Smoothies have become extremely popular recently. Every now and then you see different recipes of these drinks while surfing the internet searching for healthy lifestyle principles. But a lot of us wonder if smoothies are really beneficial for health and if the food preserves nutrients after being blended.
What are Nutrients and Why Do We Need Them?
Nutrients are substances that help our bodies to grow, reproduce and survive. There are a lot of essential nutrients that are important for our bodies. These nutrients cannot be produced by our organisms or can be but in very small amounts that are not enough.
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As the World Health Organization states, the essential nutrients must come from food, and they play a crucial role in growth, preserving health, and preventing diseases.
All the nutrients are divided into two groups:
- macronutrients and
Macronutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fats, and water, they are the basis of your diet and gives your body energy. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. We need large amounts of macronutrients and small amounts of micronutrients.
Does Blending Destroy Nutrients?
There are several myths about how blenders influence the products.
Myth 1 – Blending Destroys Food thus – the Nutrients
The truth is that blending helps to break up the fibers, not the nutrients themselves. Fibers hold nutrients, and when we blend food and break fibers, the more nutrients become available for our organisms. We can compare this process with chewing. When we take in some food, we break them and the fibers by chewing.
It’s a natural process as we cannot swallow the whole product. After we swallow the chewed food, it goes to our stomachs where in the process of digestion it is broken into smaller pieces, thus releasing more nutrients.
Blending helps to break products much more than chewing, that means that we get more nutrients from smoothies than from whole foods. In addition, blending is very useful for breaking foods that we are not able to break much by chewing, such as different seeds, so that we can get as much nutrition from them as possible.
Myth 2 – The Heat from Blending Destroys Nutrients
Some people say that the heat made by blades during blending causes food to lose nutrients.
It is true that heat destroys nutrients, but it happens during cooking, baking, boiling, frying, microwaving or canning. The average time for blending is 30-60 seconds, within this period a blender cannot produce much heat to destroy nutrients.
Myth 3 – Nutrients in smoothies are destroyed by oxidation
When we cut a fruit or a vegetable or peel it and leave in the open air, its surface becomes darker. This happens because oxygen contacts with nutrients and breaks them down. The name of the process is oxidation.
The misconception is that blending fastens the oxidation process. Actually, oxidation of nutrients happens when we chew, cut, or peel a fruit or a vegetable. Foods do lose some nutrients during blending, but the loss is not that great as in other processes like cooking.
If you are afraid that your smoothie will lose nutrients, it’s better to drink it at once after making or to store it in the fridge.
Measurement Is Important
Blending helps to break fibers that release more nutrients to be absorbed by our bodies. But keep in mind that sugar is also more easy to be absorbed. That’s why you should control the amount of sugar in your smoothies. It’s better to use fewer fruits as they contain a lot of sugar.
To feel full longer you need to slow down the process of digestion. As nutrients in smoothies are easily absorbed, you can add some proteins (protein powder for instance) to your smoothie to make this process slower.
Furthermore, though smoothies are beneficial for your health, try to keep your diet varied and wholesome, so that you can get everything your body needs every day.
I’m a healthy living blogger who loves to help people who care about having an eco-friendly home environment and a healthy lifestyle. With proper nutrition I helped my brother to cure gastritis and my father to normalize his blood pressure.