any symptoms, they’re very mild and they don’t last long. Nothing that will send you to the doctor’s office. You might just take a few days break from green smoothies and jump right back in!

  15. Yvonne Scott says:

    Hi, I am overweight and had high blood pressure. My friend and I decided to lose weight together. She lives in NY and I live in Florida. She turned me on to smoothies, but mostly fruits. I was using an orange, an apple, a banana, strawberries and blueberries and coconut water. I was losing weight, but then I gained 3 lbs! I spoke to my dr and asked how that was possible? Whammo, he said I was consuming way too much sugar from all that fruit. So, I began to stop the fruit smoothies and moved to kale, spinach, celery, carrot and threw in some frozen strawberries and a handful of frozen blueberries. For liquid I use coconut water with no added sugars or fruit. Now, the last 2 dr visits were particular, when I asked about my pressure IT WAS SO MUCH LOWER, the first time I figured it was just a fluke, but when it happened again at a different dr I WAS STYMIED. Why was my pressure changing (I never took pressure meds) then it hit me…THE GREENS! I couldn’t believe I actually was doing something that made such a healthy difference. However, I’ve been using the same ingredients for a month now and I just bought another giant bag of both kale and spinach. How am I doing? How can I incorporate other greens, and is broccoli thrown in raw…just florets? What about the leafy green part of celery, I have been tossing it in the garbage. PS I throw in some Bobs Redmill unmodified potato starch or a green unripened banana for resistance starch. What am I doing right and what am I doing wrong? Thanks for your knowledge, it is appreciated, Yvonne

    • SGS Rawkstar Amanda says:

      Hi Yvonne,

      It sounds like you’re rawkin’ it + and I’m so excited to hear you’re reaching your health + wellness goals with green smoothies! We love blending with a variety of greens. Some of my favorites are kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, and beet greens!

      And you can definitely add the celery greens, other great veggies to add are beet + carrot greens. And no waste!!

      And yes, just toss the broccoli in raw! Here’s one of my favorite recipes to add broccoli to…

      Also, if you’re using your green smoothie as a meal replacement, have you tried adding protein + healthy fats? We suggest adding them to ensure you’re fueling your body with a complete meal. Check out our favorite meal replacement booster combos here…


      Hope this helps! And reach out with any questions!

  16. Mel Mohan says:

    I started doing green smoothies in the summer of 2015 I had them everyday twice a day. In February I was at the doctor with kidney stones due to high oxalate build up. I was advised to lay off the green smoothies for awhile (which was very hard for me as I loved the energy it gave me) and am just getting back into them. I want to rotate my greens, but am not really sure what to mix with each type of green for optimal flavour…..any suggestions?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Mel,

      Variety is the fruit of life! I love switching up my leafy greens. So while one of our recipes may call for spinach, change it up + try it with chard or kale! Don’t hesitate to experiment.

  17. Rachelkaren says:

    What can I mix with greens in a smoothie that will overpower the green coloring? My husband will not drink “anything green”

  18. Sean K. says:

    Thank you for this website! I started drinking a green smoothie for breakfast about a month ago and so far its the best dietary change I’ve made (27 y/o male with limited cooking skills but great ordering out skills).
    I have 2 questions for you,

    1. I have been using a green powder (Amazing Grass Green Superfood) but now I’m worried of Oxalate build up from the mix of the same greens daily. Do these powders contain oxalate?

    2. I workout in the morning and like to add a scoop of protein to my smoothie, do you have any recommendations for protein packed smoothies? I use plant-based protein blends but now I’m worried about rotating them (typically quinoa, hemp, pea, chia blend).

  19. Lyndsey Russell says:

    Could you choose 2 veggies (1 each from a different family i.e. one week kale and chard then the next week spinach and cabbage) to put in or would you only recommend 1 each time? I ask as my favourite smoothie has spinach, kale, broccoli, celery, mango and pineapple and I’ve had this everyday for about 2 weeks now but I’m worried about the poisoning thing

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Lyndsey,

      You definitely could! We love mixing up our leafy greens. We simply suggest taking a week off from a specific family of greens. For example…blend crucifers and apiaceae this week, then next week blend up amaranth and asteraceae. Also, everyone’s body is different and has different sensitivities to oxalate build-up. So it’s always important to listen to your body when determining how often to rotate your greens.

