Juicing and Smoothies For Dummies book cover

Juicing and Smoothies For Dummies

By: Pat Crocker Published: 05-18-2015

Lose weight and feel great with juicing and smoothies

For those of us who don't have time to cut up or cook fruits and vegetables with every meal, juices and smoothies are a fast and easy way to consume them at home or on the go. Packed with over 100 recipes, Juicing & Smoothies For Dummies covers the most up-to-date information on incorporating this healthy lifestyle into your everyday routine. From how to safely cleanse the body of toxins to the hottest ingredients to bolster juices and smoothies—including chia seeds, coconut oil, hemp seeds, bee pollen, and more—it arms you with everything you need to sip your way to a healthier, happier you.

There are many health benefits to drinking freshly juiced fruits and vegetables. These tasty and nutrition-packed beverages can help protect you against cardiovascular disease, cancer, cellular damage, and various inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Plus, it's great for weight loss because juices and smoothies have hunger-reducing properties, on top of being filling. In this friendly and accessible guide, you'll find expert guidance on how to use juices and smoothies to reap all of these excellent rewards, while getting the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables—in a glass!

  • Concoct more than 120 juicing and smoothie recipes using the hottest, most nutritious ingredients
  • Find the best juicers and blenders for the job
  • Ward off colds and migraines, promote longevity, and shed pounds
  • Get a month's worth of grocery items to have on hand to make healthy juices and smoothies in minutes

Whether you want to lose weight, cleanse, or simply add more healthy fruits and veggies to your diet, Juicing & Smoothies For Dummies makes it easy.

Articles From Juicing and Smoothies For Dummies

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Juicing and Smoothies For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 03-01-2022

Juices and juice smoothies can be nutritious and delicious additions to your diet, and you don't need to go to a smoothie shop to get them. With very little equipment and time, you can make your own juices and smoothies at home. First, you need to know the difference between juices and smoothies. Then you need to know the benefits of juices and smoothies. Finally, if you’re thinking about cleansing, detoxing, or fasting with juices, you need to know how and why they work.

