In this blog we’ll answer the question: are frozen smoothies healthy? There is much debate online around this subject matter so we thought we’d set it straight. We’ll also be comparing the healthiness of frozen smoothies to their pre made counter parts.
Frozen smoothies, in Love Smoothies case, are pre packaged, cut and ready to use frozen bags of fruit or veg. We pick and freeze our fruit and veg almost the instant it comes out the ground. There have been a few studies around the idea of freezing fruit and veg and a lot of them have shown they can actually contain more nutrients than fresh veg and fruit. Simply add the bag to some apple juice, coconut water blend and enjoy. Take a look at some of our lovely frozen smoothies.
Pre-made smoothies are smoothies you might find on the self at your local supermarket. They’re typically pretty handy to have on the go, but often contain a few nasties you wouldn’t find in a frozen smoothie.
We pick our fruit and veg at peak ripeness, and as mentioned above this can improve the benefits of the smoothies. The studies around freezing show that they retain a comparable vitamin, mineral, and phytochemical content to their fresh counterparts. One study showed that the vitamin C content of corn, green beans, and blueberries was actually higher in frozen samples. The content in strawberries, carrots, spinach, peas, and broccoli was the same as in fresh produce. We’ll expand on this a bit more later on.
We’re a bit bias here as we of course make and produce amazing frozen smoothies, however, we’ve done a lot of research into this area. Here’s the problem with ready-made: there is too much sugar (sweetened fruit juice, sugary frozen yogurt, dollops of honey, all those bananas). There is also a lot of fat, particular in frozen yogurts that seem to creep into bottled smoothies that you can buy off the shelf. You might be thinking of just avoiding yoghurt based smoothies, but if you cut out the dairy to save calories, you’re cheating yourself protein. A protein fix will keep you satisfied until it’s time for your next meal.
Might be of interest – Why is protein important
Have you also noticed how bottled smoothies seem to all taste of banana? They’re the most common addition to smoothies because they add sweetness, body, and nutrients. But they’re also high in sugar.
We use a wide variety of different fruit to give ours a depth of flavour. If you want extra creaminess, throw in half an avocado. You’ll get lots of potassium, B-complex vitamins, antioxidants, and fibre. And while avocados are high in fat, they contain oleic and linoleic acids that are effective in lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing healthy HDL cholesterol. Plus, they’re one of the best fruits (yes, they’re a fruit) for keeping hunger pangs at bay. And they freeze well too!
So the best thing when making your own protein packed smoothies is the following: add a dollop of plain yoghurt, a spoonful of flax seed, or a tablespoon of unsweetened nut butter. Then rather than using juice as a base, add some coconut water instead – it’s rich in potassium and electrolytes.
So far frozen smoothies are winning this match up. The numbers don’t lie and they’re very much in the favour of frozen smoothies.
Another study showed that one type of blueberry actually had a 29% increase in antioxidant activity after 3 weeks of cold storage. A third study also showed that fresh blueberries had a greater loss of phenolic compounds over 10 days compared to 90 day frozen blueberries.
This is likely due to the fact that produce can lose nutritional value the longer it sits out past its harvest date due to enzymatic activity and oxidation. Between transit time to the farm to the distributor to the shops, time spent on supermarket store shelves, and then time spent sitting in your fridge. We’re all guilty of waiting until the last minute to eat our fruits and veg. The time spent exposing produce to air and light causes chemical changes in its composition.
Overall, drinking smoothies will increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables. This increase in consumption provides a diverse array of essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. so it’s a big Yes, homemade frozen smoothies are healthy – go on, get blending!
Frozen Fruit and Veg Studies – ‘Selected nutrient analyses of fresh, fresh-stored, and frozen fruits and vegetables‘
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