You already know that eating a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables is the key to optimal health. Juicing and smoothies can be a great way to boost your fruit and vegetable intake. But which one is the better option?
I’m a huge fan of fruit and vegetable smoothies, especially green smoothies. Juicing, however, also has its loyal followers. I believe both juices and smoothies can be very beneficial to our health, but I think they do so in different ways.
Let’s explore some of the benefits of each as well as the differences between them.
Juicing is a process which extracts water and nutrients from fruits and vegetables by removing the fiber. By removing the fiber, your body has less digestion work to do and is able to quickly absorb more of the nourishing nutrients from the fruits and vegetables. Years of poor diets have left many of us with impaired digestion and limited ability to absorb the nutrients from the fruit and vegetables we consume. The juicing process can help to break down these fruits and vegetables making their nourishing nutrients more available to our bodies.
Juicing makes it a lot easier for us to consume more fruits and vegetables. If you ever used a juicer before, you know it takes a lot of fruits and veggies to make one glass of juice. This means that you will to consume a lot more veggies and fruits than you would normally ever eat in a day. Juicing also makes it easier to consume a wider variety of fruits and vegetables resulting in more complete nourishment.
Natural fruit and vegetables juices provide highly concentrated source of vitamins and minerals which help combat the damaging effects of free radicals, detox your liver and ward off disease, cancer and other degenerative illnesses. These juices also give you a jolt of energy and vitality.
Although juicing provides many health benefits, it definitely has its drawbacks:
Juicing removes the pulp, leaving behind the fiber and host of other nutrients. As mentioned above, because the pulp is removed, you need a lot more fruits and vegetables to make a glass juice which means a higher calorie count. Additionally, without fiber, the fruits and vegetable juices are absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly. Fruit juices, especially, cause a rapid spike in blood sugar and unstable blood sugar levels. Fiber creates a feeling of satiety and because these juices have no fiber, some people tend to get hungry again quickly.
Juicing can also be complicated and expensive. A good juicer can set you back a couple hundred dollars. In addition, because juicers do not preserve the pulp, it takes A LOT fruits and vegetables to produce just a small amount of juice. This means that your food bill can get a bit steep.
The good news is that there is a liquid form of nutrition that is delicious, simple to make and cost-effective. Like juicing, smoothies make it easier for us to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diets. Unlike juices, however, smoothies consist of whole fruits and vegetables. Fruit and vegetable smoothies are chock–full of vitamins, minerals, other nourishing phytonutrients and fiber, which makes smoothies an easy way nourish and revitalize your body, improve your digestion and even lose weight.
Fruit and vegetable smoothies can be a side item or a complete meal replacement depending on your goals and caloric needs. You can easily add protein ingredients (plain yogurt, low-fat milk, unsweetened almond milk or whey) making it a more balanced, nutritious meal. Green smoothies, especially, are a great way to boost vegetable consumption. Green smoothies can be thought of as liquid salads. Salads are great, but many of us struggle to eat them on a regular basis, and when we do, we often smother them with fatty salad dressings.
Smoothies also promote healthy weight loss. The high fiber content in smoothies helps you feel fuller longer, provides a steady release of nutrients over time and helps prevent blood sugar spikes helping you to stave off cravings and hunger pains. The fiber also helps keep your digestive tract moving and provides “good” bacteria needed for good digestion. If you combine drinking fruits and vegetable smoothies with a sensible diet and consistent exercise, it would be almost impossible for you not to lose unwanted pounds.
Then there’s also the cost factor; smoothies cost much less to make than juices. It takes less fruit and vegetables to make a smoothie than it does to make a glass of juice. Also, as mentioned above, juicing equipment can be quite expensive.
If you want a more balanced meal, want to lose weight, improve your digestion and save money while you are it, smoothies reign supreme!
Word of caution: Smoothies can easily turn into high-calorie catastrophes if they include sweetened juice, sweetened yogurt, frozen yogurt or ice cream. Unfortunately, many made to order smoothies contain these ingredients and therefore contain far too much sugar and fat. So beware. Make your smoothies at home where you control exactly what goes into them.