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Smoothie Science: Maximizing Health Benefits with Smart Fruit Choices

Smoothies, a staple in health and wellness circles, are often lauded for their nutrient density and convenience. But did you know that the choice of fruits in your smoothie can significantly influence its nutritional value, particularly when it comes to the bioavailability of flavan-3-ols (a representative substance of polyphenols) ? A recent study highlights this intriguing aspect of smoothie science.

The Study's Core Findings - A Key Insight for Smoothie Ingredients

The research brings to light a crucial element: polyphenol oxidase (PPO), an enzyme prevalent in many fruits, which significantly affects the bioavailability of polyphenols. These compounds are celebrated for their health benefits. Notably, the study revealed a striking finding: when polyphenos are consumed in a smoothie containing bananas, which are high in PPO, their bioavailability is markedly reduced. In contrast, these beneficial compounds were much more available to the body when consumed in a smoothie made with mixed berries, known for their low PPO content.

This finding underscores an important recommendation for smoothie enthusiasts: it's better to avoid using bananas, a high-PPO fruit, in combination with berries. Opting for low-PPO fruits like berries instead of bananas can enhance the health benefits of your smoothie, ensuring you get the most out of the polyphenols.

Choosing Your Fruits Wisely

banana thumbs downFruits High in PPO
Banana, beets leafs, apple (red delicious), pear and beets.

blue berry thumbs upFruits Low in PPO
Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Cherries, Grapes, Kiwi, Pineapple, Orange, Lemon

Suggested Combinations

  • Berry Mix: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries – rich in antioxidants.
  • Tropical Blend: Pineapple, kiwi, and a touch of mango for a flavorful, nutrient-packed smoothie.
  • Citrus Fusion: Oranges and lemons, bursting with Vitamin C.
  • Cherry Delight: A mix of cherries and grapes, offering a heart-healthy and sweet experience.

A Closer Look at Açaí Bowls

Açaí, a superfood from the Amazon, is often enjoyed with banana and guaraná syrup. Given bananas' high PPO content, consider using them sparingly. Enhance your açaí bowls with low PPO fruits like berries or citrus fruits. For sweetness, opt for vegan alternatives like agave syrup, avoiding honey for a fully vegan option. Remember, the fresher the preparation, the better the nutrient preservation.


This study serves as a valuable reminder that the preparation and ingredients of our smoothies significantly influence their nutritional value. By choosing low PPO fruits and being mindful of combinations, we can ensure our smoothies are not just delicious but also packed with the health benefits we seek. Stay informed, blend smart, and enjoy the wholesome goodness of every sip!


Source:  pdf Impact of polyphenol oxidase on the bioavailabilit (723 KB)

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