Smoothies are considered healthy. They are intended to provide vitamins and support a healthy diet. But they often contain a lot of sugar.
Many people in Germany drink juice made from pureed fruit or vegetables every day. But the popular drinks often contain more sugar than cola – up to 15 grams per 100 milliliters. That corresponds to about five sugar cubes. The amount of maximum 25 grams of sugar per day recommended by the World Health Organization is often exceeded with just one smoothie. Many mixes are also very high in calories because they contain a lot of sweet bananas.
No specifications for manufacturers
The term “smoothie” is not protected. There is no definition of what must be in the drink. The German Society for Nutrition demands that smoothies should consist of at least half fruit or vegetables in pieces or puree. But manufacturers don’t have to stick to that. There are also no limit values for residues of pesticides for the finished products – but there are for individual vegetables and fruits. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, food inspectors found such residues in five out of 19 smoothies checked in the summer of 2019. According to the State Office for Food Safety, the trend product can enrich daily nutrition, but should not be used exclusively as a substitute for fresh fruit and vegetables. “Many pre-packaged items contain processed and heated ingredients, such as fruit juices, that are not a full substitute for fresh produce.”
Prevent diseases with green smoothies
So there’s a lot to be said for preparing smoothies yourself – preferably from organic ingredients. Green smoothies, which consist of little fruit and lots of green vegetables, are particularly healthy. They can help prevent various diseases, for example
- Heart attack and stroke due to arteriosclerosis
- rheumatic diseases
If you want to benefit from green smoothies, you should consume them in place of a meal – not in addition to it. Because smoothies contain a lot of calories, which together with a normal meal make you fat.
Ingredients for green smoothies
Spinach, lettuce, and cucumber, for example, are suitable ingredients for green smoothies, along with herbs, nettles, or the greens of carrots and radishes. They are rich in bitter substances and antioxidants. Lettuce and the leafy greens of vegetables contain up to three times as much iron and magnesium and up to seven times as much vitamin C as the tubers themselves. Water should be used for dilution instead of juice since juices contain a lot of sugar.
Tips for preparation
A powerful mixer is important for the preparation. The rule of thumb for a smoothie is to Mix 200 to 300 grams of leafy greens or lettuce with fruit, some water and lemon juice, and some olive oil or almond butter. Then fill up with 0.5 liters of water and the juice of half a lemon. Puree for about two minutes at the highest level, dilute if necessary, and season with spices.
Puree fills you up
If you have the feeling that drinking alone will not fill you up, you can prepare smoothies as a puree. Use less water and more avocado or yogurt when blending.