The benefits of blended salads include increased absorption rate of nutrients, ease of digestion, simplicity of getting in your greens every day and a healthy breakfast or late night snack. Lets face it, you know you should be eating more dark leafy greens, and you know that the powdered “greens” mix isn’t quite the way nature intended, so what are you to do?
Blended salads to the rescue. This article on the benefits of a blended salad is contributed by Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of Eat To Live.
Big Benefits of Blended Salad
A powerful and delicious way to maximize your intake of nutrients
By Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
What is a blended salad, and why would I want to eat one?
A blended salad is a mixture of raw, leafy greens and other foods blended together to make a smooth, creamy salad with a baby-food-like consistency. Eating a salad prepared in this manner is quick and convenient,and increases absorption of important nutrients. By adding fruits, nuts, and other ingredients, you can support health and healing with a truly gourmet eating experience.
Blending raw, leafy greens guarantees that a higher percentage of nutrients will be absorbed into your bloodstream for your body to use
By singing the praises of blended salads, I don’t want to give the impression that a regular “chewed salad” is not a highly-recommended source of nutrients. Blended salads are simply a great addition to the already superior, anti-cancer style of eating that I recommend. What are the advantages of eating a blended salad as opposed to eating a regular salad? All plants are composed of cells whose walls consist mainly of cellulose, which is a type of carbohydrate. A plant-based diet (one rich in fruits and vegetables) contains a large amount of cellulose. Humans do not have the enzyme capable of breaking down cellulose,so we cannot utilize cellulose as an energy source. If we eat cellulose-rich, raw greens without thoroughly masticating them, we lose much of the food value.
To get as many nutrients as possible into your bloodstream, the plant walls must be broken open to release the nutrients inside the cell. When we simply chew a salad, about seventy to ninety percent of the cells are not broken open. As a result, most of the valuable nutrients contained within those cells never enter our bloodstream. Blending raw, leafy greens guarantees that a higher percentage of nutrients will be absorbed into your bloodstream for your body to use. Why is it important to consume cellulose and other plant fibers? Many types of bacteria found in the colon and large intestine are capable of digesting small amounts of fiber, such as cellulose. Some of the positive results of this bacterial activity on fibrous, non-absorbable food residue are the production of vitamin K, vitamin B12, thiamine, and riboflavin.
Human feces normally should be composed of about fifty percent water and fifty percent solid materials. Cellulose holds water in your gut, which allows easier passage of stool. This helps to prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, and the formation of colonic diverticula. Consuming sufficient quantities of raw vegetables assures that you will have normal bowel health throughout life. These same factors also are important in the prevention of colon cancer. What is it about the digestion process of raw foods that promotes weight loss?
The solid portion of human feces is normally composed of about thirty percent dead bacteria and seventy percent undigested roughage and sloughed off epithelial cells. When food is chewed, it is mixed with saliva, which contains the enzyme ptyalin. This enzyme hydrolyzes starch into simpler sugars. However, since the food remains in the mouth for only a short period of time, only three-to-five percent of all the starches eaten will become hydrolyzed by the time the food is swallowed.
Although green vegetables contain small amounts of starch, these naturally occurring starches are digested very poorly by ptyalin. This is because the starch is contained in small globules encased within a thin, protective, cellulose membrane. Unless these protective cell membranes are broken down by cooking (or blending, see next paragraph), little of the starch content is available for digestion and assimilation. For example, even though carrots, sweet potatoes, and beets are high in starch, if you consume them raw in a salad, only a small percent of the calories are absorbed due to the cellulose packaging of the starch. This is one of the reasons why raw vegetables are such effective weight-loss-promoting reduction can consume virtually unlimited quantities of raw vegetables, but not cooked starches.
Green vegetables, especially leafy greens, are protein-rich and not high in carbohydrates
Green vegetables, especially leafy greens, are protein-rich and not high in carbohydrates. They are comparatively low in calories and have a very high nutrient-to-calorie ratio. When leafy greens are blended, most of the cellulose packages are opened, and the beneficial nutrients can be absorbed successfully. Certainly, more and better chewing is advised, but most people don’t chew their salads well enough.Even if they did, they could not expect to crush the cell walls with the same efficiency as the blades of a blender spinning at hundreds of revolutions per second.
Next question is about protein absorption of green vegetables – and the difference between protein from meat and vegetables.