Juicing: Healthy or just hype?

The American juice and smoothie industry alone is worth $2.3 billion a year – it’s big business. We’re promised radiant skin, weight loss, detoxed bodies and a clearer mind. But does the blend-trend reap the benefits it suggests? We investigate.

HEALTH?
A daily juice or smoothie is an easy way to increase your dosage of fruit and vegetables and to stock up on the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs to be healthy. In that sense, they are a healthy addition to your diet. But be weary of sugar. A single store bought smoothie can contain several kiwis and oranges, a banana, berries – that’s a lot of sugary fruit in one glass!

To keep your juices or smoothies as healthy as possible make them at home. Then try for low GI fruits like apples and pears and avoid adding sweetened yoghurts to your recipe. A good tip is to incorporate green vegetables into your smoothies too – try aiming for 70% vegetables and 30% fruit. And for a really nutritious drink, add protein with Greek yoghurt or almond milk.

But are they healthy? At the end of the day a mid-morning smoothie, will always be better for you than a mid-morning pastry!

HYPE?
But the truth is, smoothies and juices don’t reap all of their promised health benefits.

One “hyped” phenomenon is cold-press juicing, which in the U.S.A alone is worth over $100 million a year. Cold-pressed juices promise a healthier, more nutritious drink, but there is no evidence to support that this high pressure processing method is any better than any other method. So when it comes to cold-pressing we say: Hype.

And be wary of juice cleanses that promise to detox the body of toxins – a healthy body will rid itself of toxins on its own. A “day off” isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but juices and smoothies shouldn’t replace a large quantity of your meals – your body needs protein, healthy fats and other macronutrients too.

TIP!
If you’re looking to lose or maintain your weight, adding a scoop of Natural Balance Shake  to your smoothie will add protein, fibre and Omega-3 to your diet and help reduce food cravings.

Your Essential Recipe Guide

THE IMMUNE BOOSTER SMOOTHIE
Fight off colds with this immune-boosting recipe that’s only 172kcal. 

1 scoop Natural Balance Shake
50 ml low-fat milk
100 ml low-fat yoghurt
8 blueberries
3 almonds 

SKIN SAVIOUR SMOOTHIE
Get beautiful, smooth skin from the inside-out with our skin saviour smoothie! 

1 scoop Natural Balance Shake
50 ml low-fat milk
100 ml low-fat yoghurt
3 strawberries
6 blueberries
1 tsp ground flax seed

ENERGISING SMOOTHIE 
Want more energy and focus? Start your day with this 167kcal drink.

1 scoop Natural Balance Shake
150 ml. low-fat milk
1/2 banana
1 teaspoon lemon juice

BALANCE YOUR BODY SMOOTHIE
If you’re sticking to a low-GI diet, this is the recipe for you!

1 scoop Natural Balance Shake Strawberry
150 ml Cold soya milk
1 tea spoon of flaxseed
6 mixed raspberries 


Words by: Photographs by: Shutterstock