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The Benefits of Juicing

Article / Updated 08-27-2021

Juicing has many, almost too many, benefits to list. And you may find that some benefits you just can’t know until you experience them. If you get into the habit of making and consuming fresh juices twice a day, you’ll sense the juice instantly release nourishment into your bloodstream. Contributing to your daily intake of fruits and vegetables Many health professionals and institutions tell you how many fruits and vegetables to eat in a day, and as long as their minimum numbers are no less than five, they aren’t exactly wrong. If you eat at least seven and closer to ten servings of fruits and vegetables daily, the antioxidants and other phytonutrients will help reduce the risk of modern diseases, such as cancer, obesity, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, asthma, macular degeneration, and diverticulosis. You can dramatically increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables by drinking smoothies and juices. That’s where juicing comes in. A single glass of juice may consist of one apple, two carrots, one beet, a piece of ginger, and half a lemon. It delivers a full serving of fruit, along with three servings of vegetables — all in one drink. Preventing modern diseases People don’t get scurvy nowadays, but from as far back as Hippocrates in 400 BCE, it was a dreaded and fatal disease. Long-voyage sailors ate fresh lemons or limes to prevent scurvy (hence the nickname “limeys” for Englishmen). The action of preventing scurvy was called antiscorbic long before anyone knew about vitamin C. The discovery of vitamin C around the turn of the 20th century was a major turning point for food research. People have come a long way in understanding just what is in the foods they eat. Today, they know the science behind what the ancients knew from experience — that fruits and vegetables actually prevent diseases. They also know that they need to eat a wide variety to ensure that they get the full spectrum of offered nutrients. Here’s a quick highlight of what juices and smoothies have to offer: Fiber Antioxidants Phytonutrients Vitamins and minerals Phytonutrients and trace elements are like keys opening the door for vitamins and minerals to be taken up by the body. They’re missing from manufactured supplements, so the body misses out on all the benefits from the vitamin or mineral you thought it was getting. Building a stronger immune system Immunology (the study of the immune system) is a growing and dynamic field. The immune system includes the lymphatic organs (thymus, spleen, tonsils, and lymph nodes) and white blood cells, along with other specialized cells. Its prime function is to protect the body against infection and diseases. Factors that cripple the immune system are stress, free radicals, nutritional deficiencies, sugar, obesity, fats in the blood, and alcohol. So it makes sense to eliminate those factors from your life. You’ve taken the first step in building a stronger immune system by becoming interested in your health. Optimal immune function requires a healthy diet (including juices), exercise, and a positive mental attitude. Improving memory Memory and cognition problems can be a result of many things, including poor nutrition and amino acid balance, allergies, candidiasis (yeast infection), thyroid disorders, low blood sugar, and poor circulation to the brain. However, a general decline in mental performance is caused most often by free radical damage. Juicing with fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants protects all the body’s cells, including the brain, from the ravishing effects of the unstable oxidizing free radicals. Increasing energy The process of digestion, something most people never think about, can be so complex and take so much energy. Digestion involves chewing and grinding food, as well as chemical processes that require enzymes to release small nutrients into your system to break food into smaller molecules. Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats all require a different set of enzymes to unlock their key components. And the whole process takes energy. When you present your digestive system with pure raw fruit or vegetable juice, there is no digestive process that has to take place because the nutrients in the water have already been extracted from the carbohydrate and fiber. So you give your digestive system a break and allow the energy that would have gone into breaking down the food go to repairing and ­protecting cells. Improving sex drive Hormones hold the key to sexual desire or the ability to function sexually. A healthy, high-fiber, low-fat diet; exercise; and freedom from stress, especially psychological issues, all can contribute to sexual vitality. Raw foods, especially vegetables, contribute to hormone health and healthy libido. Both vitamin C and zinc have been shown to assist in the production of testosterone and sperm. The best Vitamin C juice sources are cabbage, strawberries, spinach, citrus fruit, broccoli, kale, and peppers. The best zinc juice sources are ginger, turnips, parsley, carrots, garlic, spinach, cabbage, and grapes. Improving digestion and elimination As people age, their stomachs produce less acid, and breaking down food becomes a problem — it seems to occur between the ages of 35 and 45. If the body isn’t digesting food properly, the nutrients don’t enter the bloodstream, and all sorts of deficiencies can occur, even if you’re eating normally. Drinking raw fruit and vegetable juices gives your body a break by delivering ready-to-use nutrients. There are also some excellent digestive enzymes found in some fruits, vegetables, and herbs including pineapple, papayas, fennel, ginger, and licorice. Fiber is the one key factor in the body’s ability to eliminate waste on a regular basis. Include sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet by opting for plant foods, smoothies, and vegetable juices. Losing weight Because it impacts heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, obesity (defined as being 20 percent over the recommended weight) is considered to be a leading cause of heart disease, cancer, and ultimately, death in the United States. Juice from fresh fruits and vegetables is virtually fat-free, and juice from vegetables is low in sugar. Drink them on a regular basis, and two things happen: You start to lose your appetite for high-fat, high-calorie junk foods, and you start to feel better, with more energy to get up and get active. Getting clearer skin and healthier nails and hair Nutritional deficiencies show up first in your hair, nails, and skin, and juicing is the best way to address low levels of nutrients at the cellular level. Here are some vital nutrients for clear skin and healthy nails and hair: Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E B-complex vitamins Biotin Iron

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10 Antioxidant-Rich Fruits and Vegetables for Juicing and Smoothies

Step by Step / Updated 03-27-2016

Antioxidants found in plant foods stop free radicals from doing their damage, but you have to eat enough of them in order for them to work their magic. The best antioxidants are found in the pigments that give plants their color. Here is a list of the very best antioxidant fruit and vegetables. Choose one or two from this list to use as an ingredient in a smoothie or juice or eat them fresh in salads or as a snack — just be sure to get lots of them every single day!

