Smoothies are an easy and delicious option all year round. If you are not sure whether these beverages are a match for your health and nutrition goals this is a must-read smoothie guide. Here is the low down on the pros and cons of smoothies:
- Provides Whole Fruit and Vegetable Benefits
Unlike most fruit juices a blended smoothie includes the benefits of the skin of fruit and vegetables. This means your body does not miss out on essential antioxidants and phytonutrients which lie just under the skin of most fruit and vegetables. Did you know that the skin of an apple contains half the fibre of the whole fruit and a third of its vitamin C? On top of this fibre helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer which promotes a healthy body weight as well as keeps your blood sugar levels more stable.
- Achieve Your Needed Fruit and Vegetable Serves Easily
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that currently 6.1% of adults and 8.5% of children are getting enough fruit and vegetable serves each day. A smoothie can be an easy way to add an extra few serves of these two groups and put you ahead of the average and meet your daily fruit and vegetable serves needed for health.
- Give Your Skin a Glowing Complexion
Studies (Reference 2) have shown that those who eat more fruit and vegetables have a tan-like complexion and a glowing skin appearance compared to those who do not eat enough of these two food groups. Improvement in skin tone was evident after 6 weeks when participants ate two extra serving of vegetables or fruit a day!
- Easy Way to Add More Protein
If you find meeting your protein needs a challenge including a smoothie can be a great choice. Opt for a quality protein product which includes whole ingredients such as superfoods.
- A Great Choice When Time Poor
Everyone has those moments when they are time poor and in terms of alternate choices a smoothie is likely to win out in nutritional value compared to many other fast-food alternatives.
- Overdoing The Fruit Serves
Most people need around 2-3 serves of fruit a day. Some recipes will give you up to 4 serves and although fruit is a great source of nutrition hitting around 2-3 serves a day is the goal unless extra energy needs are required based on your individual circumstances and activity level. Try to pick a recipe which includes around 30% fruit and 70% vegetables. Vegetables are a food group you can go to town on in terms of eating more. This is because most of the ingredients which go best in smoothies are very low in starch and energy density such as baby spinach, celery or cucumber.
- Be Careful of Added Sugars
Smoothies can lose their health factor if you are including added sugar like honey or maple syrup. A tablespoon of added sugar is a serve of ‘sometimes food’ or a discretionary choice serve, and most people should limit these foods to 2 times a week maximum. If you need extra sweetness, try adding some cinnamon or stevia.
Take home message:
Smoothies can be a great way to meet your fruit and vegetable serves more easily, as well as any extra protein needs. If you are savvy in your ingredient choices a smoothie may be a great choice to include as part of a balanced diet.
Check out our healthy protein smoothie recipes below:
- 2022 Dietary Behaviour. Australian Bureau of Statistics. https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/dietary-behaviour/latest-release
- Whitehead RD, Re D, Xiao D, Ozakinci G, Perrett DI. You are what you eat: within-subject increases in fruit and vegetable consumption confer beneficial skin-color changes. PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e32988. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032988. Epub 2012 Mar 7. PMID: 22412966; PMCID: PMC3296758.