  20. Ed says:

    I’ve been using spinach as my staple ingredient for green smoothies twice a day (for 2 years now)

    I tend to rotate the other ingredients such as Broccoli, Kale, Celery twice a day (morning I might toss in Broccoli and at night I’ll toss in Kale and Celery)

    It has been working for me since, no doctor visits or anything!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Ed,

      YAY! We love changing up our veggies + leafy greens. We’ve also found that oxalate sensitivity is different for everyone.

  21. Beverley says:

    I wash all my fruits and veg in vinegar to get rid of toxins.. is this ok?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Beverly,

      Washing your greens with vinegar and water is a great way to remove bacteria and pesticides from your leafy greens. But it’s still important to rotate your greens, to prevent toxin build-up from the natural toxins that occur within the plant.

  22. Mum 3.0 says:

    I tried carrot tops, say with pears and some apple juice, but they do not mix well when I put everything together in the blender. Do you have any tip for these tops?
    Thank you!

  23. Jana says:

    1. What are ur thoughts about using green powder product instead of raw greens if no access to fresh produce?
    2. What’s the 411 re spinach not allowing body to absorb calcium? I want to increase calcium intake to build bone density & not sure if spinach should be eaten separately from calcium-rich foods or if that’s false. Thx!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Jana,

      Personally, we’re all about fresh leafy greens. But when raw greens aren’t accessible, green powder is a great option! Worried about spinach preventing calcium absorption? While oxalates prevent calcium absorption from spinach, we reach for plant-based options like broccoli, okra, + almonds.

  24. Nd says:

    If all leafy greens have a small amount of toxins, how does rotating help? It seems that Oxalate build-up would still occur unless you completely refrain from leafy veggies for a few days or week. Someone previously ask if cooking the veggies helps reduce or prevent toxin build-up, but the question wasn’t really answered. Instead, rotating veggies was again recommended. Months ago Dr. Oz recommended only consuming raw leafy green veggies 2-3 times a week. He advised to cook veggies slightly beforehand if you consume daily. Have you researched this option? If so, do you feel there is significant nutrient lost if you lightly steam veggies? Thanks!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Nd,

      Great questions! The leafy greens in each family have similar “DNA,” each including their own minor level of toxins. By rotating family types of leafy greens you’re not only preventing a toxic build-up, you are also feeding your body a variety of nutrients. Therefore it’s not necessary to take a break from leafy greens, but simply rotate between greens.

      We prefer to get our veggies raw to obtain the maximum nutrients and they make our smoothies super yummy. But if you want to cook your greens before blending to help further prevent toxin build-up, a light steam will help!

      Hope this helps!

  25. Lucy Khan says:

    How much spinach or Kale should I add to smoothie? 1-2 cups of spinach? Is that too much?

    • SGS Rawkstar Jen says:

      That’s perfect! We recommend 1 cup leafy greens for 1 serving of smoothie— and our recipes typically make 2 servings (so we say 2 cups leafy greens). Make sure to check out our recipes section where you’ll find a bunch of recipes to get you started!

  26. John says:

    I have been doing green smoothies for almost 4 years now. These are amazing things I drink a quart in the morning and a quart in the evening. Same thing every day. Spinach, Kale, chard, flax seeds, sun flower seeds, chia seeds, avocado, and tofu. I can’t eat sugars or carbs except for what is in the nuts and seeds I eat. after reading your article I have decided to start rotating my vegetables not because of any problems from eating the same thing every day but to get the extra nutrients that this will give me.

