Why You Should Rotate Your Greens

It’s easy to get stuck in a smoothie rut: making a limited number of recipes, using a limited number of ingredients. Week after week.

We tend to like ruts – they are comfortable, there are few failures and we don’t have to think about things too much. However, there are some very good reasons to break out and mix things up a little.

Each vegetable has a unique set of nutrients and toxins.

Toxins? Indeed. All vegetables contain small amounts of toxins – used as a defence mechanism to protect plants from predation. For example, the goitrogens in kale and other brassicas (interferes with thyroid hormone function in susceptible individuals), and the oxalic acid in spinach (slows down the absorption of calcium).

By rotating the vegetables we eat, we ensure that we are receiving a broad and diverse set of nutrients whilst limiting our exposure to any individual plant/toxin.

Both of these points are important. Not only getting an extensive set of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – but ensuring that we are not subjecting our systems to too much of any particular toxin.

You’ll notice that I’ve not mentioned fruit. Fruit, on the whole, is meant to be eaten and is less toxic. However, it’s still true that each fruit provides just a selection of the nutrients that we need – so mixing them up can only be beneficial.

There is another reason to jumble things up a little: and that’s so we don’t get bored. The process of trying new recipes and different ingredients keeps the whole process interesting – which means you are more likely to keep it up.

And that’s probably the most important thing.


  1. Submitted by Sally on Wed, 02 Jan 2013

    I’d not really thought of this issue before, but i suppose your right. I’ve been doing the same basic smoothies fpr yonks now and not thought much about it.

    • Submitted by Bret on Thu, 03 Jan 2013

      It’s easy to get into a rut … especially around food. One tip – I buy one or two new ingredients each time i go to the supermarket and then work out how to use them. I’ve found this a great way to force me to be a bit more creative. I hate waste so this forces me to think about what I’m making.

  2. Submitted by Jess on Thu, 11 Apr 2013

    I have been using the same basic veggies, but mix up the fruit (for flavor). This is a good reminder to mix up my veggies, too! I do usually use a mix of spinach and kale. Maybe now I’ll use one or the other to give my body a break? I’ve also never used cabbage, zucchini or broccoli, and now I’m going to give those a try. Thanks!

    PS. This is one of the best smoothie websites I’ve stumbled upon since I started making smoothies a year ago:)

    • Submitted by Bret on Tue, 23 Apr 2013

      Glad you like the website :)
      I use lots of cabbage … each type has it’s own taste. I especially like Sweetheart (very mild) and red cabbage (quite solid – but a nice taste). I’d suggest trying each one and seeing what works for you.

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