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Research on green smoothies: do you get sick less?


Robyn Openshaw - Oct 19, 2009 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links


In my research I report on in detail, in The Green Smoothies Diet, I asked 175 regular green smoothie drinkers what health benefits they achieved.   Because to participate, you had to be in the habit for only 30 days or less, I had one issue I wanted to explore that I wasn’t able to.

So I have a question for you now. This isn’t particularly scientific, but I would like to know from those of you who have gone through a winter with your green smoothie habit:

Aside from any initial “cleansing reaction” (diarrhea, headaches, etc. are experienced by 18.5% in my study, for up to 2 weeks after beginning a very healthy new habit) . . .

Did you notice getting sick less after beginning to drink green smoothies regularly?

I would like to hear about your experience here, if you’ve been down the path for a while.   That is one of the greatest benefits for me and my family: before massively increasing our greens consumption, we used to get sick, and now we don’t.

Please tell us your experience.

Posted in: Green Smoothies

30 thoughts on “Research on green smoothies: do you get sick less?”

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  1. Green Smoothies are the secret to a healthy life! It revives and rebuilds your immune system. Forget supplements. The real truth is to enjoy the real thing it really does the trick! I have been drinking green smoothies of all kinds for about a year and always green. It has changed my life! Everything you need is in a glass.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for asking. I have been a raw vegan since Feb this year and now I am on 90% raw. I feel so much better, have cleared diabetes and high blood pressure, and haven’t had flu or a cold since then. This is the way to go for me, Thanks to raw vegan way of eating. I have my raw green smoothie everyday, and think the world of it. I also have your book, and like the one you have with the lemon and ginger etc and the flaxseed and spirolina. I could never have that flu injection and put that into my body, as I have been strict vegatarian since 1962, and who knows what is in that vacine!Thanks for askng! Love Rose

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have been raw since the end of March 2009. I started with Ann Wigmore energy soup and green smoothies. I have not been sick a day since I started. I have had detox sympton and I am getting healthier every day. I wore an 18 in march and I wear a size 10 today. I do not know how much weight I have lost because my goal was to have a “light” and healthy body. Linda

  4. Anonymous says:

    This will be my ‘Awakening Season’, I’ve only been drinking Green Smoothies for about 6 months now…but I’ve always had a problem with colds turning into more serious respitory infections in the past.

    I’m drinking about 32oz a day..

    I’ve only had a couple of sniffles so far…no colds ( yet ) and trying to keep it that way…but i honestly believe this is going to make a difference!!

    I am most definately feeling better generally overall…

  5. Anonymous says:

    for the person who was asking about iodine, I use kelp noodles in my salads. It is wonderful! Also eat a couple of brazil nuts a day for selenium. Do not eat too many, you can overdose. Been raw since March. No more neck pain, headaches or kidney stones. Will never go back to SAD.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have been vegetarian since 1970, more recently mostly raw. Drinking GS for 3 yrs., exercise (yoga, strength, cardio), some ongoing stress and I still get the flu a couple times a year and maybe a cold too. Other than that I feel wonderful and have lots of energy.

  7. I had not been taking green smoothies long but I have been on a healthy diet. I did take a flight from Scotland to south of England to go to my brothers Golden wedding anniversary, and ro see my daughter and grand children. My journey started on the Friday, I was back home on the sunday. Unfortunately I caught a very bad cold and upper repiratory infection on the flight. I have never had anything like this before for very many years, so I put it to the intensity of the on-flight infection. My recovery though not swift was good considering the nastyness of the infection. Harold Lane, who will be 78 in just over a week. 23 october 2009

  8. Anonymous says:

    I get sick much less .

  9. Anonymous says:

    Back in 2007 I introduced green smoothies and kefir to my diet, I started eating healthier and excersing more. I have been working with children for the past 10 years, and let me tell you the year I was making the green smoothies and kefir everyday I only got sick once w/ a mild cold, which is big for me because every year I always get sick with a cold, flu, upper respiratory infection, or bronchitis. So far this past year I have been on antibiotics 6 times due to the flu,bronchitis..etc. I haven’t been making the green smoothies as often but I have realized that I need to get back on track so my health is better this winter season. So to answer your question Yes I am a firm believer that drinking green smoothies aid in not getting as sick.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I started eating a predominantly plant based diet about 3 years ago with a green smoothie most days. Prior to that, every year for 20 years I had bronchitis once or twice a year with several colds in between. I have not had bronchitis once since starting this new way of eating and I had my first cold in three years this last summer. My daughter just finished with the flu and I have not caught it yet, nor do I have signs of catching it. I feel better than I have in years and can never go back to the standard diet. By the way, I’m 55 years old, looking and feeling great.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hello again Robyn,

    I’ve been going full blast with green smoothies since March after about 20 years of being an on again off again juicer. I try to have a fruit (banana, orange, berry, etc) based smoothie one day and a veggie (carrot, apple, ginger, parsely, celery, spinach – yum!) based smoothie the next. One meal replacement smoothie, 40 or 45 ounces, each day. Plus I’m adding acai, astaxanthin, spirulina, chlorella, hemp hearts, flaxseed, chia seeds and a few other supplements each day. And I’m now down to maybe one glass of fresh juice per week.

