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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. Anonymous says:

    Immediately after I found out about your site, my husband was scheduled for oral surgery–involving two teeth–one was a wisdom tooth that had never come in but the root was wrapped in nerves and now it was infected so they had to open it up. I had 10 days to make a difference. I made green smoothies daily, but being new at it, my husband drank only about 12-20 oz. a day. After surgery the doctor said when he opened up the gum, it looked very bad and he feared the worst–either cancer, or fast growing tumor–making cutting through the nerve necessary–resulting in facial paralysis. But as he got to the bottom, it didn’t look that bad–he was able to save an adjacent tooth, leave a tip of the root so as not to disturb the nerve. Cancer tests were negative, and he cleaned all the infection out. Best possible news. But he said several times, it was a very rough surgery and my husband would have lots and lots of swelling and and be very, very black and blue all the way down the neck. RESULTS: My husband had almost no pain–took 1/4 the meds, he had only a tiny bit of swelling–size of a marble–and no bruising at all anywhere. He was up working every day and went to church on what was supposed to be his worst day. Only difference, he seemed to need a nap each day. I believe the green smoothies made the difference. I add citrus to each smoothie.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Between my greens, aloe, exercise. and eating as healthy as I can I am rarely sick. I’m sure God and the immune system he gave me helps too, but working around sick kids daily gives me lots of exposure and I am gratefully seldom down with illness.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have been drinking green smoothies every day since Memorial day weekend. So far, I have lost 10 pounds, and my skin no longer has dry patches (eczema, I guess). I have been sick August, September, and I’m sick right now (end of October). I had a sinus infection, strep, and now who knows (flu?- though it feels more like a sinus infection). I haven’t taken any antibiotics. It may seem discouraging- but this is pretty normal for me (sick about once every month except in summer when it is allergies). I have been at the end of my rope for several years and have been looking for the right answer for my body. I have followed the advice of Sally Fallon and the Weston Price foundation (which I still respect), but I believe that I have had too much emphasis on fat, meat, and dairy (even though it has been raw/cultured). I put on 30 pounds and remained as sick as ever. It has not been until I started drinking green smoothies and adding more raw into my diet that I have felt a change. Even though I already do a lot of the 12 steps (kefir, sourdough, sporatic sprouting, saurkraut, natural sweetners, gardening, and whole grains), I am starting from the beginning and absorbing the details that I am obviously missing. Thank you for giving me the courage to stand strong in my desire to be like Daniel in the Bible. I already stick out with my family, church, community, but I see that there are a lot of you out there.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sonja: you may want to try cleansing enemas and colonics.. That will HELP tremendously get the icky stuff out of your system without making your liver work even harder than its already doing.

    It will also help you to feel better sooner.. You’re detoxing honey. It may not feel good right now.. but you need it desperately.

    take good care,


  5. Thanks, Pat. I just learned about raw kelp noodles and ordered some. Can’t wait to try them. I’m sure my thyroid will love them and they will make a nice side dish for a green smoothie meal.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I too have been healthier and stronger since I began green smoothies last Christmas. So are my kids, no colds or flue or ear infections anymore and I see a strong correlation with milk consumption. Cutting milk out of our diets made a huge difference already and my kids love smoothies. I disguise the greens with a lot of purple and red fruit in their smoothies.

    Note – if you’re eating the healthiest foods you can think of and your body gives you pain, cramping, diarrhea etc – it’s time to STOP ALL EATING, rest, drink plenty of water and let the body clean up first before you burden it with digestion again. Refer to natural hygiene re: how and why etc. on



  7. Anonymous says:

    For Patti and anyone else who is concerned about the goitrogens in the greens, also strawberries.

    At the time I started GS I was diagnosed slightly hypothyroid, but not yet on any meds. I was less energetic than usual, felt a bit sluggish, and was hopeful the GS would help.

    For the first 2 weeks on them I felt wonderful, but then suddenly I went downhill. Very fatigued, bowels slowed down and I developed terrible constipation worse than any I’ve ever had. I just felt plain awful. Had a colonoscopy to check for problems, was given the all clear, but the doc said it’s possible that being hypothyroid could have caused it (he did not know I had been diagnosed hypothyroid).

