Smoothies can be healthier than unblended ingredients because it allows you to mix in superfoods and greens that you wouldn’t normally eat raw or by themselves. As well as this, you can add a larger variety of fruits and vegetables in quantities that you would otherwise struggle to fit into day to day eating habits.
On an ingredient by ingredient basis however, there is minimal difference between a smoothie and its unblended counterparts because you still maintain the pulses and fiber in a smoothie (which is something that is lacking when you juice instead). Some nutrients are lost in the preparation of the fruits i.e. cutting and storing but that is not related to creating smoothies directly.
One thing to be wary of is the fruit in smoothies because when high sugar fruits are blended and consumed, the natural sugars are released faster and processed easier in the system than if you were to eat the fruit as a whole. This is great if you are after a healthy recovery or an energy boost but could negatively impact those with diabetes or illnesses related to sugar absorption so make sure to check with your doctor if this is the case.
Are there any risks to blending vitamin pills into a smoothie?
There are no health risks or implications to adding vitamin pills to a smoothie however there aren’t many health benefits either. The small quantities that are inside pills will probably get lost in the froth or the sides of the blender and may not even make it into the final shake which means you will lose most of the benefits anyway.
There are two main options and alternatives to combat this problem:
- Make the smoothie and pour it into the glass and tip the pill powder contents into the glass and stir – this will give you less opportunity to waste any of it however some could still remain in the bottom of the glass.
- You can also buy vitamin powder at many health stores or alternatively all in one smoothie supplements specifically designed for being incorporated into large quantities for the best results in smoothies.
The only health aspect to consider when dealing with vitamin pills and smoothies is to ensure that nothing will react with any medication you are already taking. If you have any questions, seek the advice of a doctor or healthcare professional.
If a tomato is a fruit, is ketchup a tomato smoothie?
Unfortunately not, ketchup is a condiment that contains a variety of other ingredients and chemicals (including added sugar) so that it lasts longer and tastes sweeter as it is used in smaller quantities, some of these ingredients of ketchup are:
- Sugar (a lot of! – almost 4g per teaspoon)
- Tomato “concentrate”
- Distilled vinegar
- High fructose corn syrup
- Onion powder
- Natural flavorings
Additionally, smoothies are raw and uncooked, unlike ketchup which is usually cooked in some form. Here is a recipe for a healthy alternative that you can make yourself.
Homemade, Healthy, Sugar free Ketchup
Creates: 1 Cup with a fridge life of about a week.
400g of Pre roasted diced tomatoes
1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
1/8th Teaspoon Sea Salt
1/8th Teaspoon Paprika
Make A Ketchup:
- Drain the tomatoes to avoid making a watery ketchup and try to remove as much of the water as possible.
- Add all of the ingredients into a blender and mix on a high speed until smooth. To thicken it, try adding some more drained tomatoes.
- Store in a glass Jar to avoid staining and keep in the fridge.
What is a good way to include healthy fruit and vegetables without negatively affecting the taste?
Smoothies are a great way to add leafy greens such as spinach or kale that you might naturally avoid, however what do you do if you do not like the taste? Because let’s be honest, sometimes the healthiest food can taste terrible. To maintain a well-balanced diet you should not avoid putting some ingredients in your smoothies but instead you should aim to create a combination that will mask the taste.
For example, an easy way to mask the taste of fruits is to add cacao powder which is much sweeter and can be a healthy alternative to chocolate (although this should be consumed in moderation.) Additionally this process works for adding strong ingredients such as cinnamon and honey that tend to blend well and overpower some of the subtle vegetable tastes.
Another option is to add additional stronger tasting fruits such as bananas, pineapples or citrus fruits can help to mask the taste and combat bitter tastes in a green or vegetable smoothie.
Ultimately you need to find the best combination for you that allows you to get the nutrients you need while enjoying it. Start by adding smaller quantities of your least liked ingredient and build your way up so that you can determine how best to hide their taste.
Is it a good or a bad idea to lose weight with a juice detox?
Losing weight using a juice detox is a bad idea. Simply, you will lose weight on them because you are eating far too few calories and you become malnourished due to a lack of minerals and nutrients, however when you start to incorporate real food back into your diet you will put the weight back on because your body starts to replenish its’ fat stores.
