10 Common Questions about Green Smoothies

By Jennifer Thompson

If you’re new to the green smoothie game, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are the ten most frequently asked questions about green smoothies.

How can you lose weight on green smoothies?

It’s easy! Drink your green smoothie as a replacement meal for one or two meals each day. You can follow this regimen for four to six weeks or however long you need to reach your weight loss goal. Avoid adding too much fat to your smoothies to keep the calorie count low. Minimize your use of coconut oil, avocado, nuts, nut milks, almond butter, and tahini.

How can you gain weight on green smoothies?

To gain weight by drinking green smoothies, increase the calorie content. Fats contain twice as many calories as protein or carbs. Choose fats that are cholesterol-free and high in nutrients.

Here are some healthy fats to add to your green smoothie:

  • 1 cup pureed avocado: 387 calories

  • 4 tablespoons avocado oil: 496 calories

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil: 468 calories

  • 4 tablespoons raw cashew butter: 376 calories

  • 4 tablespoons raw tahini (sesame paste): 344 calories

Drink an extra green smoothie about an hour before bed to help you gain weight faster. Have one green smoothie before or after your workout for a power boost and/or recovery drink, and make an additional smoothie to drink before bed as a healthy calorie-loading snack.

How do you get more protein, iron, and calcium in your smoothies?

Luckily, green smoothies are already naturally high in protein, iron, and calcium. You can boost the protein, iron, and calcium content even more by using naturally high sources of each in your smoothie:

  • Protein: Focus on hemp seeds, chia seeds, ground flaxseed, sunflower seeds, almond butter, tahini, and/or spirulina powder.

  • Iron: Add cherries, dried organic apricots, molasses, and more leafy greens (both powdered and whole-food forms).

  • Calcium: Use homemade almond milk, beet greens, bok choy, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, turnip greens, and spinach.

Why do you feel gas and bloating after your green smoothie?

If you’ve been eating a diet high in refined or processed foods or only heavy foods or cooked foods, drinking a blended smoothie full of raw fruits and greens can be a bit of a shock to the system. Technically speaking, your stomach may actually be low in digestive acids, or you may have an imbalance of gut bacteria. The result is excess gas and bloating as your stomach tries to correct itself and find a healthy balance.

Reduce the amount of leafy greens in each recipe by one-third. You can also add a probiotic capsule to your smoothie to bring in more good gut bacteria.

Do you have to use greens in your green smoothie?

You can make a smoothie without greens, but then it’s not a green smoothie! Remember, the whole point of having a green smoothie is to get more leafy greens into your diet. The benefit of drinking your greens is that it’s easy to do every day, takes less than 5 minutes to prepare, and removes the guesswork about how to cook them.

Can you use powdered greens instead of fresh greens?

Nothing trumps a handful of fresh leafy greens in a green smoothie. Fresh is always best. But sometimes you just can’t get fresh — such as when you’re traveling or in winter months — and in that case, powdered greens are an excellent second choice.

Which is better: a green smoothie or a green juice?

Try not to think of it in terms of which is “better” because green smoothies and green juices are both great for your health! Rather, consider which one is more practical for your busy lifestyle. In terms of the health benefits, both green smoothies and green juices offer a vast array of minerals, vitamins, and chlorophyll.

The biggest difference between the two is that green smoothies still have all fiber intact, whereas juice has no fiber. A green smoothie can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to two days. Fresh juice needs to be consumed immediately.

Is it possible to drink too many green smoothies?

As long as you’re integrating your green smoothies with a healthy diet, your body isn’t going to let you drink “too much.” When your body finally starts getting the nutrients it needs in a whole food form, you naturally feel like you want more. In the beginning, you may want one to two liters a day as your body gratefully accepts a new, easy-to-digest natural fuel. That’s okay!

Green smoothies have a lot of natural fiber in them. Fiber in food fills you up and stops you from overeating. The refined flours and sugars in processed foods aren’t filling, which is a reason why those foods are easy to overeat.

Do you need to take a daily vitamin if you’re drinking green smoothies?

The short answer to this is that it depends. Drinking a green smoothie gives you a high boost of minerals and vitamins from real food with fiber, but you won’t get everything from a green smoothie. For example, vitamin B12 occurs mostly in animal products and fortified (but processed) foods, so it won’t be present in your smoothie.

If your diet includes animal products, you may not need a B12 supplement, but for vegans and vegetarians, taking an additional B12 supplement is important. (Deficiency in vitamin B12 can cause fatigue, hair loss, and numbness in the fingers and toes.)

Do green smoothies work against cellulite?

Green smoothies offer you a unique and powerful combination of chlorophyll, fiber, minerals, and added hydration that allows your skin to detoxify, repair, rebuild, and emit a youthful, healthy glow. The cause of cellulite is basically weak collagen, excess fat accumulation, and a buildup of toxins. As you age, collagen production declines and weakening of the skin occurs.

Dark leafy green vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that naturally help your skin produce more collagen. Fresh fruits are high in antioxidants and vitamin C, giving even more of a collagen-producing effect. Add to that some flaxseed or chia seeds for omega-3 fatty acids and fresh aloe vera to help repair and rejuvenate the skin, and you’ll quickly start seeing results.