Wellness: Are Smoothies Good for You?
Smoothies are an increasingly popular wellness trend and frequently marketed as a health food.
These versatile beverages are portable, family-friendly, and modifiable for any taste or dietary preference. Smoothies are easy to prepare yourself, but you can also purchase fresh or bottled ones from specialty cafés and most major grocery stores.
While some types are loaded with veggies and fruit, others pack sugar or other unhealthy ingredients. As such, you may wonder whether they’re a healthy choice.
Smoothies are thick, creamy beverages usually blended from puréed fruits, vegetables, juices, yogurt, nuts, seeds, and/or dairy or nondairy milk.
The most basic smoothie starts with two essential ingredients a base and a liquid. From there, you can combine ingredients to your liking.
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.
Smoothies made primarily from fresh or frozen produce may increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables, which provide a diverse array of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
Together, these nutrients may reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and 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 (around 400 grams) of fruits and vegetables per day. However, most people fall short of this mark.
If you find you’re not eating enough fruits or veggies, a smoothie can be a delicious way to pack in 2–3 more servings.
You can drink smoothies as a snack or meal replacement, but it’s a good idea to know which types to choose especially if you have a specific fitness or body composition goal in mind.
There’s a common misconception that smoothies are inherently low calorie snacks, but some smoothies pack over 1,000 calories depending on their size and ingredients.