Benefits of a Blended Salad

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

Green Smoothie
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.

dark leafy greensAlthough 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 – and the .

12 Comments

  1. David Goldbeck April 4, 2008 at 8:35 am

    There is no doubt that a critical underpinning of a healthy diet is significant consumption of vegetables and fruit. Unfortunately, many adults do not like these fine foods – so we must make sure kids don’t develop these attitudes. Parents and teachers interested in getting kids to develop friendly feelings towards fruits and vegetables should take a look at a new book called “The ABC’s of Fruits and Vegetables and Beyond.” Out only a few months and already being bought in quantity for class use. Suited for kids of all ages as it is two books in one – children first learn their alphabet through produce poems and then go on to more mature activities. It is coauthored by best-selling food writer David Goldbeck (me) and Jim Henson writer Steve Charney. You can learn more at HealthyHighways.com

  2. Ok – my husband and I tried a blended salad for breakfast this morning and it was very good. We used a 50/50 mix of spring mix and baby spinach, added some yogurt, a couple tablespoons of almond butter, some ground flax seed and brown rice protein powder. Yummy! Oh, I also a added a little “broccoli slaw” to it.

    ~ Annie

  3. I found a ready to mix “Instafresh” powder that includes 30 fruits and berries, 30 super greens and vegetables, 11 nuts, seeds and sprouts all in an easy to mix, delicious, organic concentrate that comes to you with 83 Active Enzymes and Fulvic Minerals and 22 Resilient Living Probiotics. It’s absolutely the best raw whole food supplement on the market today. And all for just $1 per serving! Now that’s juicing for the new millenium! Try a sample at http://www.urilife.net/realfoodforlife

    Grace and Peace,
    Ed

  4. Cool Annie, however the yogurt part of it wouldn’t be a living food you understand.

    Are you still choosing to eat dairy as part of your lifestyle?

  5. Yes, of course I understand that about yogurt. The main reason is to add probiotics to my diet as well and without taking another supplement, I find that’s the simplest way to do so. If you know of another method for getting those live flora, I’m all ears.

    Other than yogurt, I don’t eat dairy products very often with exception of a piece of cheese or two now and then.

    ~ Annie

  6. Wow, I just tried the, “Smooth and Creamy Greeny”, and it was AWESOME! I’m a 356 lb dude on a mission to lose. I used to weigh in at a slim 198 (I’m 6’5″) 7 years ago when I was in the Military, but years of pizza, beer, and bad food made me grow horizontal instead of vertical!

    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the recipes – I just bought a kick ass blender a few weeks ago for this, and I feel amazing! My body hasn’t seen this much nutrition in a long, long time.

  7. awesome Ryan – 198 for 6’5″ sounds a little light. What are you shooting for now?

    are you subscribed to Darlene’s whole food recipes (weekly) ?

  8. Rob, great article, which got me to try what is otherwise a daunting concept. I always tried to eat lots of dark leafy salads (including lots of lacinato kale and cilantro), but I found shortly afterwards I would be ravenously hungry, more so than if I had not eaten the large salad. Just the opposite occurs now when I blend the salad (or juice it, which however loses the fiber of course, which is better than any probiotic!), I feel satisfied for a long time afterwards. I guess this is due to the lack of absorbable nutrition, from poorly masticated vegetables, and maybe the high energy consumption to digest them?

    I found it important to thoroughly blend the vegetables with my cheap blender in order to make a very smooth consistency which is easy to briefly chew and drink like a regular smoothie. If it’s not smooth, it’s almost impossible for me to consume. Also the banana and half (no more) of an avocado really makes it smooth. Some honey really helps for taste.

  9. Jesse – I use Sunrider brand stevia to add some sweetness, but yes, honey or Agave nectar is fine too.

    I find, as you do, that avocado adds the creamyness. Hemp hearts work well too for creamyness.

    here’s my “weird” find about the blended smoothie: It makes me pee a lot. If I have this at 9:00 PM, I’m up peeing 3x during the night and then again first thing in the am. My recipe makes about 6 or 7 cups worth though. That might have something to do with it, lol

  10. Your freakin amazing! I am raw since about a year ago. My husband eats cooked foods and meat. But he will add my foods to his meals. But he is on all the meds and has all the conditions of people eating the SAD meal. He’s only 44! I am 7 years older but healthier! I do show him these sites but no transformation yet. He comes from a family in Quebec who actuallly panicked and made me unconfortable the day I said I wouldn’t eat the cooked food. Very depressing. anyway, keep healthy and happy! Bonnie

  11. Thanks for the comment Bonnie. I teach a balance of 50-50 raw to cooked foods and have no problems with meat on my end. Some people do better with meat and others do not.

    I’d be curious to know about any health challenges you may experience eating raw in Canada over the winter. That is very unbalancing. Winter months require cooked foods to provide balance to the body and nervous system.

    have you noticed anything?

  12. I definitely don’t think most of us get enough greens in our diet these days, especially those leafy greens like collard greens, kale etc.

    However, I have learned over the years that not all those leafy greens work for me. After eating a certain food I really try to pay attention to how I feel. Their are a lot of foods that are usually considered “healthy”, but I don’t think all “healthy” foods are healthy for everyone. To explain, due to hidden food allergies and such, your body might not digest certain foods very well… Over the years I’ve learned to pay attention to how I feel after eating a food. If I have a lot of energy and my stomach feels good, I take that as a sign that the food registered well with my body. If I feel, tired, irritable, or have a stomach ache, after eating a certain food, I know that I probably shouldn’t be eating that food, even if it is “healthy”.

    Hope that helps for people trying to make diet plans, just something I’ve learned over the years!

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