    • SGS Rawkstar Jess says:

      You’re a Rawkstar, John! So glad we inspired you to rotate your veggies. Happy blending! 🙂

  27. Dawn says:

    seems every time I make a smoothies of kale spinach and other greens I have a vertigo attack and heart starts beating

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Dawn,

      Ek! That doesn’t sound good. And we definitely want you feeling great when enjoying your green smoothie. We suggest reaching out to your physician to ensure the leafy greens in our recipes are the right choice for you + your body.

  28. Sajid says:

    I can’t find kale, arugula, beet greens it’s near winter here!
    Can I just use a mixture of cabbage, lettuce, spinach, bok choy, cilantro and parsley as spring mix greens… also tell me the substitutes of kale… and the soy protein I got here contains sucrose, should I use it or not.

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Sajid,

      We’re all about reaching for local leafy greens. Don’t have the greens we’ve listed above where you are? No worries! Swap in greens you love that are available where you shop! Our recipes are here to inspire you, so please don’t feel like you need to follow them to a T. We’d love to hear what you’re blending with. Reach out + let us know!!

  29. Wendy says:

    Hi. I know that fresh is best but can I use canned fruit instead when I can’t get fresh.

  30. Ashley says:

    I am new to this and was wondering, when switching up greens, can I go from spinach, kale and romaine lettuce? Spinach in a smoothie for breakfast, kale for lunch and the romaine lettuce at dinner? Or do I need to switch each week?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Ashley,

      Thanks for reaching out. We suggest switching leafy greens week to week. That way it gives your body plenty of time-off between each green.

      Hope this helps! Reach out with any questions!

  31. Pam says:

    I’m in Australia, do you ship your books and recipe cards to Australia.

  32. Ada says:

    I have been drinking a green smoothie Monday to Friday for over two months now.
    What I normally put in it is:
    – One or One and a half hand fulls of Spinach
    – One or One and a half hand fulls of Kale
    – A small banana or half of a big one OR Half of a big apple
    – Hand full of strawberries OR Blueberries
    – Sometimes a bit of celery Or Cucumber Or half of an orange

    I do this as I find the smoothie is very easy breakfast on the go, and it keeps me satisfied by at least 3 hours.
    My question is…
    Will I get that Alkaloid Build up if I continue doing this?
    How much is too much leafy greens?
    Should I rotate one day just spinach and another day just kale? Will this prevent it?

    Ada S.

    Thank you

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Ada,

      Your smoothie sounds awesome! Worried about oxalate buildup? Simply switch up your leafy greens week to week. For example blend kale one week and the next week spinach, then blend kale the following week. This will give your body enough time to prevent any toxins from building up.

      Hope this helps!

  33. Joyce Pearson says:

    What are the symptoms of greens toxicity build up? I believe that’s what you called it. And is it possible to get it from the over consumption of any greens? I’m new to smoothies and looking forward to some new and awesome tasting smoothies. Also what are vegetables that can be added? Frozen carrots, peas, mushrooms? Just curious. Thanks for all your love and support!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Joyce,

      Thanks for reaching out. All raw leafy greens carry a small amount of toxins that protect plants from being entirely consumed by other animals—and wiping out the plant species. It’s a defensive trait, and something even we should be aware of. But if we rotate our greens we help prevent this build-up. Some symptoms of oxalate build up can be joint pain, kidney stones, or hives.

      You can definitely add veggies to your green smoothies! We especially love blendin’ with root vegetables. Learn more about our favorites here…


  34. Shavonne Williams says:

    Greetings!! How do I know which greens go with what fruit…like do raspberries and arugula compliment one another? How do I know which greens best suit which recipe?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Shavonne,

      Know what’s great about our green smoothie formula!?! The ratio of fruit to leafy greens allows you to get really creative, without being overpowered by that “green” flavor, no matter what leafy green you’re blendin’ with.

      Check out our formula here…


  35. Nillawilla says:

    I’m new to your website. Your recipes look yummy, but I am pre-diabetic with orders to keep my smoothies low in sugar content where your recipes are high. I’ve been doing my own thing with smoothies, using only strawberries and cucumbers to enhance flavors, but honestly, the totally green flavor gets old. Is there a happy medium that would taste yummy but keep the sugars low?

