On a recent trip to Austin my friend introduced us to her latest culinary obsession, “the nasty green drink.” She had recently had an infection and took a strong course of antibiotics and said her body was crying out for a large dose of healthy fruit and veggies. Since it is hard to eat a large amount of F&V, she tried the blender.
She used 2 cups of raw spinach, 2 cups of red Swiss chard, 1 cup broccoli, 1 grapefruit (quartered), 1/2 cup of blueberries and 1 bottle of Propel fitness water for the liquid and a touch of sweetness.
The result? Three glasses of the nasty green drink that smelled like freshly mowed grass. While one friend described it as “earthy,” we all agreed that it she was wise to drink it through a straw.
I analyzed the drink and it contains about 215 calories, mostly from carbohydrate (50 grams) with some protein (7 grams or about what is in 1-ounce of meat) with a trace of fat (1 grams). It is low in sodium (270 milligrams) and very high in potassium (1,000 milligrams). It is also rich in vitamin C (230 milligrams or about what is found in 3 servings of orange juice) and folate (200 micrograms or half of the recommended amount).
Where the drink really soars is in phytonutrients or plant chemicals known to keep us healthy and fight disease. With 4.5 milligrams of beta-carotene (about the amount that you would get if you ate 6 to 8 servings of F&V) it is rich in the compounds that are thought to be the active ingredients in F&V. It also is loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin (9 milligrams) two compounds that protect our eyes. Researchers think these compounds act as a natural sunblock and fight free radicals that can damage the eye.
And, the nasty green drink is loaded with vitamin K which is thought to help keep our bones strong. If you are on a blood-thinning drug (like coumadin) the amount of vitamin K in this drink would prevent the drug from working.
While this drink is not for everyone (me included), dig out your blender (mine is hiding in the cupboard above the fridge; the one that no one can reach) and come up with your own healthy drink. My friend has the ability to listen to her body but most of us don’t listen, unless our body is calling for chocolate and then we hear it loud and clear!