If you’ve ever attempted a detox diet in the past—likely following a particularly indulgent vacation or holiday (I’m looking at you Thanksgiving and Christmas)—you know that most so-called detoxes heap on a ton of food restrictions and deprive you of almost every food you enjoy. In the case of most of these strict deprivation type diets, even the most disciplined individuals give up because they’re hungry and suffering.
Introducing green smoothies, an easy, nutritionally-rich, varied, and truly delicious way to detox. At their root, green smoothies surpass other detox programs because they’re loaded with chlorophyll, which is where they get their “power green” label. Now, you can choose to get your greens from natural sources, such as wheatgrass, spirulina, kale, broccoli, spinach, etc., or you can purchase a power green powder, which is a ground up and typically organic mixture of everything from spirulina to beet greens and from kale to seaweed. Either way, in natural or powder form, power greens offer several health benefits, including:
1. Cancer prevention
Research from a 2013 study out of Oregon State University’s Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, recognizes the potent effects of power greens, which are high in chlorophyll and chlorophyllin, on cancer prevention. Findings from the study noted that chlorophyll was able to lower the incidence of stomach tumors by up to 45% and liver tumors by up to 64%. While a research trial in China found that cancer patients that consumed a diet rich in chlorophyllin experienced a 55% decrease in aflatoxin biomarkers of liver cancer.
2. Weight loss
Diets and products rich in chlorophyll are also used to achieve healthy weight loss for good reason. During a 2017 study published by the Asian Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers administered chlorophyll supplements to half of the study participants and found that those who took the chlorophyll experienced reduced cholesterol and more significant weight loss than the placebo group.
3. Skin saver
Power greens or foods rich in chlorophyllin are also touted with banishing mild to moderate acne, and significantly improving inflammation and skin wounds. For both conditions, a 2008 study published by the Ostomy Wound Management Journal noted that diets and ointments that include chlorophyllin reduced pain and healing time by 50%.
4. Improved red blood cell count
A 2004 study conducted by researchers at India’s Shanti Mangalick Hospital found that patients with thalassemia (a type of blood disorder) who took liquid wheatgrass, reduced the frequency of required blood transfusions. Wheatgrass is made up of approximately 70% chlorophyll, which is linked to improving development of red blood cells.