    In fact, my whole digestive system had almost stopped. I wasn’t able to eat much food without feeling uncomfortable because the peristaltic action of the digestive tract had slowed considerably, which happens with hypothyroidism.

    It finally dawned on me that all the greens and also the strawberries were full of goitrogens and most likely were a major factor in how I was feeling. They contain a substance that binds to iodine and prevents it’s uptake into the thyroid, thereby resulting in reduced thyroid hormones, which are made from iodine.

    So I reluctantly quit drinking the GS and after a few weeks I gradually started improving. I was afraid to use raw greens after that for quite awhile unless they were cooked, which reduces the goitrogen content.

    Lately I will have 2 smoothies/week and do throw some green stuff in there in smaller amounts. I figure I’m getting the benefit of the nutrients even though I’m not eating them every day, in addition to the salads and cooked vegetables I eat.

    I also have to question the ‘naturalness’ of humans eating a predominantly raw diet, or eating greens in their raw state so frequently, and out of their season. What human would regularly chomp on the tough leaves of kale or some of the other difficult greens? Is it possible Heavenly Father intended some of these to be cooked, or at the very least to be eaten in their season? I have seen nothing in the Bible or WOW that focuses on raw food as a preferred way of eating. Certainly, it has it’s place for a period of cleansing every so often. Moderation in all things seems wise, even with ‘healthy’ foods.

    It is well known that one can develop a sensitivity to any food if it’s eaten often enough, hence the advice to those with allergies to never eat the same food more often than every 4 days, so as not to sensitize the body to it.

    That said, for a short period I did feel well on the GS, but those with a tendency towards thyroid problems need to be aware that the goitrogens in the greens can have an adverse effect.

  8. Anonymous says:

    family of 4, I am only one who drinks a green smoothie for breakfast and a superfood green smoothie for lunch. do not get sick anymore, even tho my family still does.

  9. O.K. maybe you won’t believe this, but I sure do. Over the last couple weeks many of my friends have been down with a terrible virus. I don’t know what it is officially called, but the symptoms are a raw sore throat, sneezing, running nose, vomiting, head ache, body aches, and extreem fatigue. Although I had a bit of scratchy through and slight mucus, I neve went into the full blown thing. I felt a bit peaked so I had less soothies with fruit and more with tomatoes, onion, garlic, and cayenne. I’m well after only a couple of easy days. Some are still down and counting. BTW–We’ve been green smoothie-ing for about 2 1/2 months. We drink 1 or 2 quarts per day. I’ve lost 10 pounds. My skin is clearer and free of acne (unless I fudge and eat chocolate). Some wrinkles are smoothing out. Digetion issues are better. My son has gained back his health from his bout with H1N1 last summer, where he lost over 15 lbs. His acne is clearing. My husband has lost nearly 15 lbs and looks much healthier. We all feel happier and more energetic.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well, I have succeed to get my family hooked up on green smoothies. We just started a few months ago and have been drinking them about 3-4 times a week. I still think we put too much fruit in them to get used to the green taste but kids love them. I do however have a concern about raw foods being treated with lots of chemicals. I cannot afford buying everything organic. I wonder if anyone has an opinion on this. As far as being sick, it seems to me our family is doing much better this flu season than we did last year.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hey there Robyn! I def have to agree! I dont get sick AT ALL anymore. I have been ‘green smoothie-ing” (lol) since last November and I have not been sick. Everyone in my place of business (I work in close quarters in a nursing home), residents and staff have had multiple colds and flus this year, and I have not had ONE. That is saying something, due to the fact that the residents of the nursing home are elderly and frail and often sick. There are also “superbugs” at work, such as MRSA and others, and thank goodness, I have been germ/sick free. I encourage everyone to try green smoothies and incorporate them into your daily routine.

  12. Anonymous says:

    did I see an address where I could send for sourdough bread starter somewhere on your site? I can’t find it anywhere. sure would like to get some. thanks.

    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Jenni here, GSG Admin,

      Hi Leonard,
      Yes! Here is a link to the blog post you are looking for.