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10 Immune-Building Ingredients for Juicing and Smoothies

Step by Step / Updated 03-27-2016

Here is a list of the top ten juice and smoothie ingredients for boosting immunity that may be main ingredients or easily added to smoothies and juices.

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Cleansing, Detoxing, and Fasting with Juices

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

If you want to experience high-level wellness, your body must be able to clear away internal debris and be toxin-free. But toxins are everywhere: in the water, in the soil, in the air, and in the foods we eat. Even the normal metabolic functions that go on inside your body create waste. Eating organic food and avoiding processed and refined foods helps, but for people living in this fast-paced, stress-filled, modern society, regular juice cleansing and detoxing has become a necessary part of a healthy way of life. The accumulation of toxins starts at birth and burdens the body by being stored in fat and organs. It’s linked with hormonal imbalance, impaired immune function, nutritional deficiency, and an inefficient metabolism. Toxins are stored in fat cells because this is the safest place to keep them stable. When the body detects a buildup of toxins, it begins to retain water as a precaution for diluting the toxins within its tissues. It follows that the more toxic you are, the more weight you gain and retain. So, what’s the difference between cleansing, fasting, and detoxing? Cleansing: Cleansing is usually done with herbal teas and fresh fruit juices, and it doesn’t necessarily involve complete abstinence from food. Gentle cleansing may be undertaken right away, but if a whole-food diet is not part of the process, results will be marginal. Detoxing: Detoxing is a deep cleansing program that targets specific toxins and areas of the body and is usually longer and more intense than a two- to three-day cleanse. Fasting: Fasting in the strictest sense of the term is abstaining from all food while drinking only water. Fasting with only water is a severe step and should only be undertaken with the help and consent of your health practitioner. Juice fasting, on the other hand, is an ideal preventive measure that requires you to abstain from cooked and raw food, so that you’re having only raw fruit and/or vegetable juices (as well as water) for a short period of time (two to three days). Technically, you aren’t fasting if you’re drinking juice, but because you’re absorbing nutrients directly into the bloodstream, feeding and reconstituting the cells, and bypassing the digestive system, juice fasting is considered to be fasting.

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What Juicing Will Do for You

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Juices are bursting with pure nutrients that bypass your digestive organs and go right to your bloodstream and your cells to start repairing and healing. They’re high in antioxidants that scour your insides to find and destroy free radicals, those destructive molecules that weaken your immune system and set you up for disease. In fact, juices can do the following for you: Reduce the risk of modern diseases such as cancer, obesity, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, asthma, macular degeneration, and diverticulosis: Antioxidants found mostly in vibrantly colored red, purple, and orange fruits and vegetables reduce cell damage and, thus, prevent aging and disease. Build a stronger immune system by protecting the cells and helping to build white blood cells. Improve memory: A general decline in mental performance is caused most often by free radical damage. Juicing with fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants (such as pomegranates, black plums, blueberries, cabbage, and cauliflower) protects all the body’s cells, including the brain, from the ravishing effects of the unstable oxidizing free radicals. Increase energy: When you drink pure raw fruit or vegetable juice, no digestive process has to take place because the nutrients and water have already been extracted from the fiber. So, the energy that would have gone into breaking down the food goes to repairing and protecting cells. Improve sex drive: Raw foods, especially vegetables, contribute to hormone health and a healthy libido. Cleanse and detox: Fruit juice for cleansing and vegetable juice for fueling and restoring are the best possible drinks for flushing and repairing cells, organs, and systems. Lose weight: Fruit and vegetable juices are virtually fat free, and juice from vegetables is low in sugar. Drink them on a regular basis and two things happen: You start to lose your appetite for high-fat, high-calorie junk foods, and you start to feel better, with more energy to get up and get active. If you suffer from candidiasis or dysbiosis, follow your doctor’s advice and refrain from drinking pure fruit juice.

