Ev­ery par­ent from the be­gin­ning of time would love to see their chil­dren eat a lit­tle more veg­eta­bles, es­pe­cially their greens. Luck­ily for us the green smoothie can come to the res­cue.

Element - - Contents - By Nicki MacK­in­non

Agreen smoothie is a de­li­cious drink that in­cludes fruit and green veg­eta­bles; all you need is a blen­der (I use a Vi­ta­mix), some leafy greens, fruit and wa­ter.

Green leafy veg­eta­bles con­tain very high lev­els of nu­tri­ents. The most sig­nif­i­cant unique health ben­e­fits are due to chloro­phyll, the al­ka­lis­ing mol­e­cule found in green veg­eta­bles. Chloro­phyll is some­times called the blood of plants; an in­ter­est­ing par­al­lel is how chloro­phyll closely re­sem­bles he­moglobin found in our red blood cells. Chloro­phyll helps build blood and is a great oxy­gen en­hancer to en­er­gise the body and keep bac­te­ria and other bugs away. Here’s three to try.

Im­mune Boost (serves 2)

3 or­ganic ki­wifruit 1 or­ganic ap­ple Squeeze of lemon ½ an or­ange peeled – plus a lit­tle of the skin if it’s or­ganic (a source of bioflavi­noids) A small hand­ful of pumpkin seeds (prefer­ably soaked) 2 cups of or­ganic spinach 2 cups of wa­ter

Blend un­til smooth. This smoothie con­tains as­tro­nom­i­cal amounts of im­mune en­hanc­ing nat­u­ral vi­ta­min C, beta-carotene, an­tiox­i­dants, vi­ta­min K, zinc, fo­late, potas­sium, polyphe­nols and bioflavi­noids.

Play All Day En­ergy Smoothie (serves 2)

1 or­ganic banana 1 cup of pineap­ple 1 cup of or­ganic spinach 1 cup of or­ganic kale 2 cups of wa­ter Some mint to taste Blend un­til smooth, best served cold. High in potas­sium and other min­er­als, which are great for phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity. Bromine, an en­zyme in pineap­ple, is im­por­tant for di­ges­tive health. Also a good source of thi­amin, a B Vi­ta­min that acts as a co-fac­tor im­por­tant to en­ergy pro­duc­tion. Al­ka­lis­ing, en­er­gis­ing and su­per-hy­drat­ing.

The Brain Sup­port Smoothie (serves 2)

1 or­ganic banana 1 cup of or­ganic blue­ber­ries (frozen is fine) A few wal­nuts which have been soaked and rinsed 1 cup of or­ganic kale 1 tea­spoon of honey 1 cup of yo­ghurt or nut milk ½ a cup of wa­ter, a lit­tle more if needed Blend un­til smooth, which may come out more brown than green. If you strike child com­pli­ance is­sues with colour, swap the blue­ber­ries with ki­wifruit. This smoothie con­tains loads of vi­ta­min K (im­por­tant for brain func­tion), good lev­els of Omega-3 fatty acids, a slow sup­ply of glu­cose for brain func­tion, high in an­tiox­i­dants, good for mem­ory and other cog­ni­tive func­tion. The best way to get chil­dren to drink these is to get them to help make them. A daily green smoothie is an ef­fec­tive way to give the body the nu­tri­ents it needs, pro­vid­ing na­ture’s per­fect mul­ti­vi­ta­min. Nicki MacK­in­non is a natur­opath, med­i­cal herbal­ist and a pas­sion­ate real food ad­vo­cate.

Natur­opath and herbal­ist Nicki MacK­in­non blends a green smoothie with her son. Pho­tos: Ted Baghurst.

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