Smoothies and Juices – Are They More Nutritious or Fattening?
In the summer we consume a large amount of juices and smoothies. But are they mostly nutritious or fattening? In hot days there is an increase in the consumption of fruit and vegetable juices and shakes – based on water or milk. In this article we will try to clarify few issues regarding the health benefits of juices and smoothies:
Are there health benefits of these juices and smoothies or is it better to eat fresh vegetables and fruits?
When the juice squeezed right now, it has a very high health value with lots of vitamins and it’s even easier to digest and absorb the nutrients compared to eating whole fruits and vegetables. But it’s important to note: nutritional value of juices and smoothies is kept when they are fresh, but as time goes on, more vitamins and antioxidants break down and become unuseful to the body. Also some juices don’t contain the same amount of fiber as eating the whole fruit or vegetable.
Nutritional value of juices:
· Tomato juice – contains a very large amount of vitamin C and lycopene, which helps prevent prostate cancer and cataracts.
· Grapefruit juice – contains antioxidants that reduce cholesterol and blood lipids.
· Pomegranate juice – contains polyphenols were found to be effective against many types of cancer.
· Cranberry juice – contains substances that prevent adherence to the bladder bacteria and helps prevent bladder infections.
· Wheat grass juice – contains chlorophyll which helps build hemoglobin, iron and protein. Because it is very bitter, it is better to mix it with orange juice or carrot juice (in a ratio of 1 to 1).
· Carrot juice – rich in beta-carotene, anti-cancer and strengthen the immune system.
· Apple juice – is effective against asthma.
· Celery juice – contains calcium and is effective against osteoporosis.
· Parsley juice – contains iron, folic acid, helps prevent edema and renal function (since it has a diuretic effect).
· Prune juice – helps to proper functioning of the digestive system and helps against constipation.
Is there a difference between fruit juices and vegetable juices?
Basically any fruit or vegetable has its own unique qualities, but there is always more sugar and calories in fruits. People with diabetes are better to choose the vegetable juices and smoothies. Those who consumed fruit juices need to remember that every fruit has a different rate of sugar absorption into the blood (glycemic index). The lower the absorption rate is, the fruit is more suitable to anyone who has a tendency to diabetes.
Here are some examples of absorption rates – the lower the score, the slower absorption into the blood:
Pear – 33
Watermelon – 72
Blueberries – 59
Pineapple – 66
Peach – 28
Peach, canned – 58
Banana – 46
Dried figs – 61
Cherries – 22
Lychee, canned in syrup, filtered – 79
Mango – 41
Apricot – 46
Apricot, canned – 64
Green grapes – 46
Black grapes – 59
Papaya – 56
Sultanas – 56
Black currant – 72
Fruit cocktail, canned – 55
Kiwifruit – 47
Plum – 24
Dates, dried – 103
Dates, moist – 103
Orange – 31
Apple – 28
What is better: water based or yogurt based smoothies?
Milk or yogurt based smoothies have naturally more calories, but they also have a nice amount of protein. The advantage is that vitamin C that is present in fruits or vegetables is needed to absorb calcium from the milk or yogurt, so the amount of calcium absorbed is relatively high. Another advantage is that the combination of protein and sugar keeps you full for longer: approximately twice longer than a fruit smoothie which is water based.
How many calories are in a smoothie?
Sugar based bought smoothies can reach to 300 calories per serving and even more, and so does milk or yogurt based smoothies. The solution: Prepare homemade smoothies with little or no sugar (or honey) or choose artificial sweetener – sucralose based, which is the most preferred health perspective.
Low calorie smoothies recipes:
Watermelon and melon smoothie – a cup of watermelon + melon + cup ice water = 40 calories
Banana smoothie and milk – banana (preferably frozen) + ½ cup milk + ½ cup ice water + sweetener = 130 calories.
Strawberry Smoothie – 1 cup strawberries + ½ cup milk + ½ cup ice water = 60 calories
Banana Strawberry Smoothie – ½ cup strawberries + ½ frozen banana + ½ cup frozen yogurt 0% + ½ cup ice water = 60 calories.
A smoothie that can replace a dinner in terms of calories and nutritional value – yogurt pot 1.5%, + tablespoon rose water + half mango + slice of pineapple + half banana + ½ cup ice water + 6-7 finely chopped pistachios over = 300 calories
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