Every ingredient in your green smoothies should be placed with a purpose.
When making green smoothies the liquid-base is one that is often overlooked, but the reality is that the liquid that you use for the base of your smoothie is just as important as any other part.
The main reason for changing the liquid base is similar to the reason that we rotate our greens: When we use different liquid bases we give our bodies the opportunity to use many more available nutrients. Sticking with just one liquid base gives your body the same nutrients over and over, which can be good, but why waste the opportunity to receive a variety of nutrients that can work in harmony with the lifestyle that you live? In order to help you know which liquids are best for you we made a list of the most popular bases and highlighted how they affect your health.
Health benefits of a green smoothie liquid base:
Many confuse fatigue with lack of hydration. When you are properly hydrated you have more energy, not to mention how it flushes out the nasty toxins in your body. Water is essential for your body, and its simply good for you. Use water in your smoothies when you are looking for an easy, cheap, and simple base for your smoothie.
Almond milk is a lactose-free, warm flavored liquid that will provide you with vitamin E, protein, and fiber. Since it is lactose free it is easily digestible, and its even low in fat and cholesterol free. If possible, find an unsweetened kind of almond milk to stay away from the high amounts of sugar. Its a great base for those fall months!
If you are looking for an all-natural sports drink, then you've found it! Coconut water is filled with electrolytes and potassium, which are two nutrients your body craves when expending lots of energy. It's low in calories, fat, and sugar meaning that this is the liquid-base you want when working out. Use it in the morning to kickstart your action-packed day.
Coconut milk is squeezed from the meat of the coconut which produces a sweet and tasty liquid. Though it is high in protein, fiber, and other micronutrients, it is also high in calories and fat. For this reason we recommend using coconut milk as a liquid-base only for special indulgences–maybe for date night desserts. This milk does help to protect your heart, but it will cost you in other areas if used on a regular basis.
Many fresh squeezed juices offer beneficial antioxidants and helpful enzymes. They offer an array of vitamins and taste good, too. The thing to keep in mind about fruit juices is their high sugar content. When using fresh squeezed fruit as a liquid-base, be sure to use plenty of raw leafy greens and low glycemic fruits (berries, peaches, apples) to balance out the sugar content. You can also add water to your juice base— like 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice and 1 cup water.
If you struggle to digest lactose in milk, or are just looking for something different, then try using rice milk as a liquid-base in your green smoothie. Though it is lacking in protein, it is fortified with calcium and low in cholesterol, which makes it a slightly healthier option than cow's milk–and you can get the lacking protein through various superfoods and leafy greens. It is naturally sweetened, fructose free, and goes great with your daily smoothie.
Green tea is a fighter against four of the biggest health issues in the western world: cancer, heart disease, weight, and diabetes. The secret? It contains a high concentration of polyphenols, which are a specific type of antioxidant. These antioxidants are also known to rejuvenate skin cells and give you a clearer complexion. Sweet! Right? Green tea does contain caffeine, which makes it a great base for those who are trying to transition from a morning cup of coffee to a green smoothie (no headache this way).
Which of these liquid-bases provide you with the nutrients that your body needs? If you can answer that question then you will be successful in this weeks challenge. Its all about finding what you need, what you like, and what goes well with your raw leafy greens, fruits/veggies, and superfoods. Changing it up is good for you, keeps things fresh, and simple! Cheers!