      Have a great day!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have been gardening for 52 years and raise very nutrient dense foods. I use mined humates ( coal which never finished turning to coal 72 minerals and micronutrients) which hold your plant foods in the root zone and changes them to an available form. We eat and drink a lot of raw garden

    fruits and vegies. Hardly ever get sick. Have a 30 by 70 straw berry patch

    5300 berry plants all in grow pot stacks from knee hi to eye level. We picked the last berries of the season last sunday ( my grand girls think they are candy) . we have been picking 20 gals per week all sumer. I love it

  14. Anonymous says:

    our family got the swine flu from friends who visited from out of state in August.

    We drank green smoothies with whole lemon the whole time. Most of us had a few days of high fever, cough, headache, and intense muscle aches.

    We felt much worse several years ago with a bout of flu in Texas, in our pre-green smoothie days.

    The combination of greens and a whole lemon (rinds and all), seems to help with any sickness, as far as I can see.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Healthier for sure!! pH Miracle diet (like Nancy!) beginning Oct 2003…juicing, raw, vegan…lightened the load on husband’s compromised liver. His longterm Hep C (newly diagnosed then) under control very quickly. NO drugs of any kind. Lost 100 lbs between us (him 60 – me 40).

    Discovered Victoria Boutenko a year or so after that…and began GS. VitaMix made that so much easier and tastier. Found GSG this year when a subscriber to my green newsletter wrote to ask me if i knew about Robyn.

    We’re MUCH healthier, need less sleep and have lots of energy. (Hubs does have bad allergies this season to ragweed and cedar…really bad here in west TX this fall. So he’s finally taking some Claritin after trying all the nose gadgets…etc)

    Both in our 50s. Swine Flu is rampant here in TX…neither of us has any sign of it. Have never had flu shots. Not starting now.

    Drink up!! Thanks, Robyn!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hello, I want to make a comment about our smoothy drink….my husband has mantle cell lymphoma, was diagnosed in 2007, we understand that it will come back. But maybe by drinking the green smoothies every day, we will keep it hidden as another lady put it so nicely.

    I gather weeds from our garden, stinging nettles also parsley, garlic chives, in the summer lambs quarters and dandilion. We add spinach and an apple, tastes great. I noticed that my stye is gone, had it for a year, also fungus under toenail.We are in our seventies, that is all the benefit so far. We will continue with this indeffinitely. I grow wheatgrass inside the house, we make carrot – wheatgrass juice once a week.

    Sincerely Hildegard

  17. Anonymous says:

    I have been drinking Green Smoothies daily for breakfast for almost 2 years now. My green smoothies follows the following: 1 fruit, 1 -2 cups water, 2 huge handfuls of greens/lettuce. Cut out sugar except raw honey and fruits, and have drastically reduced fried foods, and down to 1 serving of animal protein a day.

    Feeling so healthy and vibrant. Have only been sick once since starting daily GS. Now I tan and don’t burn – even when on vacation in the Caribbean (where I used green powder in daily smoothies).

  18. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Cindy for all the info. I have been doing some research on goitregens and realize I have quite a few in my diet. I am altering my GS by using only greens without goitregens (i.e. romaine, celery and field greens so far) as I would hate to not have it everyday!

  19. Anonymous says:

    I’m in college, and what passes for nutrition in our college cafeteria is a joke/nightmare. We have more varieties of milk (4 different kinds) than we do leafy green vegetables (2–baby spinach, and an iceberg salad mix which is mostly nutritionally useless anyway). In the past week, they’ve served pork with almost every meal! There are only three kinds of juice available, but like 10 different kinds of sodas. There are typically only three different kinds of fruit available. Apples, oranges, and bananas. And sometimes they’re not great looking, and sometimes they only have apples or oranges.

    I just recently started down the green smoothie path. So far this winter I haven’t been sick. ( : I’ve shared the smoothies with several friends and they all love them. They’re so surprised when I tell them all the benefits of what they’re drinking. Most of them don’t even have a clue as to what kale is, or turnip greens, but when they look up the nutritional content they’re floored.

    Thanks for sharing so much of your knowledge with others.



  20. I have been drinking green smoothies faithfully every morning since the first week of June, 2009. I have not been sick one time since then, not one sniffle. I also take 5000 iu of Vitamin D3 daily, along with Omega 3 and a good multivitamin. One son works at McDonalds and the other is in college. I am disabled with severe nerve damage and technically am at greater risk to get sick. Except I don’t. Yay!!