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The Health Benefits of Smoothies

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Unlike juices, smoothies retain all the fiber of whole raw fruits and vegetables. Eating fiber is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to prevent disease because it helps the body to eliminate waste materials and deadly toxins. Benefits of smoothies include the following: Improved digestion and elimination: Fiber is the one key factor in the body’s ability to eliminate waste on a regular basis. Weight loss: When used as part of a low-fat, low-sugar diet, vegetable smoothies provide pure nutrients to your cells and bulk from the fiber, which makes you feel full. Healthy substitute for empty-calorie drinks and snacks: Smoothies’ fiber and other slow-digesting ingredients (like nuts, seeds, or yogurt) allow them to stay with you longer and satisfy you more than coffee, soda, or other drinks. Meal replacement: Smoothies are high-nutrient options. If you add small amounts of protein and even some grain to a vegetable smoothie, you can build that drink into a satisfying meal replacement.

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What's the Difference between Juices and Smoothies?

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Smoothies and juices are pure nutrients in a glass. They’re both loaded with nutrients, give you an energy boost, and taste fabulous. But they’re not the same thing. The difference lie in the machines used to make each drink: Juice: To make fresh homemade fruit or vegetable juice, you need a juice extractor. Juice is the water and most of the nutrients that have been separated from the fibrous pulp in fruits and vegetables. You can squeeze or press citrus fruit without the aid of a juicing machine, but the only way to juice harder fruits and vegetables is to run them through a juice extractor that presses or cuts and spins them so that the juice is extracted from the pulp. Smoothies: Smoothies require a traditional or high-performance blender. When a liquid (such as fresh juice, milk, or broth) and fresh fruits and/or vegetables are processed into a purée in a blender, the resulting drink is thick and smooth — in other words, a smoothie. Cored pieces of whole fruits and vegetables with the skin (if organic) are blended with juice or yogurt or other ingredients until the cells in the fruits/vegetables and other ingredients are so small that they’re transformed into a drinkable liquid. Smoothies are thicker and more filling than juices because they have all the pulp and fibrous cellulose that’s removed from juice.

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Cooking with Fresh, Homemade Juice

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Cooking with fresh homemade juice is a flavorful way to reduce calories and fat in recipes and add sweet or tart tones to vegetables, beans, meat, and fish dishes. Cooking with juice isn’t better than drinking fresh, raw juice (or eating fresh, raw fruits or vegetables). Some of the B vitamins and vitamin C will be lost during cooking, but many of the other antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients will survive the heat, just as they do when you cook fruits or vegetables. And using juice in place of butter or olive oil as a marinade, sauce, poaching liquid, or glaze certainly scores higher for nutrients. So, plan to make more pure juice than you need and freeze it to use in soups or stews or as a cooking liquid for vegetables, fish, or chicken. It’s delicious and fits nicely into your healthy way of eating. Sauces and glazes Use citrus (lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, or a mixture of these) or pomegranate juice as a tart glaze in a stir-fry. Add the juice to the wok and boil it down over high heat until it’s slightly thick and syrupy. Add the vegetables and cook, stirring frequently for 5 to 10 minutes or until a knife pierces them easily. Apple or orange juice makes a sweet, moist poaching liquid for cooking pork, fish, or chicken. In a skillet or saucepan, bring about 1 cup (enough to come halfway up the meat) of apple or another fruit juice to a simmer. Add the chops, fish, or chicken; cover; reduce the heat; and gently simmer, turning occasionally until the pork is tender and a meat thermometer reads 176 degrees or until the chicken or fish is opaque and the juices run clear. To make a marinade with juice, chop three green onions and combine with 1 cup of orange juice (or a mixture of orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit juice) with 3 tablespoons soy sauce. Marinate chicken or fish in the refrigerator for four hours or overnight. Turn the meat occasionally. The amount of marinade may be doubled (or tripled) depending on the amount of meat. You can make a tangy vinaigrette by combining 1/2 cup of orange, kiwi, or pomegranate juice with 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar and 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil. Mix well and toss with cooked whole grains or raw greens. Pasta and rice Make a tangy pasta or rice dressing by combining 1/3 cup fresh orange (or citrus) juice, pomegranate juice, or kiwi juice with 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 tablespoons sesame oil, and 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger. Toss with 10 ounces cooked soba noodles, spaghetti, or macaroni, or 2 cups cooked rice. Soup and stew Use fresh juice as the stock for soups and stews by mixing one-half juice with one-half vegetable or chicken broth. Any vegetable juice works, but carrot, beet, or a mixture of zucchini, squash, carrot, celery, and even onion will add rich flavor. Baked goods Try using fresh juice as the liquid in quick breads, cakes, brownies, cookies, and muffins. Prepare the batter as the recipe directs, but substitute juice for half of the water, milk, or other liquid called for in the recipe. Use apple, carrot, melon, pomegranate, or another fruit juice.

