Is the apple kiwi kale smoothie healthy?

The apple kiwi kale smoothie has become a popular health drink in recent years. This smoothie contains apple, kiwi, kale, and other ingredients like yogurt or milk. But is loading up on fruits and vegetables in smoothie form as healthy as eating whole foods? Here’s a comprehensive look at the nutrition facts and health benefits of the apple kiwi kale smoothie.

What’s in the Apple Kiwi Kale Smoothie?

A basic apple kiwi kale smoothie contains:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 kiwi
  • Handful of kale
  • 1 cup milk or yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey or other sweetener
  • Ice cubes

Additional superfoods like spinach, chia seeds, flaxseeds, cocoa powder, and nut butter are often added too. The ingredients can be customized based on taste preferences and dietary needs.

Nutrition Facts

The nutrition facts for a 12 oz apple kiwi kale smoothie are:

  • Calories: 250
  • Total fat: 5g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5g
  • Trans fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Sodium: 100mg
  • Total carbs: 50g
  • Dietary fiber: 5g
  • Sugars: 35g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Vitamin A: 120% DV
  • Vitamin C: 180% DV
  • Calcium: 30% DV
  • Iron: 15% DV

As you can see, the apple kiwi kale smoothie is high in vitamins A and C. It also provides calcium, iron, and fiber. However, it is relatively high in natural sugars from the fruit ingredients.

Benefits of the Apple Kiwi Kale Smoothie

Drinking an apple kiwi kale smoothie offers several health benefits:

1. Provides Antioxidants

Antioxidants help counter damage from free radicals and oxidative stress in the body. Research shows that diets rich in antioxidants may help lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer (1).

The apple, kiwi, and kale in this smoothie are loaded with antioxidants including:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Beta-carotene
  • Quercetin
  • Kaempferol
  • Lutein
  • Zeaxanthin

These antioxidants fight free radicals, support the immune system, and provide anti-inflammatory benefits.

2. Contains Prebiotics

Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that feed the good bacteria in the gut microbiome. The apple and kiwi in this smoothie provide prebiotics that promote digestive health by maintaining balance in gut bacteria (2).

The prebiotics in this smoothie may improve digestion, increase absorption of nutrients, and enhance immune function by supporting healthy gut flora.

3. Rich in Vitamin C

A single serving of this smoothie provides over 180% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is vital for immune health, skin health, iron absorption, and collagen production (3).

The vitamin C in the apple kiwi kale smoothie may help reduce severity and duration of common colds. It also helps your body heal from cuts and wounds and keeps your skin looking youthful.

4. High in Vitamin K

The kale in the smoothie is an excellent source of vitamin K providing over 300% of the daily value. Vitamin K plays a key role in blood clotting and bone health. Research shows that adequate vitamin K intake may help lower fracture risk and prevent osteoporosis (4).

5. Good Source of B Vitamins

The banana, kiwi, and milk provide B vitamins like folate, B6, and B12. These B vitamins help convert food into cellular energy and play a role in metabolism, brain function, and creating new blood cells (5).

6. May Lower Blood Pressure

Several nutrients in the apple kiwi kale smoothie may help lower blood pressure, including:

  • Potassium – Improves vasodilation and counters sodium’s effects
  • Calcium – Relaxes vascular smooth muscle
  • Magnesium – Vasodilator that regulates calcium flow
  • Antioxidants – Reduce oxidative damage to blood vessels

Drinking this smoothie regularly may help reduce high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease.

7. Hydrating

Staying hydrated is crucial for health. Drinking this apple kiwi kale smoothie is an easy way to hydrate since over 75% of it is water. Proper hydration keeps your energy up, improves cognitive function, maintains electrolyte balance, and keeps your skin looking healthy.

Downsides of the Apple Kiwi Kale Smoothie

Despite the many benefits, there are some potential downsides to drinking apple kiwi kale smoothies:

1. High in Natural Sugars

While the sugars in this smoothie come from nutritious fruits, it is still relatively high in sugar. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar intake to no more than 25 grams or 6 teaspoons per day for women and 36 grams or 9 teaspoons for men (6).

One 12 oz apple kiwi kale smoothie contains around 35 grams of total sugars. Consuming these smoothies in excess may contribute too much sugar to the diet, which can potentially increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

2. May Cause Gas or Bloating

For some people, suddenly increasing fiber intake can lead to gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Both kale and kiwi contain insoluble fiber that may cause gastrointestinal issues in sensitive individuals if consumed in excess.

