Are Smoothies Truly Healthy?
By: Jenny Holt
Smoothies gained popularity since they were first introduced in the 1960s. People consume them for various reasons: as a meal replacement, to lose weight or as a health beverage. In addition, they are quick to make, delicious and easy to consume. But, are they really healthy?
Whether a smoothie is healthy or not depends on the kind of ingredients you use in whipping up your beverage. Unfortunately, making a smoothie means that you can throw in any ingredient that you desire whether you want fruits, vegetables, nuts or oils. However, there are some things that should not be put into smoothies. For example, dried superfoods are not recommended as they are stimulants giving you an instant energy boost that will fizzle out as quickly as it appeared leaving you feeling weak. Avoiding processed dried products ensures your stomach won’t have a hard time digesting them.
Another component that should be skipped in making smoothies is a store-bought juice. Most of these juices are pasteurized, a process which kills harmful bacteria but unfortunately, strips them of their natural goodness, vitamins, and nutrients. They are also high in calories with 100% apple juice containing 192 calories and orange juice 168 calories per 12-oz serving. Even a regular cola has only 168 calories compared to a fruit punch which has 192 calories. All the information is there on the labels and reading them carefully helps you know what you are putting in your drinks. A better option is to blend fresh fruits and vegetables in your smoothies.
Fat and oils are often included in making smoothies. But, it is not necessary to consume healthy fats in smoothies when you can add them to regular meals. Wholesome foods such as nuts, coconut oil, avocado, and olives are good fats that contain higher concentrations of saturated/monounsaturated fats and rich in omega-3s (for brain function and lower risks of heart diseases).