I’ve always thought of smoothies as having originated in the 1990s, about the time the low-fat craze got started but when I started digging a little in preparation for this post, I realized they have a much longer history than I ever knew. For thousands of years before blenders were ever invented, many tropical and Mediterranean cultures were in the practice of drinking pureed fruit, a kind of precursor to the modern smoothie. In the 1960s, this practice was taken up by health and fitness gurus on the West Coast. This was, of course, the birth of the modern practice of juicing. When refrigeration and blenders met juicing, suddenly everyone was making smoothies.
Many people agree that the green smoothie is the healthiest one out there. Maybe it’s the funky color – if it’s green, it’s gotta be good for you, right? Well, in this case that’s true. Let’s take a look at the health benefits of some of the ingredients in our Best Paleo Green Smoothie…
The heavy hitters here are the spinach and avocado. I cup of spinach, although it has almost no calories, gives you more than half of your daily vitamin A, and a strong smattering of many other vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B-6, magnesium, and calcium. Raw spinach is basically a multi-vitamin in leaf form.
Next up is the avocado. Avocados, unlike spinach, are calorie dense because they are almost completely fat. Remember that when you’re eating Paleo, fat is no longer the enemy. Quite to the contrary, in fact, when we’re talking about avocados in particular. Avocados are almost entirely monounsaturated fat.
[Related: Immune-Boosting Paleo Smoothie Bowl]
That’s the good kind of fat that can actually help lower your cholesterol. Plus, many vitamins and minerals are fat soluble, meaning that your body needs fat in order to use the vitamins. That’s why spinach and avocados are a great health pairing. A half of an avocado also gives you a ton of vitamin C, a bunch of vitamin B-6, and a splash of a variety of other vitamins and minerals.
But let’s face it: who wants to blend up an avocado and a bunch of spinach and drink it? Not very appetizing! So we add grapes, green apple, and fresh pineapple, All of these are high in fiber and vitamin C. In fact, this Best Paleo Green Smoothie has all the vitamin C you need for a day so its especially good during cold winter months to keep your immune system strong and bring some sunshine to your life. So these fruits offer health benefits and sweeten our Best Paleo Green Smoothie all naturally. If you want it a bit sweeter, go ahead and add some honey.
Finally, I like to add some hemp seeds to my smoothie. Seeds of almost any kind are, by weight, the best source of protein. So even just a tablespoon of hemp seeds gives this smoothie over 3 grams of protein, plus an extra gram of fiber. Don’t have hemp seeds? Feel free to add chia or flax!
The best part about this smoothie (and why I call it the Best Paleo Green Smoothie) is that anyone – whether they eat Paleo or not – will dig it. It’s invigorating, fresh, and packed with bright vibrant colors. It’s simply a great way to start your day.
(Make this next: Paleo Pumpkin Pie Smoothie)
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup ice cubes
- ½ cup white grapes
- 1 cup spinach
- ½ medium avocado
- ½ green apple
- ½ cup chopped fresh pineapple
- 1 tsp raw honey (optional)
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Serve immediately.
|Vitamin A||78.4 µg|
|Vitamin C||30.3 mg|
|Folic Acid (B9)||78 µg|