  36. John Callan says:

    I’m new to Simple Green and trying to replace all my meals with smoothies and salads to cure my diabetes and lose weight. I have plant-based protein formula and would like to know if I should be adding this to my smoothies and if so how much? Or, can I get enough protein from green leaf smoothies?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi John,

      Looking to use your green smoothie as a meal replacement? We suggest adding protein + healthy fats to ensure you’re fueling your body with a complete meal. Learn more about adding protein + our favorite meal replacement booster combos here…


      Also, we’re green smoothie lovers alright, but we’re not doctors or nutritionists. It’s always best to run green smoothies and our recipes past your personal physician before making changes to your diet.

      Thanks for blendin’ with us!

  37. Sonya says:

    Hi, I know how Spinach is a Rawkstar but sometimes, it’s hard to find it on local public wet markets here in Philippines. Can I use Basella (vine spinach) or Alugbati instead? Just want to make sure that it’s okay. Thank you!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Sonya,

      Of course, we love switching up our leafy greens…especially when using leafy greens local to our area!


    • Sonya says:

      Cool! Thanks Rawkstars! You’re website and your passion is making a great impact to our lives! Keep rawking! 🙂 <3

  38. Ann says:

    I have read about the amazing benefits of wheatgrass. I just bought some and want to put them into my smoothies. But was wondering if adding the wheatgrass to the greens already called for in the smoothies would be too much greens. The serving size for the wheatgrass I have is 1/4 teaspoon.

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Ann!

      Totally up to you! You can absolutely add wheatgrass to your smoothies :). You may just have to experiment with the amount to find what tastes best for you.


  39. Ann says:

    Hi, I am new to “Rawkstar. I have a question: I buy the pre-package of “Super Greens” that contain at least 3 different greens. The package I have now is Trader Joes “Power to the Greens” which is baby kale, baby chard and baby spinach, all organic. I usually add parsley and cilantro to them, but the next package I buy will probably have different greens. ie: spinach, bok choy and mustard greens. So, am I already rotating my greens?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Ann,

      Great question! And we love Trader Joe’s mixed greens too! As long as you’re changing up your greens, and giving your body a break between weeks (ex. taking week off from kale, and then starting back up the following week), then you’re rawkin’ it!!


  40. Claire says:

    Are there more greens for “APIACEAE” group?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Claire,

      Thanks for reaching out! Looking for more asteraceae options? Try reaching for lettuce, chicory, or endive!


  41. Iva says:

    Unfortunately I have gastritis and colitis. I have been drinking green smoothies for a week instead of breakfast, but I got a strong stomach pain. Can you tell me how to add green leafy vegetables in my smoothies to have no pain? I’m worried by the formation of oxalate kidney stones, as I am inclined to form such. What would you advise me?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Iva,

      We’re green smoothie lovin’ rawkstars alright, but not doctors or nutritionists – we suggest you talk with your doctor about any health concerns— I’m sure they can help you decide what is best for you and your body.

      Cheers to health + happiness!

    • Alex E Smith says:

      Add ginger to your smoothie. It soothes the stomach

    • Tamara says:


      I have colitis, also, and my doc put me on a Low FODMAP eating plan due to my body’s reaction to some foods. It’s how your body MAY be not digesting certain sugars.

      Peel some ginger and add pineapple to most of your smoothies for anti-inflammatory and tummy soothing properties.

      Hope this helps!

  42. Claire says:

    I appreciate your information.
    I keep trying the cycle what you told.
    I’ve been drinking my green smoothies for 3 weeks now, and it was fine until yesterday.
    Regarding “ASTERACEAE”, there are only two types of greens and it’s very tough for me to find.
    First, the dandelion greens are difficult for me to find. (I’m living in the city of Seoul in Korea, and it’s not a popular green.)
    Also, its taste is very strong for me. (I don’t think it is 100% same dandelion green with U.S’s.). I have also added some fruits. I don’t want to eat only romaine lettuce when I’m taking “ASTERACEAE” greens.
    I also want to stick to the cycle that you mentioned. Are there any more greens in “ASTERACEAE”?
    If so, please let me know. Or, can you please give me any advice?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Claire,

      Thanks for reaching out! Looking for more asteraceae options? Try reaching for lettuce, chicory, or endive. Also, if you’re in Seoul, feel free to reach for greens that are local to your area!


