Are Smoothies Really Healthy?

Recently, smoothies have been getting a lot of attention in the health world. Green smoothies, fruit smoothies and protein shakes are everywhere but it’s hard to know which one to choose. What’s really healthy? Here’s the lowdown.

Ultimately, in order to know if something is healthy or not, you must examine what goes into the smoothie. The best way to make sure what your sipping on is healthy is to make it yourself. If you don’t have time for that, be sure to question the shop that you are getting your smoothies from. They may not enjoy the probing, but you are sure to get your questions answered. If they are dumping anything from a can that isn’t juice into the blender, leave. If they are cutting up fresh fruit and veggies into the blender, you know you’re going to be getting something good.

Green Smoothies are called so because of its color. Its ingredients vary from person to person but mainly consist of greens of some kind (kale, spinach, etc.), fruits and/or veggies (green apples, cucumber, etc.) and a liquid (juice, almond milk, etc.) Some people add in Greek yogurt or kefir for the nutrients and creaminess; green smoothies are the ultimate smoothies, packed with vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.

A fruit smoothie is where it can cross the line between healthy and not-so healthy, especially if you are not the one making it. Sometimes shops will swap out fresh ingredients for pre-made packets of frozen fruit combinations. These pre-made packets tend to have added sugars that turn your smoothie into a sugary drink. Fruit by itself is already sweet. You might as well be drinking soda. You must have a good ratio of fruits and greens in a smoothie to give you a little sweetness from the fruits but have that balanced with the flavors of the greens.

Protein shakes are made to fill you up and replace a meal. Depending on the sugar content, protein powders can either be great for you or just make you gain weight. One of the best choices is a plant based protein shake. It’s easy to digest, gives you at least 13g of protein and it’s free of the antibiotics and growth hormones that are found in animal proteins. What also makes a difference is what you mix it with. Water or almond milk is best, while milk or juices will add unnecessary calories and sugar.