I was recently asked by a friend whether juicing was good for cancer patients. Having done some research on the subject, I was introduced to research detailing the benefits of anti-cancer vegetables used in smoothies. So the question then became
“Can Smoothies Help Prevent Cancer?”
The answer is “YES”
Although there is no known diet that will COMPLETELY prevent you from getting cancer, there are many studies providing evidence that eating vegetables containing anti-cancer properties, can dramatically REDUCE the risk of you getting cancer. [source]
Smoothies are an easy and effective way to get those anti-cancer nutrients into your body, without the need to eat vast amounts of vegetables.
Unlike juicing, smoothies allow more of the fibre to be ingested, as well as the ability to add protein by including nuts and seeds that also carry anti-cancer properties.
We will now look at the benefits of introducing smoothies into your daily diet, as a way of reducing your risks of getting cancer.
What is a Smoothie?
A “Smoothie” is the term given to a drink of blended ingredients. Unlike juicing, which merely extracts all of the juice from the ingredients and discards the pulp, blending turns everything that is put into the blender into a thick drinkable liquid.
So Are Smoothies Better Than Juicing?
Both smoothies and juices have their pro’s and cons, and it is up to each person to decide what they are trying to achieve from their drink. Let’s just look at how the two differ.
A smoothie is a drink of blended ingredients. Whatever you place in the blender will be part of the drink. It is much thicker than juice, and can be used as a supplement for a meal due to the fact it retains the fibre, and you have the ability to add protein. Blending is much faster than juicing, and as it uses the whole fruit or vegetable, you only require about a 1/3rd of the ingredients needed to make the same amount of a juice drink.
A juicer extracts all of the juice from your ingredients and discards the pulp. What you are left with is a thin, intense, nutrient loaded drink. Some people find this an easy way to introduce their 5 a day fruit and veg intake, prefering a small drink rather than a filling smoothie.
Due to the wasted pulp, juicing requires about 3 x the amount of ingredients to get the same liquid amount as a smoothie. This can be more expensive and time consuming. Also, due to all the fibre being removed, the juice will not sustain you as a meal substitute like a smoothie.
How Many Smoothies Should I Drink A Day?
What you are wanting to achieve by introducing smoothies to your daily diet will somewhat dictate the answer to this question.
People choose to drink smoothies for a variety of reasons such as, wanting to lose or gain weight, increasing their daily fruit and veg intake, as part of a wellness course etc. Only you can decide your reasons for drinking smoothies and how much you wish to incorporate them into your diet.
As this article is dealing with the prevention of cancer, we will use this as our guide for answering the question.
As a cancer preventitive measure, it is not necessary to drink more than one smoothie a day, as part of a well balanced diet.
They key to remaining healthy, is to introduce at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day, into your daily meals.
Many people find replacing their normal breakfast with a smoothie is a good way to kick start their day with a tasty glass of goodness. By drinking a veg loaded smoothie first thing in the morning, they have already taken in a large portion of the daily recommended nutrients, as well as increased their immune system with the anti-cancer properties those vegetables hold.
Here is a tasty morning smoothie that will give you the benefits you are looking for from your drink.
Vegetable or Fruit Smoothies For Cancer Prevention?
There are a wide variety of fruit and vegetables that offer ant-cancer properties and so there is no difinitive answer to this question.
However, fruit smoothies do tend to contain a much larger calorie count due to the natural sugars contained within the fruits, and this can have an adverse effect of unwanted weight gain. Also, if you are not used to smoothies, the blending allows the nutrients and sugars to be absorbed into the body at a faster rate than eating normally and so could lead to sugar level spikes.
Probably for daily smoothies, using more vegetables would be beneficial, adding a single piece of fruit such as an apple to act as a natural sweetener would be a healthier option.
As with anything, monitoring and moderation are key. If vegetable smoothies aren’t your thing but fruit smoothies allowed you to get some of your daily nutritional requirements, then that would ultimately be better than not eating any at all.