  43. Lynn says:

    I was on week 8 of green smoothies meal replacement for breakfast…spinach..pineapple..mango…banana, coconut oil and plant based protein powder. I felt great!!! …salads for lunch and a regular balanced dinner. I was nauseated for a couple of days and then had diarrhea for 12 days. I ended up at the doctors who told me to cut them for 3 weeks and go on the brat diet. I wondered about not rotating greens or if I had contaminated produce. I was back to normal and just went back on and rotated to Kale. However..I am using the same mango, pineapple and banana that I had cut up and froze from when I was sick. I was nauseated while drinking my first one yesterday….and vomitted today after the second sip. Can’t figure out what is doing it. A food allergy? The protein powder? No rash or anything else. Is there one ingredient that would be more likely to cause an allergy or digestive issue?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Lynn,

      Oh no! We’re so sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. It’s definitely important to review your ingredients and ensure you don’t have a food allergy or intolerance. Because we’re green smoothie lovin’ rawkstars, but not doctors or nutritionists – we suggest you talk with your doctor about any health concerns— I’m sure they can help you decide what is best for you and your body.

      Cheers to health + happiness!

  44. Yemima says:

    Hello! It is fun to read your web.
    One thing that I’d like to ask, do we have to boil or maybe steam the veggies first before we make smoothies? Because, you know, I once read and being told that eat raw food everyday can cause toxo. This is like a bad news because I want to consume green smoothies everyday. Thank you!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Yemima,

      Thank you so much for reaching out! You’re right, all raw leafy greens carry a small amount of toxins that protect plants from being entirely consumed by other animals—and wiping out the plant species. It’s a defensive trait, and something even we should be aware of.

      We love consuming our leafy greens raw, and for that reason we suggest rotating your leafy greens. This will prevent those small toxins from building up and negatively affecting your body.

      Hope this helps!

  45. Amy DeBruyn says:

    We’ve been using the Earthbound Farms Power Greens (baby kale, chard, and spinach) for-just-about-ever… I had never heard about rotating greens. My husband and I each drink a smoothie every morning that has 2-3 cups of these greens. Since these greens are from different greens families, would you say we need to break from this product? Great site – thanks for the info!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Amy,

      We’re all about variety here at Simple Green Smoothies. Rotating your greens allows your body to benefit from a wide arrange of nutrients, and helps prevent oxalate build-up. But no need to break up with your power greens. Simply take a week off, blend a different combination, and then add them back to your smoothie the following week.


  46. Johnny says:

    I really appreciate the information on the website and I have been extracting and blending green smoothies for a week now and I have been using Baby Kale about 2 cups, 1 whole Banana, 1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks, 1 cup of Almond milk unsweeten, and 1 cup of Blended juice orange, pineapple, and banana juice. and next week I’m going to buy Spinach and substitute it for the kale. I’m drinking a 32 oz Green Smoothie twice a day I have not lost any weight yet but I am hoping to soon. What do you think about my Green Smoothie Recipe I am currently using?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Johnny,

      Thank you so much for reaching out. We’re so excited to have you blendin’ with us! Your recipe sounds awesome! Are you using your green smoothies as a meal replacement to meet your weight loss goals? If so, we suggest adding protein + healthy fats to ensure your’e fueling your body with a complete meal. Check out our favorite meal replacement booster combos here…


      Do note that all of our recipes make two (16oz) servings. We suggest sticking between one to two servings per day to help fuel your body.

      Please let reach out with any questions, and let us know how we can continue to help you reach your health and wellness goals!