Dangers of liquid only diets
- You will be miserable and constantly hungry during the detox because it takes a lot less time to consume juices as they do not register properly in your brain as a whole meal and therefore do not leave you feeling full or satisfied. This is the emotion that registers throughout the detox and is usually paired with tiredness due to a lack of nutrients.
- These juice detoxes are usually expensive because they involve fads and “secret ingredients” which you have to purchase and add to your juices.
How to “Detox” correctly
Your body has a natural detoxification process aided by a healthy liver, kidney and colon which aim to continually remove toxins from our systems. As long as we maintain a relatively healthy diet, drink plenty of water and get plenty of sleep our bodies will do the rest.
That being said, you could be adding additional toxins to your body if you have a poor diet and this can be impacting your overall health. Reducing the unhealthy substances that you put into your body is the first step to supporting your body’s natural detoxification processes and this does not require a liquid or juice only diet. To healthily improve your diet, cut these things from your meal plan:
- Alcohol – Unfortunately this is a toxin that triggers an insulin response and actually makes you hungry, as well as increase body far storage.
- Caffeine – This is an addictive substance that can lead to emotional fluctuations and mood changes
- Processed foods – Things with a long shelf life or extensive E-numbers fall into this category and are harmful for your body due to all of the toxins.
- Biscuits, bread, pasta – these and other wheat products can lead to intolerance and stressed digestive systems and many are fully processed and containing sugar.
- Corn products – e.g. popcorn or sweetcorn – These contain different fungi producing toxins that many people are unaware of.
You can find the full list here
Creating a diet based around cutting out these foods can help aid your natural detoxification process without the need of expensive or “super” cures. Use juices and smoothies to supplement a healthy intake of fruit and vegetables and cut out the unhealthy aspects of your diet without cutting food out altogether and you will start to see results and feel better in yourself.
Does fruit lose nutritional value in a smoothie?
The simple answer to this is no. Blending fruit and vegetables makes barely any impact on their nutritional value and does not make them any less healthy. That being said, over-blending a smoothie can start to impact its effectiveness, for example when food is cooked the nutritional value changes and the longer that fruit and vegetables are blended the warmer they become due to friction. This means that if you were to blend the smoothie too long it could start to cook and therefore break down some of the healthy enzymes in the food.
However there are some small minimal changes that are made to fruits and vegetables naturally when they are peeled, cut or prepared and that means they will always be affected slightly when blending them together in a smoothie. Juicing on the other hand does reduce nutritional value because it removes some of the pulp and fiber just to leave the juice and this makes them less nutritious than smoothies.
It is important to note that the way and length of time that fruit and vegetables are stored can cause them to start to lose nutritional value. After fruit has ripened, it begins to decline and the nutritional value decreases, therefore when you are in a store you should aim to buy pre-ripe fruit and ripen it at home so that you know where it is in its life cycle.
How many smoothies should I drink per day for maximum health benefits?
This is a tricky question because it depends on the type of smoothie you are making. Generally speaking you should aim to substitute your snacks for the day with a smoothie as they are far healthier and contain more nutritional value (so around 3 times a day). However, not all smoothies were created equal and some should not be consumed as often as others, for example:
Chocolate smoothies – Although cacao powder is a healthier alternative to chocolate it still has to be consumed in moderation and you should only aim to have it a couple of times a week to get the most out of it.
Dairy based smoothies – Those with dairy in should be consumed around once a day as they can mean a higher fat intake which becomes unhealthy if consumed more frequently. To avoid this you can try dairy-free alternatives such as soy or coconut milk which contain less fat and calories (as well as more health benefits).
Vegetable or green smoothies – These types of smoothies are generally made up of mostly vegetables and can be consumed several times a day if you prefer because they are the most healthy (although make sure the liquid base is not dairy if you are going to have several times per day)
Fruit smoothies – Although eating more fruit is encouraged you should not aim to have these types of smoothies more than once or twice per day because of the high sugar content. Even though it is natural it can still have negative effects on the body and you should be wary of how much sugar you consume.
One thing to bear in mind is that even though you will gain many vitamins and nutrients, smoothies that contain superfoods or greens can actually be higher in calories than you might think which means that you should use them to replace small meals or snacks instead of adding them in addition to your diet. Some smoothies also have high amounts of fat and calories (even though they are the healthy kind) which means that you may find that if you start drinking 3 or 4 smoothies a day you will start to put on weight if you do not make adjustments to your diet elsewhere.