Are you a fan of smoothies? Have you wondered if you were losing nutrients by blending up your fruit? The answer is generally no. Let us get into specifics.
Unlike juicing, blending can include all the edible parts of fruits and vegetables including the skin, seeds, and pulp. This means you are getting most of the nutrients from the whole food. Blending should not degrade the amount or quality of vitamins or minerals from the food and it will not degrade the quality of antioxidants or other healthy compounds. Another good thing is you will get just as much fibre from blending the food as you would if you ate the food whole. One change is that blending the food breaks the fibres up into small pieces. As a result, the fibre may be digested faster which can also slow digestion and absorption or the fibre might lose its roughage and may affect how things move through your digestive tract.
If you are concerned about a spike in blood sugar due to the blending of whole foods, do not be. Preliminary studies have shown that in some foods, there is no difference between eating the fruit whole and blending it. The rise of blood sugar was actually slower when the food was part of a smoothie.
If you are not a fruit or veggie fan and a smoothie is the only way you get these foods, then it is a win-win for you. Research has found that the majority of adults do not eat enough fruits and veggies so having them, as a smoothie is a good thing.
Even though this news is good news, there are ways to make your smoothie more nutritious. Here are some tips:
Use water as your base for your smoothie
A more filling smoothie:
Use low-fat or fat-free dairy milk or unsweetened yogurt, kefir, of fortified plant-based milk. This can add protein, calcium, and vitamin D.
Trying adding a few nuts, chia seeds, flax seeds or whole grains.
Although a smoothie is just as healthy as whole food when freshly blended, it will lose its healthfulness over time. If your smoothie has sat around and separated and begins to look a bit grey, it has probably lost some of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. It is for this reason that store bought pre-made smoothies are not the best option (they can also be loaded with sugar)