    I’m 62 years old, and for me, after a lifetime of a normal frequency of colds and sore throats, I know that if I am just reasonably regular – say three servings a week of juice or smoothies – I never get a cold, or a sore throat, or even a sniffle… not ever.

    Plus there are so many other benefits to the the smoothie a day lifestyle.

    I’m a believer and I can’t recommend it strongly enough.

    Best regards,

    Dave in Ottawa

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have been drinking green smoothies for 2 and a half years. I think I have been sick maybe 2 times. When I have to go out of town I crave them. They are so satisfying that I don’t want to eat the bad stuff. I live in Logan and I wish I could get quality organic greens. The stuff I have to buy sometimes is pathetic. When I visit my sister in Portland I go crazy because she has access to beautiful organic produce. Oh well.

  13. Anonymous says:

    H1N1 Flu Update at our house:

    We’ve pulled through! I NEVER GOT IT! I feel great! I suppose it could be lurking inside, but the way this virus spreads (like WILDFIRE), I should have had symptoms long before now. I’m grateful I’ve been able to nurse everyone else. Once we realized this was the Flu, I kept thinking that I would be surprised if any of my family was hit too hard, simply because of the way we are “trying” to eat on the whole. Here’s the rundown:

    Son, age 8: mild fever for a day, tired and cough for a day, then back to school. He’s always been my best eater, and not big on sweets.

    Husband: No fever. In bed one day. Tired and achy. Occasional cough.

    Daughter, age 6: Tired and sore throat first day. Fever on and off for about 36 hours. Then she woke up yesterday and said: “I feel EXCELLENT!” She still has a cough.

    Daughter, age 4: My hardest hit. She’s also my sugar magnet. She was sick for three days, with fever on and off for 36 hours and vomiting along with the cough. She suddenly turned around yesterday evening. Still has a cough. My husband and I realized she has not been sick since she was 6 months old. This is her first heavy duty illness. We wonder if that had something to do with the severity.

    Twin girls, age 21 months: We were most concerned about them because they are so young, and just little things, but they have fared the best of all! Each had a mild fever for a few hours, and now just an occasional cough at night and runny nose. Other than that, you wouldn’t know they’re sick! They’re running around as usual. I give them little to no sugar, all whole foods, and green smoothies daily. They come running and screaming (with delight) when they hear the blender going every morning.

    The results this week make sense in light of our diets. My husband and two daughters, ages 6 and 4, have had the hardest time with transitioning to all whole foods and reducing meat and dairy. Compared to the others in our family, they eat the least amount of fresh fruits and veggies overall, and much prefer SAD foods if they can get their hands on them- and they do, whenever Daddy is in charge. Still, on the whole, they fared well with the Flu. No trips to the doctor, no medicine at all. Relatively short duration for all of them.

    I had a glimpse of how serious this Flu could be in persons with weaker constitutions. It’s a sneaky little Devil- the fever is off and on- just when you think it’s over, it strikes again, and harder. And then the surprise vomiting for one of ours. This Flu moves fast and furiously. I can see how the congestion could turn into something much more serious for some.

    Myself? I’ve been drinking Green Smoothies for a little over 3 months. I stopped eating all meat and dairy at the same time and now keep it to less than 5%. I was having strange aching in my legs, pain in my tailbone and lower back pain for a year after having my twins. I was also feeling very “unwell” every night. I prayed one night for help- ready to do whatever it took to be well for my family- and not just well, but full of life and energy. I also prayed specifically about the amount of meat that was included in a diet I was undertaking. I had an immediate answer to prayer that night when my Bible opened right up to the Book of Daniel, Chapter 1. Reading this illuminated further what is written in the Word of Wisdom (LDS Doctrine). After that, I experienced a quick succession of people and events that led me to read The Golden Seven Plus One and The China Study. Out of the blue, I felt like I should start my own personal blog (after swearing I didn’t have time for a blog), and through doing that, quickly learned about Green Smoothie Girl. Green Smoothies have made all the difference for me in helping to make my changes permanent. They have literally changed my taste buds, and made it so that I crave living food, know when enough is enough with sugar, and have little to no taste for meat or dairy. What an answer to prayer!! I forgot to mention that all of my pains were erased within 48 hours of making these sudden changes. I know that sounds incredible, but it’s true.

