Dermatologist Explains Why You Need To Stop Mixing Berries And Milk In Your Smoothies

While the combination may be delicious, it is not entirely healthy.

smoothies, berries, dairy verca / Shutterstock 

We’ve been told from the beginning of time that if we want to live a long and healthy life, we have to eat our fruits and veggies. Some of us even take it a step further by combining the two in delicious smoothies, which have become quite a popular and easy-to-prepare snack. 

Smoothies also usually consist of milk, or different dairy base, to make them thicker and creamier. And while the vibrant and refreshing drinks seem like a great alternative to consuming more fruits and vegetables at once (especially for those of us who hate the taste of vegetables), one health expert explains why you may want to leave out the berries entirely if they are going to be combined with dairy products. 


Dr. Charles Puza claims that mixing dairy products with antioxidants such as berries cancels out the nutritional value of the berries. 

The New York-based dermatologist took to TikTok to respond to a video where a woman was fixing herself a protein smoothie. The smoothie consisted of blueberries, bananas, almond butter, spinach, Greek yogurt, and protein powder. 



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While it certainly looks mouthwatering and displays a radiant purple color, it may not be as healthy as we may think, despite the incorporation of fruits, vegetables, and dairy. 

According to Puza, who is not only a dermatologist but also a smoothie enthusiast himself, combining dairy products with “antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries,” cancels out the absorption of the antioxidants in our bodies. 

Puza addresses the popular misconception that berries will “supercharge” our smoothies and claims that his video is not meant to “offend” the woman who made the smoothie, but simply to educate those who regularly drink smoothies with berries and dairy. 

According to Healthline, antioxidants fight free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are compounds that can be dangerous to our bodies if their levels get too high, and are linked to multiple illnesses including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. 


doctor recommends to stop adding dairy to smoothies that include berriesPhoto: Joshua Resnick / Shutterstock 

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Although our bodies produce our own antioxidants to combat radicals, they are also found in fruits (mainly berries), vegetables, and other plant-based foods. Antioxidant intake is essential for our health, specifically vitamins C and E. 


While eating berries on their own will allow antioxidants to operate at their full potential, combining them with dairy products will strip them of their nutritional benefits. 

A study conducted by physician Dr. Micheal Greger focused on the interaction between blueberries and milk versus water and blueberries in smoothies. He split his test subjects into two groups, one where the subjects used water in their smoothies with their blueberries while the other used milk.  

He found that the antioxidant activity of the berries was impaired by the milk, while the water increased the antioxidant power produced by the berries. 

“When you look at the total antioxidant capacity of the bloodstream, you see that if you eat blueberries with water, antioxidant power shoots up within an hour and remains elevated five hours later,” he told “With milk, you’d think there might be less of a bump. In fact, there wasn’t just less of a bump, but less overall—less than where the study participants had even started out!” 

The study also found that full-fat milk inhibited the nutritional absorption of the berries the most. 


doctor recommends to stop adding dairy to smoothies that include berriesPhoto: Yaroslav Shuraev / Pexels

However, this doesn’t mean that you should stop adding berries to your smoothies to enhance the flavor. You just may want to consider using non-dairy products as an alternative to milk and yogurt. 


Some options include almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, water, or any kind of juice. They are all sweet and delectable and will allow you to gain all of the nutritional benefits of antioxidants berries have to offer should you add them to your smoothies. (Honey also serves as a great sweetener!)

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.