If you’re wondering if smoothies healthy, the answer is depends on how they’re made. And more about that later on. Not only are they a popular wellness trend, but they’re also frequently marketed as a health food.
These versatile beverages are modifiable for any taste or dietary preference, family-friends, and portable. In addition to easy prep, smoothies can be bottled or purchase fresh from specialty cafés. They are also available at major grocery stores.
While some types are loaded with veggies and fruit, others pack sugar or other unhealthy ingredients. For this reason, you may wonder about smoothies health benefits.
This blog post explains a few things about smoothies. Including what they are and their potential health benefits.
What Are Smoothies?
Smoothies are creamy, thick beverages usually blended from puréed fruits, veggies, yogurt, seeds, nuts, juices, and milk. The most basic smoothie starts with two essential ingredients; a base and a liquid. Then, you can combine ingredients as you desire.
Many smoothies include frozen produce or ice cubes to give the final product the cool, icy consistency of a milkshake. However, their flavor profiles vary tremendously depending on the ingredients.
Most of these beverages can be classified into one or two of the following categories. Although there’s significant overlap between them:
Fruit. As the name implies, this kind of smoothie usually features one or more types of fruits. And they’re blended with water, ice cream, milk, or fruit.
Green. Green smoothie pack leafy green veggies and fruit blended with water, juice, or milk. They tend to be heavier in veggies than regular smoothies, though they often include a little fruit.
Protein. In general, these smoothies start with one fruit or vegetable and a liquid. Additionally, a major protein source like greek yogurt, silken tofu, protein powder, or cottage cheese is added.
Because smoothies are so customizable, it fairly easy to pack them with nutrients. Thus, made the right way, smoothies can be a healthy choice.
Potential Health Benefits
Many people consume smoothies as an afternoon snack or morning meal. Besides, they can be a great way to incorporate more healthy foods into your diet.
May help Boost Fruit and Vegetable Intake
Smoothies made primarily from fresh or frozen produce may increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables. Therefore, offering a diverse array of essential minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins.
Together, these nutrients may reduce inflammation, improve digestion. Also, lower your risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, and age-related mental decline.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. However, most people fall short of this mark. Not eating enough fruits and vegetables? Then, a smoothie can be a delicious way to pack in 2–3 more servings.
Potentially Support Increased Fiber Consumption
Fiber is an important nutrient that aids digestion. It prevents constipation and support the growth of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract. Early research suggests that a healthy, thriving community of gut bacteria can help reduce inflammation. Not to mention, promote healthy immune function, and support mental health.
Adequate fiber intake is also linked to a reduced risk of chronic illnesses. These include illness such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
The most nutritious smoothies are made with foods like fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and healthy fats. On the other hand, smoothies with added sugar may contribute to negative health effects over time.