As long as you enjoy your smoothies as part of a well balanced diet, then you can only be doing yourself some good.
Below we have listed some of the best Anti-Cancer fruit and vegetables to use in your smoothies. Don’t forget you can also add other things such as nuts, seeds and dairy to give your smoothie protein.
10 Anti-Cancer Vegetables To Use In Smoothies
Here is a list of ten of the vegetables known to actively help prevent cancer, and should be included as the main ingredients for your cancer prevention smoothies.
- Brussel Sprouts
- Red Cabbage & Curly Cabbage
- Green & Yellow Onions
- Green Beans
If you are looking to help prevent cancer from occuring, you would be giving yourself a fighting chance by introducing a daily smoothie that incorporated at least one of these vegetables as the main ingredient. Obviously a combination of these would be better.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and are looking to use smoothies as part of your recovery and treatment plan, please do some research into the best vegetables for your particular cancer. Some vegetables work better than others and some can have the opposite effect to what you desire.
Click Here to read an interesting article on the subject.
Best Anti-Cancer Fruits To Use In Smoothies?
There are many fruits that contain anti-cancer properties.
Putting fruit into a smoothie is a good way to naturally sweeten your drink, however do pay attention to just how much sugar and calories you are adding. It is easy to get carried away and find that you are drinking far more calories than you thought and this could lead to unwanted weight gain.
It is better to perhaps use more vegetables for the bulk of your smoothie and just add a piece of fruit or two to naturally sweeten the drink.
Here is a list of cancer preventing fruits that you may want to include in your recipes:
- Berries – Strawberries, Blueberries, Cranberries
- Citrus Fruits – Lemons, Limes & Oranges
How Can I Add Protein To My Smoothies?
The benefits of smoothies over juicing, is that it allows you to add any ingredients you like, and would enjoy.This means that you can add protein to your smoothies which would make it more balanced in nutrition and could replace one of your daily meals.
Along with the many anti-cancer vegetable combinations, you can choose to include any of the following:
- Cows Milk – any variety
- Soy / Almond / Rice / Coconut Milk
- Nuts & Seeds
- Fresh or Frozen Fruits & Berries
- Herbs & Spices
- Yoghurt / Greek Yoghurt / Creme Fraiche
- Protein Powder
As you can see, with all of these options, the flavor combinations for your smoothies are virtually endless. Just please bear in mind that for the purpose of cancer prevention, the main ingredients of your smoothies should be the anti-cancer vegetables with the addition of a few other ingredients to add flavor and variation.
There is nothing to stop you enjoying more smoothies such as those made with fruit, as a further way to increase your 5 a day intake. However, be sure to understand that fruit smoothies can carry a large amount of calories due to the natural sugars found in certain fruits. This could lead to weight gain or even sugar spikes in people who suffer with diabetes.
Most recipes these days will provide you with a breakdown of the nutritional values of the smoothie. Ensure you pay attention to the sugar content and calories of certain drinks as they can be on the higher side of your daily recommended allowance.
Will Any Blender Make Smoothies?
There are many different kinds of blenders on the market, and they all do the same job. Obviously, there is an element of ‘you get what you pay for’, and if you are looking at making smoothies part of your daily routine, then you may wish to invest in a machine that will stand the test of time.
If you would like to know more about juicing when you are dealing with cancer, visit our post
Increasing your daily intake of anti-cancer vegetables will most certainly help your body fight against the chances of getting cancer. Smoothies allow you a quick & tasty way of getting those nutrients into your body, without having to face large plates of vegetables day after day.
With the endless recipe combinations open to you, there is no reason why you woud ever get bored of smoothies. They are a relatively cheap and easy way to ensure you eat your recommended 5 a day fruit and vegetables, and will enable you to incorporate a more well balanced diet into your daily life.
Just remember to monitor the sugar and calorie content of some of the fruit smoothies as they can exceed what is recommended and could lead to unwanted weight gain.