  47. Cindy says:

    Hi Jen and Jadah,
    I have been juicing with you for a few months now. I was wondering if I really have to substitute my spinach if I am eating romaine lettuce in salads every day and having cilantro in some of my smoothies? I just love the spinach so much. I find romaine and a few other greens very bitter in a smoothie.
    🙂 Cindy

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Cindy,

      Great question! Even if you’re fueling your body with different greens it’s important to give your body a break from the nutrients in one specific leafy green to prevent build-up. That’s why we suggest taking a week off and adding a different green to your recipes. Finding a few greens too bitter? Try reaching for baby greens! They’re packed with the same nutrients as their mature counterparts, but with a milder flavor!

  48. Mary Lou says:

    Hi! Having good luck with the green smoothies but find spinach is giving me black stools. What gives with that?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for reaching out! Spinach is packed with iron, which can cause a change in color. Concerned? As we’re not doctors or nutritionists we suggest reaching out to your physician to ensure our recipes + ingredients are the right choice for you + your body.


  49. Miki says:

    Here’s another question I’ve been meaning to ask. When measuring greens, is it one cup (or whatever) packed, loose, or medium?

  50. Miki says:

    I like the idea of the rotations! To implement this in your smoothie recipes, would I swap out the spinach or kale for another green in the same family?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Miki,

      Thanks for reaching out! When rotating your leafy greens we suggest switching between leafy green families. For example, love spinach + kale? Blend spinach one week, then the following week take the week off spinach and blend kale instead. Rotating kale + spinach is a great option because they’re both mild in flavor but from separate leafy green families!


  51. Antonia says:

    Hi, I am relatively new to the green smoothies and have been having them for my breakfast for the last month and loving it. I have been using kale and spinach. Do you recommed using both of those together in a smoothie or should one week I use kale with something else then the next spinach with something else?

    Thanks x

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Antonia,

      We’re so excited to have you blendin’ with us! We love combining our leafy greens, so blending kale + spinach together is a great idea. When it comes to rotating your greens, it is important to give your body a break to help prevent oxalate build-up. So if you enjoy blending kale + spinach together, try blending a different combination the following week, and then blend kale + spinach again.

      Hope this helps!

  52. sally says:

    Might sound like a silly question but rather than rotate the greens, can you just use a variety of different greens in one smoothie but less of them?

    So rather than 1 week kale one week spinach, one week romaine, have all three everyday for 3 weeks but 1/3 of each?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Sally,

      Not a silly question at all! The reason we suggest rotating your greens is you’re giving your body a quick break from the nutrients of a specific green family. That week off allows your body to absorb different nutrients + prevent oxalate build-up. While we love blending with different greens, doing so each day without a break can still put you + your body at risk of build-up.

      Hope that helps answer your question!

  53. ruby says:

    Hey im pretty new at green smoothies i currently only uses spinach and one tbs of flexseeds, but I’m an extreme anemia, vitamin b deficient,vitamin d deficient and i don’t drink milk anymore so what should I be adding to my smoothies in order to get all the nutritional i need
    I don’t want to turn to supplement. Thanks

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Ruby,

      Thanks for reaching out! We’re green smoothie lovin’ rawkstars all right, but we’re not doctors or nutritionists. We suggest you talk with your doctor about any health concerns. If your physician suggests adding specific ingredients to your diet to help combat your anemia + vitamins deficiencies, we’d be happy to point you in the right direction!

      Cheers 🙂

  54. Ann says:

    Thank you for this information. I have been using only spinach and kale. I will try all the others that is mentioned above. It will be a challenge………..Ann

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Ann!

      You’re so welcome :). Spinach and kale are my go-to greens, as well, but the others really are a nice change! When you rotate your greens, not only do you prevent oxalate build-up, but you’re also giving your body some different nutrients. It’s a win-win!

