Morning Mix


Dr. Diana Bitner – Healthy Green Smoothies

Posted at 12:58 PM, Mar 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-16 12:58:18-04

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and the best way to get your day started is to have a green smoothie! We want to help you be prepared for whatever you might eat or drink the rest of the day with some good veggies, protein, hydration, and nutrition. It is possible to combine fun and good taste with good health and nutrition. All is needed is knowledge and a few inexpensive ingredients. Good medicine is about getting back to the basics and having a healthy lifestyle every day.

Also in celebration of Nutrition Month, our green smoothie will be full of nutrients to feed your body and mind all morning and help to make your bones stronger. Everyday our bodies need  vitamins including calcium, Vitamin D, and B vitamins, minerals including iron, and nutrients including protein, fat, and carbohydrates. This smoothie will have it all as well as be green to get St. Patrick’s Day started. I need my nutrition to get ready for a busy day, and a smoothie is a great way to advise my patients how to get all the nutrition to stay healthy. This smoothie gets as many areas of wellness including heart health, protection from cancer, and to help maintain strong bones. Every little bit helps!

This is  actually the smoothie I have every day, except I might change it up slightly by what is in my kitchen. But the basics stand- green vegetables such as kale or spinach, berries such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries, walnuts or almonds, and kefir yogurt or almond milk. Let’s break it down!

The nuts go in the blender first. Nuts provide protein and fiber as well as well as healthy fats including unsaturated fat and omega 3 fatty acids necessary for heart protection and lowering bad cholesterol and supporting cell structure. Nuts provide B vitamins and minerals copper, magnesium, copper and potassium. For example, 23 almonds provide 6 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fiber, and are packed with nutrients. I put them in first to get finely ground to keep the smoothie smooth.

Next goes in the green veggies, which I usually wash and freeze as soon as I get home form store. Not only am I preserving the nutrients if I do not eat them all right away, but they crumble and mix up better. I love kale or spinach best, with an occasional spring of parsley. These vega provide good fiber, antioxidants, and protein but also iron, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamins C, A, and K.

Berries are next, and I usually get fresh and freeze or buy frozen in our winter months. They make for great flavor but also are packed with nutrients. Berries provide Vitamin C, fiber, and powerful antioxidants.

And the last ingredient not only helps everything mix together but provides yummy flavor, protein, Vitamin D and calcium; with Kefir also comes healthy bacteria.  Once mixed, it goes in my big glass and off to work I go!

And what cancer could this smoothie be helping to prevent? March is also Colon Cancer Awareness Month. We cannot forget that Colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in the US, and the second most common cancer in women behind lung cancer, and more common than breast cancer. It is preventible in most cases by early detection, eating a diet rich in fiber and antioxidants, low in saturated fats and red meat, and high in vitamins, and keeping a healthy weight.