There are many variations of the Green Smoothie Diet – some that are short-term for quick detox or long-term for health promotion and weight loss, and some that prescribe a strict diet of green smoothies or others that allow for raw fruits and vegetables at snacks or meals. Green smoothies combine a mixture of fruits and vegetables, helping to increase overall levels of these important foods in the diet. Proponents of the plan say that the diet will help you get rid of cravings by restoring your nutritional needs, improve digestion, increase circulation to improve skin tone and eliminate blemishes, and improve overall health, among other benefits.
However, there are many considerations to make before deciding to undertake any diet, especially one that is so restrictive. If you are thinking of beginning the Green Smoothie diet, either as a short detox or as a solution to a more long-term goal, here are some things you should consider:
Get a Variety of Nutrients
Because green smoothies are composed of little more than whole fruits and vegetables, there is some risk of nutritional and caloric deficiencies if you follow the diet long-term and do not take special precautions. Of special concern is the absence or deficiency of vitamin B12 (found in animal products such as meat and dairy), protein, and fat. To ensure that you are getting enough of these nutrients, you can add supplements to your smoothies that can include cow’s milk or goat’s milk (if you are not vegan), fortified nut milks, bee pollen, coconut oil (for healthy fat), and protein powders (there are vegetable-based options if you are vegan). Other healthful add-ins include nutritional yeast, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, goji berries, and wheat germ. A B12 supplement is also a wise choice.
Limit the Length of the Diet
While a three-day or even a 30-day cleanse can have health benefits, it is unwise to try to adopt the Green Smoothie Diet as a permanent diet choice. You need much more nutritional variety long-term to meet all of your body’s needs, and adopting such a diet long-term can actually pose health risks. Instead, focus on a short-term cleanse to help you meet some health goals, such as improving your digestion or helping your body make the transition to a healthier diet.
Ensure Calorie Density
Finally, no matter how long you choose to adopt the Green Smoothie Diet, you should be sure that you are meeting all of your calorie needs. A typical smoothie with just fruits, vegetables, and maybe a little water or milk is likely to have only 200 calories. Increase your portion sizes and be sure you are adding enough nutrient- and calorie-dense fruits and vegetables, including sweet fruits such as bananas and mangoes and those with healthy fats like coconut and avocado. Nutritional supplements and oils can also help you increase your calorie count and get a more balanced nutritional profile.
While we all know that adding smoothies to our diet – especially green smoothies with their powerhouse load of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables – can help improve our overall health, it is important to take precautions if you decide to attempt an exclusive smoothie diet.
Have any of you tried the Green Smoothie Diet or another smoothie diet? What were your results?
Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and recent graduate of Elon University. She is currently a resident blogger at Online Degrees, where recently she’s been researching different Online Business Administration Programs and blogging about student life. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
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