There are many ways to combine acidic fruits with milk to make fruit shakes. They are nutritious, refreshing and generally do not have adverse health effects.
Luisa fernanda arias Tobón Nutritionist, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare
Traditional juices and fruit shakes are delicious, nutritious and refreshing drinks. Juices mostly consist of liquid, without the pulp, while fruit shakes include the pulp, are thick and milk or yogurt is added to them to give them a creamier consistency. There is also talk of smoothies; they are similar to fruit shakes and are dense, but have a frozen ingredient in them that is either yogurt or ice cream.
There are also many combinations that can be prepared for these types of drinks such as with fruits that are red (strawberries, cherries and plums); wild berries (strawberries, cranberries, blackberries and currants); mango, kiwi and papaya; melon, banana and orange; and strawberry, orange and banana, among others. Luisa Fernanda Arias, nutritionist and dietician, recommends making these drinks with an equal balance of acidic and sweet fruits.
As for those juices with milk, fruit shakes and smoothies, some say that if they are prepared with acidic juices such as orange, passionfruit, blackberry or pineapple juice, among others, they may be bad for the body as the milk product can curdle and cause diarrhea, vomiting, digestive problems or an upset stomach.
The milk does curdle, but as a result of the natural growth of microorganisms that break down lactose and produce lactic acid. When there is an increase of lactic acid, the proteins in milk, known as caseins, lose their ability to maintain their composition and they precipitate, turning the milk into little curds and giving it a sour taste that is curdled or fermented. This gives it an unappetizing appearance.
Not all curdled milk is harmful however, it depends on what caused it to be acidic. If the cause is physical, there is no problem. If the cause is microbial, however, then there is a problem. It is therefore possible for milk to curdle, even without the presence of bacteria, as it can curdle just by adding vinegar or acidic fruit juices to it.
With regard to the adverse effects of these combinations, Luisa Fernanda Arias confirmed that there is still no scientific evidence to support this belief, “It all depends on the tolerance level of the person’s gastro-intestinal system. The consumption of yogurt and ice cream with acidic fruit is common, which generally aren’t problematic.” Another milk product that truly is curdled milk, and that is regularly consumed by many people yet does not produce any negative effects, is cheese. These are all examples of how fruit or juices with milk can be consumed at the same time.
In addition, it is inevitable for milk to curdle during the digestive process. Once it reaches the stomach it mixes with hydrochloric acid, which is stronger than any other acid, and does not cause any negative impacts. It is a natural part of our metabolism.
With regard to their nutritional content, the nutritionist asserts, “Fruit shakes or juices made with milk and juice are high in protein and are a good source of energy, vitamins, minerals, fiber, water and sugar. They provide macronutrients and micronutrients, making them a food dense in energy, a superfood.” For athletes, drinking a fruit shake before practice is beneficial because it provides energy and revitalizes the body.
Due to their high water or milk content, juices and fruit shakes help eliminate toxins, hydrate the body and are a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin C. They give you the feeling that you are full (keeping your weight stable on a long term basis) and they nourish your skin due to the number of antioxidants that are consumed when ingested. Arias recommends being careful with information found on the Internet, which is sometimes not correct, and can provoke erroneous beliefs.
80% of fruit is made up of water, which is why fruits are so refreshing and important to include in our diets.
Take advantage of fruit
When preparing fruit shakes, the fruit is consumed in its raw form. All of their nutrients and fiber cleanse the body of waste products and toxins. Since fruits contain their own sugar, it is best to prepare them without added sugar. A minimum amount may be added to acidic fruits, however, such as passionfruit, blackberry, or lulo (Solanum quitoense). Banana can also be added to reduce acidity, and with blackberry, a milk product can be added to make it less sour tasting.