Spring is a time of awakening and renewal. Traditionally, for most cultures, spring was seen as a signal to detoxify and replenish the body after a winter diet of preserved foods, grains, nuts, seeds, dairy and meat. With the advent of refrigeration and a wide variety of imported foods, we now have year round access to fresh fruit and vegetables. However, winter’s departure is still an ideal time to use herbs that tone, revitalise and detoxify our bodies after months of comfort food.
One of the easiest ways to spring clean your body is by committing to having a green smoothie, full of leafy greens, every day.
Leafy greens are exceptionally good for our health and their benefits are still being discovered. They are a quick, convenient way of boosting your daily servings of vegetables and unlike juices, they are a complete food, full of fibre. The blending process makes the greens easy to digest, making it a much simpler for our bodies to access the valuable nutrients they contain. They also have alkalising properties that counter the many foods we eat that make our bodies too acidic.
Green smoothies contain loads of anti-oxidants and phytonutrients to promote good health and beauty. There are also claims they help with weight loss. Some researchers believe they aid by decreasing a person’s appetite through the action of a compound called thylakoid. This might also be the reason many fans of these delicious drinks claim they help to reduce sugar and junk food cravings.
The flow on effect from increasing our greens and decreasing the junk food and sugar is that we are more likely to have a lovely balance of the correct bacteria in our digestive tract. Cutting edge research shows that there is a definite connection between the type of bacteria in our digestive tract and whether or not we find it easy to lose weight.
At this time of year I also add the Bestow Gut Love + to my smoothie to promote its spring cleaning effect. Bestow Gut Love + is a pleasant-tasting powder blended from detoxifying super foods and herbs, including organic flax fibre, sunflower seeds, slippery elm, almonds, citrus pectin, ginger and liquorice. It naturally detoxifies the bowel and liver, gently eliminates toxins, soothes the intestinal tract and promotes healing of the gut lining.
Try this smoothie recipe that I was given by Karen Niven ND, our local naturopath, at one of her fabulous cooking classes.
Liver-friendly Green Smoothie:
½ quantity of coconut water
½ quantity of water
½ a lemon
A handful of leafy greens (kale, parsley, spinach, silverbeet, chard, or any other green vegetable that can be wrapped around your finger). It is advisable to rotate your greens rather than have the same one continuously
1 green apple
1 teaspoon of Bestow Gut Love +
Cut the lemon and apple into smaller pieces to be kinder to your blender. You may wish to peel the lemon (but leave the pith) and apple if they are conventionally grown or you would prefer your drink to have a smoother consistency. However, lots of goodness is found in the peel if they are organically grown so you may work up to leaving them on in time. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly until smooth. I add a teaspoon of Bestow Gut Love + and a tablespoon of Bestow Beauty Oil to maximise the cleansing effect of this smoothie.