Why smoothies can be a great addition to your diet

Smoothies are excellent if you want to increase your vegetable, fibre, protein and vitamin intake without too much effort in the kitchen!

Jess Childs
Jess Childs
Monday 30 January 2023
Pink smoothie

Dust off that nutribullet or blender and why not experiment with some health boosting smoothies?

Forget smoothies which contain 'just fruit'. The best smoothies are the ones which provide you with a a ‘mini meal’ - containing a range of vegetables, fruit, fat and protein. Read on to find out how to make these and why they are so health promoting.

What's the difference between a smoothie and a juice?

Just to clarify, smoothies contain all the ingredients that were originally started with, i.e. they retain all the fibre from the fruit and vegetables.

Juice, on the other hand, has had the fibre removed, so although juices contain lots of vitamins, they can have a significant impact on one’s blood sugar. Therefore, if you are keen to better manage your blood sugar levels and support a healthy weight, smoothies are likely the better option on a regular basis.

What are the health benefits of smoothies?

If made properly (as per my advice below), smoothies can provide a range of health benefits:

  • Increased vegetable intake - you can add 2 or 3 types of vegetable into a smoothie and this takes you well on your way to the recommended 5 a day!
  • Increased fruit intake - again, this helps you achieve your daily allowance and provides you with vitamins and minerals aplenty.
  • Increased fibre intake - fruit and veg are full of fibre, beneficial for regular bowel movements which in turn promotes toxin removal, cholesterol management and hormone clearance.
  • Increased protein intake - consuming regular protein sources is important, especially we age, as protein is the building blocks for all the structures of our body including muscles, skin and hair.
  • A small portion of healthy fat helps keep the brain working optimally, and supports absorption of fat soluble vitamins - A, D, E and K.
  • `Hydration! All smoothies needs some added water or milk for consistency, and this helps to achieve your fluid intake for the day (1.5-2 litres of water).

If you struggle chewing certain foods such as kale, apple or nuts, including some of these important macronutrients in the form of a smoothie can really help (nuts can be added as nut butter).

And finally, if you were to make a meal with all the health benefits listed above it would probably take some time; blending these ingredients and enjoying them as a smoothie makes this a quick super meal!

Green smoothie

What should I include in my smoothie?

In terms of making healthy smoothies, here are my golden rules:

  1. Add 1-3 portions of fruit. Apple, pear, mango, pineapple chunks and banana all work very well. Berries are an excellent addition and are a low sugar option too.
  2. Add 1-3 portions of vegetables. Examples include a handful of kale / spinach, a floret of cauliflower or broccoli and some avocado or cucumber. Mint and ginger can also be added for extra flavour.
  3. Add 1 serving of protein - this can be in the form of nut butter, nuts, hemp/nut/oat milk or oats.
  4. Add 1 serving of a healthy fat -options include avocado, seeds (chia, flax, pumpkin), yogurt or kefir.
  5. And enough liquid to give the desired consistency - this can be water, coconut water, milk or a plant milk option.

By adding ingredients from a range of food groups, we benefit from a range of nutrients.

The combination of carbs (fruit) with a protein and a fat slows down the release of sugar into our blood stream, providing us with a steady flow of energy hours after drinking the smoothie.

This is not only beneficial for our energy levels, and subsequently mood, but also healthier in the long run for reducing the risk of blood sugar issues, and ultimately diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Blending a smoothie


The key to making quick, healthy smoothies is having the ingredients ready to go.

To make a smoothie, you need a good blender. The nutribullet is a popular choice as it makes the drink very smooth, but any good blender should do the trick. Make sure to always add enough liquid for it to blend well; too little liquid and you are left with lumps of ingredients.

Have frozen fruit and vegetables ready! I find having frozen fruit and veg portions is the most economical and efficient when it comes to making the smoothie.

Frozen berries work really well, as do frozen greens such as kale and spinach. Broccoli or cauliflower florets can be frozen in small amounts, as can cucumber, celery chunks or small pieces of fresh ginger.

When it comes to the protein and fats, stock up on some jars of seeds, nuts and nut butter. Yogurt and milks can be added straight from the fridge.

Tropical smoothie

Some recipes to get you started

Berry nice smoothie

  • Handful of frozen kale / spinach
  • 1/2 banana
  • Handful of frozen berries
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tbsps almond butter
  • 1 tbsps chia seeds
  • Water / milk

Tropical smoothie

  • A few slices of frozen cucumber
  • Sprig of frozen mint
  • Handful of frozen pineapple
  • 1 small cup of hemp milk
  • 1 small cup of coconut yogurt
  • Water as needed for consistency

Creamy chocolate smoothie

  • 1 large floret of frozen cauliflower
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1 small cup cashew milk
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Cube of fresh turmeric / pinch of turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsps cacoa powder.
  • Water / milk as needed for consistency.

These are just some ideas. If you don't like a certain ingredients, try swapping it out for another. If you experiment with flavours make sure to note down your favourite combinations.