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Have you had a disappointing experience with green smoothies? Don't give up yet — with the right tips, green smoothies can actually taste really good!

Green smoothies are the latest fad in health foods, and judging by the enthusiasm of those who love them, they aren't about to go anywhere. Armed with a high-powdered smoothie blender, some greens, some fruits and a little water, the possibilities become almost endless. Green smoothies aren't just a nice treat, they are so filling that they can easily replace one meal of the day in a very healthy manner. 

Some green smoothies however — let's be frank here — absolutely suck. If you're tempted to go crazy with the old blender by shoving in beets, collard greens, ginger, tomatoes, carrots, garlic, onion, orange, lemon and mango, with some gratuitous chia seeds, you're more likely to be running to the restroom than be infused with health. If you want to love green smoothies, you need to find the right combos. 

Why Green Smoothies?

Green smoothies — called that way because they're green-veggie based — have recently risen to popularity. This interesting phenomenon pushes back against an overwhelming fast-food culture as well as wholly embracing it. Green smoothies are quick and easy to make once you get a high-powdered blender like a Vitamix, after all, and allow you access to a tremendous infusion of veggies that you may otherwise miss out on in favor of processed meals. 

They have plenty of benefits:

  • Unlike the previously oh-so-ubiquitous juices, smoothies preserve the fiber you need so much. 
  • Heating vegetables, whether through boiling, frying, baking or steaming comes at the cost of losing some valuable nutrients, a problem you won't encounter when you enjoy a green smoothie.
  • If you're trying to lose weight, you'll be amazed at how much a green smoothie fills you up while actually containing a surprisingly low number of calories. 
  • They save time — they're quick and easy to prepare, and if you really want to, you can certainly sip away at a smoothie while working and doing other things. 
  • Have you got a picky eater for a kid? Green smoothies may appeal to them and could be a great way to get them used to a greater variety of veggies. 

Aren't Green Smoothies Dangerous?

Ah, so you've read the "doom and gloom" articles about green smoothies? Well, they are certainly half right. Ingesting green smoothies — which very often largely consist of foods high in oxalic acid — in ginormous quantities can absolutely lead to serious health problems. Research now shoes that the vast majority of people is able to deal with a high oxalate content quite effectively without any risk, however, around 20 percent of people is genetically predisposed not to. For them, a diet almost only consisting of high-oxalate foods would be disastrous, leading to such consequences as oxalate stones, not just in the kidneys but almost anywhere in the body, joint paint, urinary tract and grastrointestinal issues, painful sex in women, and depression. 

The moral of the story isn't that green smoothies aren't an excellent source of healthy nutrition, but that you definitely don't want to make high-oxalate products — such as chard, spinach, parsley, beetroot, and leeks — your main foods, never mind nearly your only foods.

"Detox" diets consisting only of green smoothies may make you feel good at first, but can do serious damage in the long run. The same holds true for consuming a diet too rich in cooked high-oxalate foods, however: the act of heating only eliminates some oxalic acid. Either way, remember that the true path to health is a balanced and varied diet. Too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing. 

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