Are smoothies healthy or not?
Recently, smoothies have received a lot of bad press. They've gone from super foods to foods that raise suspicions about just how healthy they are. Here we consider the arguments for and against smoothies, and offer a couple of healthy and delicious recipes for healthier version of your favourite smoothie drinks.
Smoothies as a health food
The main ingredient for most smoothies is blended fruit - and that's got to be healthy! Crushed and juiced fruit counts towards the recommended target of five a day.
The fruit in smoothies contains important vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, Vitamin A and antioxidants.
Smoothies are generally lower in fat than milkshakes or other similar drinks.
Smoothies as hype
Fruit contains a high level of natural sugar and, depending on the fruit and other ingredients used, a relatively high number of calories.
The acid is smoothies can also be damaging to your teeth - which is why experts recommend that you drink smoothies using straws.
Because the fruit in smoothies has been broken down, it has lost much of the fibre that is naturally occurring in fresh fruit. It's therefore more beneficial to eat a whole piece of fruit than a blended piece of fruit.
Are smoothies healthy?
As with most things, smoothies are fine in moderation. In face, most smoothies can be considered healthy given their fruit content and the fact that they enable you to reach your five a day target.
However, be wary about carton bought smoothies. While some contain nothing but fruit, others have added cream or sugar. Needless to say, these are unhealthy.
Recipes for healthy smoothies
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/2 sliced apple
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- squeeze of fresh lime
- 3 ice cubes
Strawberry kiwi smoothie
- 1/2 cup skimmed milk
- 1/2 kiwi, sliced
- 1/2 cup strawberries
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 1 cup skimmed milk
- 1 banana, chopped