Are Smoothies Actually Healthy? A Closer Look

Smoothies are often touted as a cure-all: inflammation? Drink a smoothie. Need to lose weight? Drink a smoothie. Need protein? Put some powder in your… smoothie. But not all smoothies are healthy smoothies, and what you decide to include in your recipe makes all the difference.

And from a consumer perspective, market analysis shows that the demand for “nutrient-rich juices” isn’t going anywhere. It’s predicted this demand will continue to drive smoothie popularity at least through 2024. The rise of the wellness industry in America coupled with the fact that smoothies are usually quite tasty lends to this growing trend. Smoothie popularity likely isn’t going anywhere.

But not all smoothies are created equal, and some may not be the best option for your health. Many attention-grabbing headlines proclaim that smoothies not healthy for you, period. Between the health influencers of Instagram who share smoothie recipes that promise near-magical results, to the headlines that say they’re “all bad,” what’s the verdict? At Rebecca’s, we espouse taking a critical look at things and always doing our research. The answer, it seems, lies somewhere in between the two. Let’s take a closer look. 

The downside:

Some doctors (and much nutritional information) suggests smoothies are not the best way to get optimal nutrition or lose weight. Many people fall for the misconception that because it’s a smoothie, it must be healthy. Just as you would notice and take stock of the food you put on your plate, you must also be aware of what you put in the blender. For example, adding heaps of sugars, or even too many sugary fruits, is not the answer. Be mindful of what you throw into the blender. 

The case for eating whole:

Putting anything in a blender changes it on a molecular level. The fiber in whole fruits and vegetables helps slow down the process by which our bodies turn food into blood sugar. Enter smoothies: the blending process essentially removes the work your gut would do to break down the fibers of fruits and veggies. While this may sound like a benefit, it’s not. Instead, your body will likely receive a punch of more calories and sugar when consuming smoothies. 

People’s particular nutritional needs vary, and what helps some lost weight may not help others. In fact, what helps you lose weight at one time may not be a solution a few months later as your system acclimates to its new diet. 

The upside:

All things in moderation, even nutrients in concentration. You could think of smoothies as delivery systems for concentrated nutrition. Fruit mechanically broken down by blending gives an enormous surface area to the nutrients, making digestion easier and more efficient. Additionally, smoothies can palatably contain herbs and other nutrients that might otherwise be difficult to choke down.

The takeaway: smoothies are still a great way to feel hydrated and refreshed on the go while also getting some nutritional benefits. You’d be remiss to count on them as the best way to lose weight. Overall, find a balance between blending and eating whole fruits and vegetables, and watch the amount of sugar you use!

A few ideas for healthy smoothies that you can find at Rebecca’s:

  • Milk, cream, kefir or yogurt base
  • Non-dairy Almond, Oatmilk
  • Raw, local, or frozen fruit
  • Sambazon Acai frozen smoothie pack
  • Great lakes Collagen
  • Dragon Herbs Tonic Alchemy
  • Body Ecology Vitality Supergreens
  • Onnit MCT Oil
  • Olympian Labs Beef Protein
  • Sunwarrior Illumin8
  • Blue Mountain Egg white protein
  • Four Sigma
  • Bone Broth
  • Coconut Cream without “Gums”