  55. Nikki says:

    Is it more beneficial to rotate greens from one family to the next week to week, or get both in one week? I usually have a green every night in my smoothie, and I was wondering if it would be better to do a week of kale, then a week of chard/spinach, or do a week where I switch back and forth every day. This is a really thought- provoking article, thank you for this!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Nikki,

      Great question! We suggest rotating week to week. That way you’re giving your body a whole week off from one leafy green family to help prevent oxalate build-up.

      Hope this helps!

  56. Oh meant to add I put parsnip in a smoothie the other day, sweet!

  57. That is the best article on smoothie greens I’ve ever read, have shared on Facebook because you are brilliant and the website is fabulous XX

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Anne,

      Thank you so much for sharing the green smoothie love! <3

  58. Anna Kettner says:

    Thank for all inspiration. Have been doing my 2 a day since last oktober – I was sas in the challenge. Since organic leafy greens are hard to come buy in Sweden for several months during winter (I refuse to count such flewn in as organic) I mostly lean to cabbage and broccoli the last months. But it’s hard to figure out the equivalent to 2 packed cups leafy greens. Do you have a weight measure to use?

  59. lana says:

    Hi, thanks for your amazing site,
    I have just discovered green smoothies!! 1 wk ago. Been having 2 every day. This a great informative article
    I will now make sure I rotate my greens
    Also what is your opinion on these super greens mix sachets, mix of wheatgrass, barley grass spirulina etc..i think you add 5g or so to your smoothie
    Just thinking on lazy days!! any good? also what about protein powders do you use those?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Lana,

      Thank you so much for reaching out! We’re so excited to have you blendin’ with us! Looking for an extra boost of leafy greens? Super green powders are a great option. Just make sure and read the ingredients. You want to make sure there’s no yucky additives.

      We love adding plant-based protein powder, like hemp protein! Learn more about our favorite protein options here…



  60. Teri says:

    My daughter who is 12 and I found this website after she heard her teacher and I heard my boss speak of green smoothies now for months straight. This is only our forth week but we are addicted. We love trying new fruit and greens combos every day and it gives us that one on one big of togetherness every day. We have started being cautious of everything we put into our bodies now and even go do the gym 3-4 times a week. I can already feel a difference in my energy and body is craving more and more healthy food which I love. Thanks for all you share its AWESOME!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Teri,

      YAY! We’re so excited to have you and your daughter blending with us and we love hearing the other changes you have made in your health + wellness, and especially that you’re doing it together!!

      Cheers 🙂

  61. Nikola says:

    Hey guys,
    I LOVE your website! have already participated in two challenges; and this time it stuck! I am really craving those green bastards, if I don’t get my daily smoothie every day I truly miss it. Today I tried arugula instead of the ol’ spinach and kale routine – just because, where I live, I don’t always easily come by fresh spinach or kale. Using the frozen product was somewhat underwhelming, so I tried arugula from my local supermarket – turns out it is AWESOME, pardon, RAWKSOME! :-)))

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Nikola,

      WAHOO!! Cheers to trying new greens + loving them!! 🙂

  62. stephanie scott says:

    Hi there,
    I see that cilantro belongs to the apiaceae group. What about
    Parsley, mint and basil? I want to rotate them, correctly.


    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      Great question! Parsley is also part of the apiaceae family, while mint and basil are part of the lamiaceae family.

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers 🙂

  63. Dubsteppa King says:

    Thanks for the fabulous information on rotating greens families. My son (13) and I (52) are now blending (Ninja Smoothie Maker) various fruits and veg for weight control & health benefits. Aside from keeping the sugar content low, any other hints you have to offer would be greatly appreciated. We also use a scoop of whey powder in our blends for extra vitamins, minerals and to help us manage hunger pains. Best of luck to all & thanks again!

  64. RC GOLFER says:

    I bought myself a Blendtec for Christmas, and I’ve been blending and checking out and enjoying your site ever since. I think I may not be rotating correctly. I’ve been blending two different families daily, and drinking those two families for the whole week, then I go to two different families daily for a week. Do you think it’s better to blend one type for half the week, switching to another type for the rest of the week? As an example, this week I’m using a kale/spinach blend daily. Is it better to go with kale only for a few days, then switch to spinach only for the next few days? Thanks!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi RC,

      It sounds like you’re blending perfectly! As long as you’re taking time off (ex. a week) from a specific family of greens you’re giving your body the chance to reset and prevent oxalate buildup.