Starting with small amounts and gradually increasing kale and kiwi intake can help minimize digestive discomfort. Probiotics may also help improve tolerance to the fiber load.

3. Contains Oxalates

Kale and spinach contain oxalates, compounds that can bind to calcium and increase the risk of kidney stones in those predisposed. For most people, oxalates from greens are not a concern. But for those with a history of calcium-oxalate kidney stones, excess oxalates may be problematic (7).

4. High in Vitamin K

While vitamin K provides many health benefits, it can interact with blood-thinning medication like warfarin. People taking these medications may need to limit vitamin K intake from sources like kale to keep levels stable. Checking with your healthcare provider is recommended.

5. May Cause Allergic Reactions

Some people are allergic to kiwi, apple, kale or other ingredients in the smoothie. Allergies may cause symptoms like hives, swelling, coughing, or difficulty breathing in sensitive individuals.

Being aware of any food allergies and avoiding any problem ingredients is advised. For those with seasonal allergies, cooking the veggies may help reduce pollen related reactions.

Nutrition Comparison: Whole Foods vs. Smoothies

Blending fruits and veggies into smoothies makes their nutrients more bioavailable. But are smoothies or whole foods healthier? Here’s how they compare nutritionally:


  • Blending breaks down fiber, making nutrients more absorbable
  • Nutrients are easily consumed as drinkable meal
  • Antioxidants like carotenoids become more bioavailable
  • Fiber is broken down and may reduce satiety
  • Natural sugars are released from fruit, increasing total sugars
  • Some nutrients may be degraded by heat from blending

Whole Foods

  • Requires more chewing to break down fiber
  • Nutrients may be less bioavailable
  • Provides more satiety from fiber and chewing
  • No processing so less degradation of heat sensitive nutrients
  • Lower glycemic impact since fiber slows sugar absorption

Overall, both smoothies and whole foods have benefits and disadvantages nutritionally. For healthy people, incorporating a mix of blended and whole foods is ideal for getting a variety of nutrients. But those managing diabetes or weight may want to emphasize whole foods over smoothies.

Tips for Building a Healthy Apple Kiwi Kale Smoothie

Here are some tips for constructing a nutritious apple kiwi kale smoothie:

1. Use plain, unsweetened yogurt or milk

Avoid flavored yogurts with added sugars. Stick to plain, unsweetened dairy products as the base.

2. Limit added sweeteners

The fruit provides enough sweetness, so avoid packing in sugary honey, agave, or syrups.

3. Add healthy fats

Blend in nut butter, chia seeds, flax, or avocado for filling healthy fats.

4. Include fiber-rich boosts

Chia, hemp hearts, and psyllium husk add extra fiber.

5. Don’t over-blend

Pulse blend rather than completely puree to retain some texture and fiber.

6. Use frozen fruit and veggies

Frozen ingredients create a thicker, cold smoothie without needing ice.

7. Watch portions

Keep servings reasonable since it is easy to over-consume blended drinks.

8. Vary the ingredients

Change up the fruits, veggies, and boosts to get diverse nutrients.

Sample Apple Kiwi Kale Smoothie Recipes

Here are 3 balanced and delicious apple kiwi kale smoothie recipes:

Basic Apple Kiwi Kale Smoothie

Makes 1 serving


  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 ice cubes


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender
  2. Blend on high until smooth and creamy
  3. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Tropical Apple Kiwi Smoothie

Makes 2 servings


  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1 kiwi, sliced
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds


  1. Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender
  2. Blend until smooth consistency is reached
  3. Divide between two glasses to serve

Green Apple Kiwi Smoothie

Makes 2 servings


  • 2 green apples, cored and diced
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups kale leaves, chopped
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup ice


  1. Add all ingredients into a blender
  2. Blend until smooth
  3. Divide between two glasses and serve

These recipes can be customized by using different fruits, greens, nut butters, milks, and boosts to suit your taste and health needs.

The Bottom Line

Overall, the apple kiwi kale smoothie can be a nutritious addition to a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. The combo of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, yogurt, and milk provides protein, antioxidants, prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals.

However, the high natural sugar content, oxalates, and potential for gas means this smoothie may not work well for everyone. Those with certain medical conditions like diabetes or kidney stones may want to exercise caution.

For most healthy adults and kids, drinking apple kiwi kale smoothies a few times a week can be beneficial when combined with a diet high in whole fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and fiber. As with any food, moderation and variety are key to harnessing the health benefits of smoothies while minimizing any downsides.

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