    My current recipe:

    5-6 cups of mixed greens

    1 Roma tomato

    1 frozen banana

    1/3 cucumber

    1/2 cup grapes

    1 plum

    1/2 cup water

    1 Tbs. local honey

    Yummy! This makes 32oz or more, depending on how much water I put in.

  21. Anonymous says:

    hi ,,i feel i need help with hypothyroid (blood test results) and high cholesterol, i am also over weight by about 20 lbs,,, will the green smoothie diet help with hypothyroidism and what book should follow for for my weight and thyroid…. i don’t want to go on medicine for it……help please….tammy

  22. Anonymous says:

    Jan McCune, Yes, I am your 2nd recommendation to do a liver cleanse. I have been through a lot of the same issues and good gracious, you will be AMAZED at what you eliminate from your liver in a liver cleanse. Hulda Clark has a great one that helped me flush over 250 gall and liver stones. May also be helpful not to combine your greens and fruits. For those of us working through digestive issues, it’s easier for the system to digest fruits by themselves…don’t combine fruit with other foods. Hope this helps.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I used to get sick constantly~ I started drinking green smoothies in June and have kept up the good habit. We did not get flu shots, hubby doesn’t drink green smoothies, he has been sick twice and I haven’t been sick since before June. I know this is making a HUGE difference~ I do hair and around people most every day~

    Karla 🙂

  24. Anonymous says:

    Just getting a good start with green smoothies. I appreciate the information you put out, it has been a great help in understanding the ins and outs of this most healthy way of eating.

    I have subscribed to several other sights but rely mostly on your information. Thanks for being so willing to provide this information.

    I am a retired seventy six year old who can use all the help I can get to keep my health. once again thanks.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Have been doing GS all summer, fall to date and have not been sick this year in spite of my whole family getting sick.

    I used to have sinus problems and would get an infection that would last for months. I contribute this to my daily green smoothie as well as breaking free of wheat (which I found I am alergic too through the process of illimination).

    Now starting the day with a green smoothie has the same effect on me that the 4 cups of coffee had previously with no side effects! Best decision nutritionaly I ever made!

  26. Anonymous says:

    I have not been sick since I started this 5 months ago. I work in a building with about 600 people and we share the same break room. I made it through flu season with no shot and no flu while I was seeing people go home daily, sick as sick can be. I have lost 30 lbs. I sleep better with needing less sleep. I have always thought of myself as a healthy person but have never felt this good. I drink three quarts a day and staying about 70% raw. give or take a little due to the holidays. This is also the first holiday season in my life I did not gane weight. I wish I had started this 20 years ago.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for all this information about eating whole foods! It has truely been a blessing for my family and me.

    But after being on the green smoothie (1 quart a day) then eating fairly healthy with no chemical additives and little animal protien in my diet I am still feeling pretty sick all the time. Dizzy, almost passing out, nausiated, headaches, and migraines, etc. Each of one my symptoms is in your green smoothie book in the detox section. I understand I am detoxing, but would like to know on average how long do these symptoms tend to last?In the book it says short term, but after two weeks I still feel the same.

    I can already tell a big difference in my body already! Although I am coughing more, I can tell my asthma is clearing up, air is “soaking” in my lungs easier. I can tell my body is really craving and needing greensmoothies and healthy eating so I don’t want to quit, and not to mention if those chemicals are making me feel this way to go off of them I obviously should not keep ingesting them. But I would like to know how long others have felt this way. Is there anything I can do to make this transition period easier?

    Thanks in advance for any tips!


  28. DenRA says:

    When a person has a green drink regularly they will benefit in many different ways in overall health which will benefit not only flu but everything! I have been extremely busy until recently and see this post was 2009 and ha ha! its 2013! I get alot of e-mails and was just today searching for something else and ran across this! Green drinks have all the nutrients our blood require so they build the blood up when people are anemic and have a cleansing ability also as well supplying massive amounts of vitamins,minerals and enzymes .Thank you for what you do! 😀 ~~~

  29. Darlene says:

    I am 65 years old. Since menopause, I had issues with an overactive bladder. Could not quite make it to the bathroom, in the middle of the night, without some leakage. I have been on organic green smoothies made from kale and pineapple, for about a week now. After the first day, that issue was 85% better. Now I rarely have a problem. Has any one else experienced relief from urinary incontinence after being on GS?

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