Smoothies are very popular - people love the idea of getting lots of fruit in one drink, plus they're usually tasty too.
Innocent is by far the biggest and best-known brand in the smoothie market, and we think it's well-deserved - Innocent smoothies are delicious, and we love the brand. But while there is no denying that they're delicious, are Innocent smoothies healthy? We wanted to take a close look at these smoothies to try and answer that once and for all. We'll be looking at what the smoothies are made of and what the nutritional statistics are, let's get into it:
What is in Innocent smoothies?
Most of you will be aware that a big part of the Innocent marketing revolves around the fact that the smoothies are made from 100% fruit, and that's certainly the case. It sounds obvious to make smoothies which are made from 100% fruit, but actually, there are lots of brands out there which add other ingredients to their smoothies such as sugar and other additives.
What are the nutritional statistics of Innocent Smoothies?
Looking at how healthy something is which is made from 100% fruit sounds like it should be pretty straightforward - fruit is healthy, so these smoothies must be healthy too. But once you start looking at the nutritional statistics of Innocent smoothies, you realise that the answer to this question isn't all that simple.
Let's start with the positives - because they're 100% fruit, Innocent Smoothies are packed with goodness. For example, the Strawberries & Bananas smoothie from the range (pictured) contains strawberries, bananas, apples, grapes, orange, and blackcurrants. This means the smoothie is full of vitamins and minerals, with 7.8mg of Vitamin C, 17.8μg of Folic Acid, and 159mg of Potassium per 100ml. On top of this, there is no added sugar in any of the Innocent smoothies, and no artificial ingredients either.
It's also high in calories - the Strawberries & Bananas smoothie from Innocent contains 51 calories per 100ml. This is 2 more calories per 100ml than you'll find in semi-skimmed Cravendale milk, and 9 more calories per 100ml compared to regular Coca-Cola.
And sticking with the comparison to regular Coca-Cola, the Blueberries Peaches & Apples smoothie from Innocent (pictured) contains 11g of sugar per 100ml, which is only 0.4g of sugar more than you'll find in 100ml of regular Coca-Cola. Most people choosing to drink a smoothie from Innocent don't expect to be drinking something which higher in both calories and sugar than regular Coca-Cola, but that's the reality.
Despite being packed with fruit, something which really surprised us about the Innocent smoothies is the lack of fibre, especially when you compare the fibre in an Innocent smoothie to the fibre in the fruit if you ate it normally. For example, there is 8.25g of fibre in an entire 750ml bottle of the Strawberry and Banana Innocent smoothie. But if you ate all of the fruit found in the smoothie in a normal state (i.e. not blended), you'd get more than 12g of fibre.
Anything else to mention?
There are some smoothies within the Innocent range which are a little bit different from the standard range - these are called 'Super Smoothies'. This includes smoothies such as the 'Energise' smoothie (pictured), which contains a few additional ingredients alongside fruit. In the case of the Energise smoothie, this includes vegetables such as beetroot and seeds such as milled flax seeds. This means that this smoothie is packed with even more vitamins and minerals than you'll find in a standard Innocent smoothie, with the Energise smoothie containing Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E. But although we expected this Energise smoothie from Innocent to be a bit lower in sugar and calories than the standard range, it isn't - the smoothie still contains 10g of sugar per 100ml, and 52 calories per 100ml. Also, the Energise smoothie from Innocent actually contains 0.4g less fibre per 100ml than the Strawberries & Bananas Innocent smoothie, which surprised us.
There is also a range of Innocent smoothies for kids - we expected these to be a bit lower in sugar or calories, but for the most part, they weren't any different from the main Innocent smoothies range in terms of nutrition. For example, the Innocent Kids Orange, Mango & Pineapple Smoothies (pictured) contain 11g of sugar per 100g, the same as the aforementioned Blueberries Peaches & Apples smoothies from Innocent.
Final thoughts - are Innocent smoothies healthy?
Despite being packed with vitamins and other nutrition, we think the high sugar and calorie content of Innocent smoothies means that most people shouldn't be drinking them every day. We were surprised to see that some varieties of Innocent smoothies contain more sugar and calories than Coca-Cola
Having said that, we think a small glass of an Innocent smoothie every few days might be a good way to get some additional nutrition into your diet.
What do you think of our guide? Let us know if you think Innocent smoothies are healthy or if you have any other thoughts in the comments below.