      Cheers 🙂

  65. Bobbie says:

    I have been a fan of green smoothies for over 3 years now, and have drunk one, vitamix size, of spinach, kale, cabbage and 4 different fruits faithfully for my lunch alone for these 3 years. I had no idea about rotating greens. All I know is that I started to have serious hair loss, itching all over my body, edema in my feet, and high cholesterol. I have always had thick, thick hair and normal cholesterol. Come to find out I have chronic Vit A toxicity. I have completely stopped drinking these and hope my hair and these problems will resolve. I am vegan and never dreamed I was doing something to hurt my body.

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Bobbie,

      So scary. We agree it’s hard to believe that something so good for you, could potentially effect your body negatively. But even healthy greens have defense properties to prevent them from being wiped out. We hope you found our article helpful and that you can work with your health care professional to determine what’s best for you + your body.

  66. Jo-Ann says:

    I purchased a package of spinach and mixed it with our local spinach in the Caribbean which is similar to coloured greens. My smoothies are delicious and I am getting in some organic greens. Yea!!!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Jo-Ann,

      Yum! Sounds delicious! We love blending with local greens! 🙂

  67. RCW says:

    I’ve just purchased a Ninja IQ this week and the excellent info here will get me off to the perfect start. Thanks guys! 🙂

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi RCW,

      YAY! You’ve got yourself one rawkstar of a blender and we hope you enjoy our recipes! Reach out with any questions!

  68. Saskia says:

    Great info, thanks a lot. While at day 20 I was wondering about other greens, so your overview helps me. KUDOS for being passionate and in-depth!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Saskia,

      YAY! We’re so excited we could help and share some more greens that are great for blending! Which types are you looking forward to trying?

      Cheers 🙂

  69. Sophie says:

    I found a packaged organic mix with baby kale, beet tops, spinach and a couple of other greens and I’ve been using that for my smoothies. Is that ok or do you recommend a different green each week?

    • Saskia says:

      Oh that sounds delicious!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Sophie,

      We love using a variety of leafy greens, and that combination sounds out of this world! We do suggest continuing to rotate your greens, for example take a week off of spinach, and then the following week remove a different type of leafy green. So your body is being fueled by different nutrients and you lower your risk of oxalate buildup.

      Hope this helps!

  70. Adanary says:

    Thank you for all the information!
    Very interesting : )

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Adanary,

      You’re so welcome! Thanks for blendin’ with us! 🙂

  71. Tanya Lewis says:

    Thank you I will definitely start switching up my greens better safe than sorry. Thanks again for the heads UP!

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Tanya,

      You’re so welcome! We hope you found this information helpful! Please reach out with any questions!

      Cheers 🙂

  72. jenny says:

    useful information

  73. TERESA says:

    Can I mix two different green families or is it better to drink one at the time?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Teresa,

      Definitely! We love using a mix of different leafy greens! Just make sure that you’re taking a week off from a specific leafy green family to help prevent oxalate buildup.

      Cheers 🙂

  74. TERESA says:

    Can I use the whole carrot along with the tops?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Teresa,

      Of course! We love that you can blend the whole carrot! Learn more about our love for carrots here…

      Cheers 🙂

  75. angela says:

    love this website!
    I always look for some tips and recipes here;)
    cheers from London! x

  76. Denise C says:

    Hi. I’m new to smoothies and just found your website! I am the mind of person who does not like to experiment, when I find the one I like I want to stick with it. Wondering, would it work to mix a nice variety of greens instead of rotating greens? Or is it better to rotate?

    • SGS Rawkstar says:

      Hi Denise,

      Great question! While we love using a variety of greens, we do suggest rotating from week to week to prevent oxalate buildup and fuel your body with different nutrients.

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