Smoothies are one of the foods that every so-called ‘healthy’ person consumes every day. Let’s take a look on how healthy they really are, how to get the most out of your smoothie and some aspects to keep in mind.

Do you know what makes a smoothie healthy and how to benefit the most from them? Let’s dive in.

How to benefit from Smoothies

While a Smoothie can be a good addition to your diet, it’s important to keep in mind that they often contain a lot of (natural) sugar and energy (kcal). Popular ingredients like seeds, nut butters, sweet fruit and protein powder can add up, making your smoothie a full breakfast. Which is not always bad - I like that my morning smoothie can replace my breakfast and fill me up until lunch. But if you just want a quick snack, or addition to your regular breakfast, make a smaller amount or lower the amount of energy-rich ingredients.

I don’t say it’s ‘bad’ to put these ingredients in your smoothie. Most of the typical ingredients can be beneficial for health. Smoothies can be a great source of energy and nutrients. I just want to clarify that all these ‘healthy’ ingredients still have energy that can lead to weight gain or prevent weight loss if not consumed mindfully.

Some nutrients have a better bioavailability after blending (e.g. fat-soluble vitamins, carotenoids, folic acid).

The right combinations can be beneficial for the absorption of nutrients (e.g. Vitamin C-rich (raspberries) and Iron-rich (lamb’s lettuce) ingredients).

Examples of popular smoothie ingredients in serving size

ingredient/serving size kcal protein (g) fat (g)
1/2 Avocado 160 2 14.7
1 Tbl nut butter 94 3.9 7.9
1 Tbl chia seeds 49 1.7 3.1
1 Tbl Honey 64 0.1 0
2 Tbl Agave Syrup 130 0.0 0.2
30 g protein powder 114 21.4 0
1 Tbl coconut oil 122 0 13.5

exact nutrients can vary depending on type of food, producer and natural deviations

Store-bought vs. homemade

Examples of store-bought smoothies

Food kcal/bought size
yellow, 250 ml 160
with nuts, 250 ml 217
fortified, 360 ml 217
coconut, 250 ml 165
green, 250 ml 125

exact nutrients can vary depending on type of food, producer and natural deviations

So, store-bought smoothies can be seen as a snack, but should not be the main drinking and nutrient source. They usually contain a lot less nutrients than the homemade version and more sugar.

Foods to include in your Smoothie

Good ingredients for smoothies:

  • Berries are a good source for antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin E, some iron and phytochemicals. Good for smoothies are e.g. raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.
  • Greens contain varying amounts of calcium, potassium, carotinoids, vitamin C, folic acid and phytochemicals. Good for smoothies are e.g. kale, spinach, lamb’s lettuce and arugula.
  • Seeds are rich in fat (often Omega-3), protein and minerals like iron, calcium, zinc. Good for smoothies are chia and flax seeds.
  • Oats are a good source for protein (11 g/100 g), fiber, potassium, iron, zinc and magnesium.
  • Water as a liquid - I prefer it for smoothies: it’s cheap (tap water), adds no energy or sugar, and I’d rather add one teaspoon of nut butter for more creaminess than plant-based milk.

A little note on Omega-3’s (detailed post will follow): plant-based sources contain ALA, but not DHA and EPA, which are also very important for us. Our bodies can convert them from ALA, but only in moderation. So the Omega-3 fatty acid ALA from seeds might not be enough.

Additions for Smoothies

  • Protein Powder can be a good way to increase your protein intake if needed and lead to being satisfied for a longer time. I prefer a plant-based protein with not too many ingredients and without sweeteners.
  • Matcha is made from green tea leaves. It contains caffeine (less than coffee), antioxidents and has a slower caffeine release. It can also have a more calming effect than coffee while still making you feel more awake (I experience this and I like it, but I’m also a little sensitive to bigger amounts of strong coffee).
  • ‘Superfoods’ like maca, acai and powedered greens.
  • Nut butters like almond-, cashew- or peanut-butter, can make the smoothie more creamy and satisfying (but use in moderation).
  • Bananas are a good base for most smoothies as they provide some sweetness. They are rich in Potassium and can be a good energy-source. For more creaminess or for smoothiebowls you can add a frozen banana.
  • plant-based yoghurt provide the probiotic bacteria that are good for your gut

The ideal Smoothie

It’s a good idea to drink your smoothie slowly and cooled through a straw for feeling more satisfied and less hungry (a smoothie-bowl eaten with a spoon is helpful, too).

Since smoothies can have a negative impact on dental health1 (mainly because of the fruit acids), follow it up by some water to rinse your mouth and wait about 1 hour until brushing your teeth.

Find my favorite smoothie recipe right here: Berry Breakfast Smoothie

Shelf life of home-made Smoothies

With influence of light and oxygen, the vitamin amount decreases. It’s best to store in the fridge and sealed airtight for a maximum of 2 days.

My recommendation is to drink it right after blending within a few hours. Depending on the ingredients, it can thicken up a lot and be harder to drink.

Final Words

Please let me know how you like informational blog posts like this. I always appreciate some feedback :sparkles:


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  1. Tahmassebi, J. F., P. Kandiah, and S. Sukeri. “The effects of fruit smoothies on enamel erosion.” European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry 15.3 (2014): 175-181.