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10 Frequently Asked Questions about Juicing and Smoothies

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Here are the ten most frequently asked questions about juicing and smoothies. The answers to these questions help to shorten your learning curve about the why and the how of all the exciting ways to increase health by incorporating these life-enhancing drinks into your diet. What are the benefits of juices and smoothies? You probably hear a lot about numbers of servings of fruits and vegetables. Why are so many health professionals adamant that you get a certain number of them every day? And what is that number anyway? According to the University of Michigan’s Healing Foods Pyramid, overall, you should eat more than seven servings of fruits and vegetables — two to four fruits and at least five vegetables — daily because a high consumption “helps reduce risk of various diseases such as cancer, obesity, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, asthma, macular degeneration and diverticulosis.” In addition, “increasing fruit and vegetable intake decreases risk of unhealthy weight gain.” One 8-ounce glass of vegetable juice contains three to four servings of vegetables. One 8-ounce glass of vegetable smoothie contains two to three servings of vegetable. What’s the difference between juicing and smoothies? Fruits and vegetables are made up of more than 50 percent water, with fiber, carbohydrate, and nutrients making up the other components. When you juice, you separate the water, which contains a large proportion (but not all) of the nutrients from the fiber and carbohydrate. You pass the vegetables through a feed tube in the juicer and by the force of spinning blades within a basket, juice is extracted and a pile of dry pulp is collected separately. Juice is easier for your body to digest because it doesn’t contain fiber or carbohydrates. This makes it an excellent drink for cleansing and detoxing. Smoothies are made with a liquid — usually fruit or vegetable juice — and the whole fruit or vegetable (water, fiber, carbohydrate, and nutrients intact). This means that when you drink a smoothie, you’re drinking the total nutrients found in the juice and the pulp along with the fiber, which gives you a “full” feeling and satisfies your hunger longer. Can you get the same health benefits with smoothies as you get from juices? Both smoothies and juices are healthy and beneficial to your body, but in slightly different ways. Generally, juices and smoothies made from natural fruits and vegetables help replace lost energy and feed the body vital nutrients including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and protein. Vegetable drinks restore the pH balance and satisfy longer than soft drinks or empty-calorie snacks. Smoothies provide all the essential nutrients and phytonutrients along with the cleansing and cholesterol-reducing fiber because they’re made from the whole fruit or vegetable. Soluble fiber slows down digestion (making you feel full longer), removes dangerous bacteria and toxins, and helps build the immune system. Insoluble fiber provides bulk in the stool and is important to the prevention of colon cancer. All the fiber and carbohydrate and some (relatively little) of the essential nutrients and phytonutrients are removed from fruits and vegetables when the juice is pressed out of them. What remains in the juice is a concentration of pure vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, enzymes, and protein in water. The nutrients are concentrated because so many more fruits and/or vegetables are needed to make the same volume of juice as are used in a smoothie, which includes all the pulp. Ideally, you would drink at least one smoothie and one juice per day. Are juicing and smoothies only for health nuts? It used to be that anyone who shopped at a health food store was considered a health nut, someone who held extreme views about food and supplements. These people were different from the mainstream, often sporting beards and sandals and talking about the environment. Today, things are different: Healthy, whole foods are found in mainstream supermarkets, and some natural food stores have become popular chain stores with a wide range of mainstream customers. Science has proven the benefits of eating organic, sustainable foods that are whole, unprocessed, and as close to their natural state as possible, and