    My cleansing symptoms have been more drawn out than most. I experienced a lot of fatigue and headaches for about 2 months, as well as a surge of acne and hair loss (handfuls in the shower) and was extremely irritable! But I persevered, knowing that these were the answers God led me to. The underlying problems inside were probably more severe than I realized, so the cleansing and rebuilding is taking awhile. I no longer have the fatigue, headaches, or irritability, and my hair loss and acne are finally improving. I woke up one morning a few weeks ago and suddenly wanted to start RUNNING! I run over a mile nearly every morning without getting winded at all. Pretty good for starters! I didn’t have a lot of weight to lose- maybe 15 pounds, but I’ve lost 12 of that.

    Our family’s favorite smoothie: spinach, kale, mango, strawberries, water.

    Thanks for everything!

  14. Anonymous says:

    My husband and I have been drinking green smoothies for about 3 mo now. We both have lots of energy! This morning I noticed my daughter’s home schooling teacher drinking something green. She told me it was a green powder mix and water. Of course I had to ask her if she thought of adding actual greens to it and maybe a little fruit.She said it sounded like a lot of work. Another Mom overheard me and said she makes a fruit smoothie for her son each day and would like him to eat “something green” as he hates vegetables. So, Monday morning I’ll be there with my blender full of green smoothie for all to try!

    I also would like to know the effect of goitrogens in some greens on thyroid function as I take Armour Thyroid and am somewhat concerned. Maybe Robyn could address this. Thanks.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow what a wonderful response, I too drink GS and I have added the amazing greens to my morning routine and I may get the start of a soar throat. At once I just up my greens and extra vitamin C. and I feel better the next day.

    Thanks for such a wonder website full of information.

    to everyone’s health

    Rhonda D.

  16. I’ve been drinking green smoothies for little over a month now. 1 quart a day. I’ve not been sick – I even work with kids at the local school. They love to hold hands. So far so good! (I’m not 100% raw or a vegetarian)

  17. Anonymous says:

    of course! they bring vitality and healthiness to your life! thanks for introducing me to green smoothies! all my family are becoming green addicts after reaping the benefits.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Greetings! I’m so happy to participate in this discussion. I’ve been pure vegan for 25 years.. and completely raw for the last 2 years.. I also follow the Ann Wigmore Program of Wheatgrass….Energy soup….and sprouts, etc.

    Every day, except for very rare occasions I drink a complete Vita Mix full of green smoothie (also known as Energy Soup) throughout the day. I have wonderful vibrant energy – and have not been sick since I cannot remember when. Everyone around me at work is sick with colds that last forever.. but I’m fine. I’m on time for work everyday…. handling everyone’s desk while they’re out sick. Imagine, just from eating healthy vegetables in pure nutrition blended form.

    Pure nutrition is the bomb!

  19. Anonymous says:

    i am just getting started with the blender so i dont think i was sick but i would like some copys of smoothies drinks so i can make them thanks you margaret elza

  20. Anonymous says:

    I started making variations of the green stuff since the mid 90s. Have made them for my daughter and for my wife, neither really excited about them. But I rarely get sick, while most I know get the flu shots and get sick. I was really excited when I found GSG so I could show my wife and daughter that there really are others out there who drink what I drink, let alone the fine example Robyn. A little different than trying to convince her with a lumberjack on a video. Cheers and bottoms up!

  21. Anonymous says:

    I have a hard time to digest GS. I have a chronic duodenal ulcer in remission. Every time I drink GS, I get sick for at least 2 days with no energy at all. BTW, I can eat any ingredients of my GS in salad (no blending) with no problem. I’d be happy for any suggestion.

  22. Anonymous says:

    My family just started GS two weeks ago. I had thought that we had a pretty good healthy eating life style until we found out that my 5 year old daughter has nine food allergies! Chicken, turkey, wheat, milk, corn, soy, oat, eggs and peanut. For weeks I was a going crazy trying to figure out what I was going to feed her, she can only eat fruits, veggies, and beef or pork. We found ourselves eating too much meat because of this and I knew there just had to be a healthier way we can go about this diet.

    My husband and I both have asthma and take all kinds of inhalers and meds for the allergies. When I came across your site Robyn, I nearly cried with relief that there was a way to feed my family healthy food and allergen free.

