What happens to your body when you drink smoothies every day

If it were up to you, smoothies would be their own food group. After all, there’s hardly a day when you miss slurping down a smoothie, which makes you the ultimate smoothie lover. And why not? Smoothies are so convenient and refreshing, you can enjoy them any time of the day. And the best part is that you can load them with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, making them very nutritious.

However, is it okay to drink one glass a day? Nutritionists analyze the pros and cons of smoothies, give advice on how to keep them nutritious, and answer whether the habit of drinking a smoothie every day is okay.

Related: The best blender for delicious and filling smoothies tested and approved

What are smoothies?

A smoothie is a thick drink served cold, usually made from a mixture of fruits and vegetables. It usually starts with a liquid like water, milk or plant-based milk and all the ingredients are pureed in a blender.

Popular ingredients

There are hundreds of smoothie recipes, each with a different combination of ingredients. However, here are some of the popular ones:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Green vegetables such as cucumbers, sprouts and celery
  • Fresh and frozen fruits such as berries, mangoes, pineapples, apples, bananas, oranges, pomegranates, cherries, kiwis, watermelons, coconuts and pears
  • Vegetables such as carrots, beets and cauliflower
  • Butter
  • Cocoa and cocoa nibs
  • Oat
  • Nuts
  • Yogurt, milk and plants
  • Milk, dairy and plants
  • Nut butters like peanut butter and almond butter
  • Sesame sauce
  • Seeds like chia, flax and hemp
  • Spices like fresh ginger root, cinnamon and turmeric
  • Fruit juices like apple and cranberry
  • Sweeteners like honey, dates, maple syrup and stevia
  • Matcha
  • grinded ice

Types of smoothies

Photographer: Brie Passano, Food Stylist: Annie Probst, Costume Stylist: Holly Raibikis

Formula in the picture: Strawberry ice cream smoothie

Because there are so many ingredients that can be added to smoothies, you can make thousands of different types of smoothies. However, most smoothies fall into one of three categories:

Green smoothie: You’ll find at least one leafy green in these smoothies, think spinach, kale or arugula along with other nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables to cut through the bitterness of the greens. . Those fruits and vegetables are also often green, so don’t be surprised if you see cucumbers, avocados, celery, and green apples in the mix. However, other colored products can also be included in these smoothies.

Fruit Smoothies: These smoothies rely heavily on fruit. You can make a smoothie with almost any fruit, whether fresh, canned or frozen. Bananas and berries tend to be popular fruits in these smoothies, but any type can be included.

Protein Smoothies: These smoothies are designed to boost protein in your diet. Protein can come from animals or plants, often in the form of milk, yogurt, and protein powders. Since protein is essential for muscle growth and recovery, these smoothies are a favorite among fitness enthusiasts.

Related: What happens to your body when you take protein powder every day

Health benefits of smoothies

Just looking at the ingredients in smoothies, you can clearly see that they offer a number of health benefits, including:

Contains many nutrients

Most smoothies usually contain a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious ingredients. This means you can easily incorporate a variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants into your diet in a convenient, easily digestible form, says Crystal Scott, MS, RD, LDN , a nutritionist in Las Vegas said.

Convenient and portable

Scott says balanced smoothies are an easy way to enjoy a nutritious snack if you have a busy lifestyle. They can also be made quickly or purchased easily.

Helps you eat more fruits and vegetables

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 1 in 10 Americans eat enough fruits and vegetables. However, by sipping on a smoothie, you can get closer to getting the five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables you need each day, says Kim Shapira, MS, RD, a registered dietitian. based in Los Angeles and author of the book said. This is what you truly desire. Many studies show that diets rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Boost your digestive health

The bacteria in your gut thrive on fiber, and you can only get fiber from plants. According to a 2018 paper published in the American Society for Microbiology mSystems Journal, people who eat 30 or more different plant foods per week may have a more diverse gut microbiome than those who eat 10 or fewer foods.

By drinking a plant-based smoothie, you’ll consume a good amount of fiber, which aids digestion and promotes a healthy gut, says Scott. Bonus? Blending fruits and vegetables breaks down their cell structure, making it easier for your body to absorb nutrients, she adds.

May help manage your weight

Not only can smoothies be portion controlled, but well-balanced smoothies can help you feel fuller longer, reducing the likelihood of snacking on less nutritious options throughout the day. Additionally, the nutritional density of smoothies can help meet your body’s nutritional needs, potentially reducing cravings for unhealthy snacks, Scott says.

Related: Are protein shakes good for weight loss? Here’s what a nutritionist says

Potential downsides

With all of the above benefits, you may be surprised to learn that there are some objections to smoothies.

You may be sipping on too much added sugar

Scott says the calories can add up quickly depending on the ingredients in the smoothie, and many of the calories can come from added sugars. The American Heart Association recommends that people limit their intake of added sugars to no more than 6 to 9 teaspoons or 25 to 36 grams per day, depending on their gender.

You may not be satisfied

If your smoothie doesn’t have protein, fiber and healthy fats, you may feel hungry shortly after drinking it, says Scott. This can make it easier for you to overeat. It takes about 15 minutes for your stomach and brain to communicate that you’re full, says Shapira. Sipping quickly means you still have room to eat, increasing the likelihood of overeating.

You may increase your risk of health problems

Cleansing smoothies that claim to detoxify the body and aid in weight loss are always appearing. However, many of these detox programs are dangerous because they promote eating significantly low amounts of calories and can lead to deficiencies in certain nutrients, which can lead to health problems. .

Related: Why smoothies are a better choice for the gut than juice, according to a gastroenterologist

How to incorporate smoothies into your eating routine

Keep these tips in mind as you consider adding a smoothie to your day:

Choose your smoothie mix wisely: Most prepackaged smoothie mixes only require you to add liquid and ice before blending. Just check the amount of added sugar as many contain high levels.

Enjoy your smoothie: Smoothies are not something that can be consumed in one gulp but are to be enjoyed over time. If you’re having trouble slowing down, enjoy just half the smoothie, Shapira says. After 15 minutes, decide if you want a second round or not.

Change ingredients: Since you can easily add more ingredients to your smoothie, use them to vary the products you eat. To diversify your diet, add different recipes to your weekly rotation.

Related: 23 healthy smoothie recipes you’ll want to make forever

frequently asked Questions

When is the best time to drink smoothies?

When you sip a smoothie is up to you, as there is no best time. Shapira said.

Are smoothies good for weight loss?

Smoothies can help with weight loss. Just make sure you keep an eye on how big the smoothie is and what you’re putting in it, then sip slowly, says Scott.

Is it better to drink smoothies or eat fruit?

Scott says both can be good options because they both add fiber, volume and nutrient density to snacks and meals. The choice depends on what you like and what suits your lifestyle better. However, eating the whole fruit can help you feel fuller due to the chewing process.

Is it okay to drink smoothies every day?

It’s possible, and in fact, you can optimize your daily routine by trying new ingredients that might not normally be a part of your diet.

What should a smoothie include?

Although smoothies can include a variety of ingredients, Scott recommends a combination of protein, fiber and unsaturated fats. Having all three will ensure you get a rich combination of flavors and a smoothie with well-rounded flavors, satiety and a well-rounded array of nutrients, says Scott.

Bottom line

Whether you sip on them as part of breakfast or a snack, smoothies with as little added sugar as possible can be a convenient way to consume more nutrient-dense foods, especially if you’re lacking fruits and vegetables.


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