these ideas have reached a large proportion of the population. It’s cool to know about what vitamins and other nutrients do for you. Juicing and smoothies are the new buzzwords of people in every age group, in every walk of life. Some of these people would be proud to claim that they are health nuts, and some of them are just happy to be doing something healthy for their bodies. Will you feel different if you start juicing regularly? Yes! Right away, you’ll feel your digestive system responding, especially if you’ve been eating mostly refined, processed foods. It’s recommended that you take juicing slowly at first so that your body has time to get used to the raw power of fruits and vegetables. Within two weeks, especially if you adopt a healthy diet, you’ll start to notice the following effects: More energy Desire to eat fresh, whole foods and to eliminate fast, refined, junk foods Glowing skin Regular bowel movements Lightness and less bloat Long-term effects of juicing (along with a healthy diet) include the following effects: Healthier skin, hair, and nails Weight loss Increased immune function Improved memory How much will it cost me to get started? If you already own a blender, it won’t cost you a dime, so get blending! You’ll also find that as you increase the fruits and vegetables, both on your plate and in your glass, you’ll actually save money because you’ll be buying less meat and you won’t be buying junk snacks, soft drinks, and processed foods. If you want to juice (and who wouldn’t?) but don’t own a juice machine, you’ll need to invest $150 to $600, depending on the make and model of the one that suits your needs. Think of it as an investment in your health and future well-being. Isn’t cleaning a juicer a pain in the neck? Yes and no. If you get into the habit and train everyone who uses both the blender and the juice machine to clean it immediately after using it, cleanup is easy. The natural sugars in fruits and vegetables cause them to be sticky, and the tiny pieces of pulp and juice that collect on the blades and other parts of the machine will dry and harden into a mess if left for more than a few minutes. Washing the juice machine parts with a scrub brush in hot soapy water takes less than five minutes and it’s really not a big deal. What’s the big deal about organic? Quite simply, organic foods are better for you, better for the soil, better for the water, better for the air, and better for all the other animals that inhabit this planet. When you include smoothies and juices into your daily routine, you’re consuming a lot more fruits and vegetables, and you’re doing that because you believe in the health benefits (and the taste!). So, when you make a smoothie or juice, you don’t want to be adding toxic chemicals from herbicide and pesticide sprays, especially because you’ll be consuming more of them than you used to. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemicals and growth hormones because their nervous systems aren’t fully developed. Will your skin turn yellow if you juice carrots? It can, but only if you eat a lot of carrots. The yellowness is temporary, with no other side effects. Carrots are high in beta-carotene, which turns into vitamin A in your body and has all sorts of benefits. Beta-carotene is one of a number of pigments belonging to the carotenoid group, which are responsible for the orange/yellow color of carrots and other foods such as sweet potatoes, pumpkins, squash, and mangoes. Aren’t smoothies filled with calories? Smoothies can be very low or very high in calories, depending on the ingredients you use to make them. Many of the commercial smoothies contain super-high-calorie ingredients that can push the total count higher than a light lunch. The same goes for smoothies you make at home. Compare the following smoothies made with all-natural, healthy ingredients: Low calorie: 1 cup carrot juice, 1/2 cup low-fat yogurt, 1 apple, 1 cup fresh raspberries (322 calories) Medium calorie: 1 cup fat-free plain yogurt, 1 cup low-fat milk, 1 banana, 2 tablespoons wheat germ, 2 tablespoons whey protein (441 calories) High calorie: 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt, 1 cup whole milk, 1 banana, 2 tablespoons wheat germ, 2 tablespoons whey protein, 2 tablespoons flaxseed oil (757 calories) Bottom line: Stick to all-fruit or all-vegetable smoothies, and the calories will stay low.

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