    So far after two weeks I’m over all the fatigue and mild headaches. I’m off coffee which I thought I’d never do but I don’t NEED it to wake up anymore! I sleep better and I pop out of bed to make breakfast. I’ve been trying to wean myself off my meds and so far I can go a day without my inhaler. I will keep you posted on how we are all doing. I have all my “equipment” and I’m ready to go!

    I do have a question for you that I was curious about. What do you feed your kids for lunch? I need some ideas. Breakfast and snacks we have down pretty good but right now I’m working on lunches. My daughter wants hot dogs every day and even though I buy the organic uncured, no nitrites brand it’s still too much to have all the time. I’m trying to wean her to every other day until we can cut back completely.

    Thanks Robyn for all your work!

  23. Anonymous says:

    You bet your bottom dollar! Since beginning green smoothies last year I can only remember 2 separate days of being on the couch ill. I’m sure I’d have avoided that if my diet were closer to whole/raw. However, every one of my friends and their families seem to have been ill for a week at a time and more often. The health affects from Green Smoothies are the best preventative medicine IMO.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I have been drinking green smoothies for over 3 years. It has become a way of life. When I got the flu I feel like it was shorter in duration & severity of symptoms than it would have been had I not been drinking them. Also I have noticed a great improvement in a nagging chronic skin condition that I have had for 20 years.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Pure and simple. I have been about 85% raw for the past 3 years and have been having about 4 green smoothies a week for about 3 months now. Previous to the green smoothies I felt great and now that I am drinking them consistently I feel my immune system stronger than ever. So the answer is a YES! I do get sick less while drinking my green smoothies and will continue to do so for the forever!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Well…we have been doing the green smoothies for about 8 months. I have always been a health freak since I was in my teens. Before that I was fed a pretty basic diet with little meat. I suppose, compared to the general population, I am rarely sick. Of course I NEVER take any medications. I would rather die first!!!

    I haven’t noticed a big change, but others around me are always asking how I have so much energy and how I don’t look my age of 58. I feel like I am about 20. I have been drinking PH water for about that long, too.

    My husband, who doesn’t really like taking supplements, guzzles down the smoothies every day. He has never been sick and has an amazing constitution. I don’t know if the GS are helping him or not because of his excellent health in the first place.

  27. I don’t drink a lot of green smoothies. I tend to eat seasonally based on what I get from the CSA, so in the spring…lotta smoothies. In the summer…lotta fresh tomato sandwiches.

    Starting a couple of years ago, I made more of an effort to go vegetarian. And at the beginning of this year, more vegan. We’re still omni’s but I rarely cook meat at home, and we don’t eat out very much either.

    I went from getting sick many times a year to…well…I haven’t been sick in a year and a half. My son hasn’t been sick either (and he’s been in daycare/preschool). Our 3-person family eats between 25 and 30 pounds a week of produce, and I think that’s a HUGE part of why we stay healthy.

    My company gives me 5 sick days a year, (use or lose), they’re getting their money’s worth from me!

  28. Anonymous says:

    I started drinking Green Smoothies in July on this year. Since drinking them I really haven’t been sick. Maybe a minor allergy or two from dust. I use to work at a cattle auction. Not only do I drink the green smoothies, but I eat lots of fruits and vegetables as well. I’m not totally raw yet. My husband is a hunter and doesn’t like eating meat alone. I can notice a big difference in my metabolism when I’m not eating meat verses when I am eating meat. Other benefits that I’ve noticed since drinking the Green Smoothies: My teeth feel stronger, My skin is clearer. Loadded with energh and need less sleep. Fewer aches and I think any open cuts heal faster.

    My husband likes to drink the smoothies, but my daughter is not yet interested. I’ve tried to encourage her but think she’ll later catch on. She’s 15 and full of vinegar still.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I have been drinking green smoothies now for 29 days, dear hubby for 27, and everyone else (my 5 children) for 26 days!

    My 3 youngest children had EVERY symptom of Swine Flu (we don’t do any vaccines and were definitely not doing that one!). Their symptoms were all there but were very minor and only for 3 days. DH and I felt like our bodies were fighting something, but we never got it. Not even congestion.

    I haven’t had to take an afternoon nap in 3 weeks! That’s huge!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Haven’t been sick for about a year, this is someone that used to get bronchitis every year — that stopped about 2 yrs ago, had asthma as a kid till 18yrs old. I’ve been doing the smoothies for 2 months now. They are so amazing and I find myself not wanting the ‘wrong stuff’. Ok, a Reeses Peanutbutter cup now and then… lol Less ‘meatus eatus’ for me and I cut out dairy pretty much w/this program. The raw organic beets are the bomb!!!!! That and the cool red color to the mix. I’ve been telling everybody about your site and smoothies. Digging the Kale too.

    Thanks Robyn!!!!!

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