Fresh juices and smoothies make a nutritious snack or breakfast, helping you meet your daily fruit recommendation, between 1.5 to 2 cups per day, as set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Blending fruits does not significantly change their nutritional value unless you store the blended drink for an extended period.
Dr. Brian Clement, director of the Hippocrates Health Institute, has made several statements online claiming that green smoothies should not be considered “health food” and should instead be considered “recreational” because the act of blending them for 90-120 seconds destroys anywhere from 85-92% of nutrients in a smoothie.
His premise is (overly)simple. Oxidation caused by oxygen being sucked into the blender during a blend cycle “destroys” nutrients in the food that would otherwise be preserved if eaten in its solid state.
Now I’m not denying that some nutrient loss does occur from blending. However, oxidation occurs when whole foods are juiced, cut, chopped, shredded, peeled, chewed, dehydrated and otherwise exposed to air. Nutrients in food begin to degrade the instant they are harvested, exposed to UV light and heat. You can’t get 100% of the nutrients in every food unless you get down on all fours and eat plants right out of the soil they grow in.
First of all, a professional blender blends a smoothie in 30 seconds or less, not 90-120 seconds (the time it takes, he claims, to cause 92% nutrient loss).
Secondly, green smoothies are loaded with antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, flavonoids and carotenoids that help reduce and prevent oxidation.
Victoria Boutenko conducted an experiment on potatoes where she juiced one and blended the other. After two days, the blended potato had very little oxidation, most of which was at the top of the glass where the liquid was exposed to air. The juiced potato turned brown and oxidized much more rapidly.