I am a big believer in the benefits of juices and smoothies. And, am often asked, which is better?
The answer: It depends.
Juicing is a process of extracting the water and nutrients from a plant, leaving the fiber behind. Without the fiber to slow it down, the juice is easily and quickly digested and absorbed into your body.
The Benefits of Juicing:
(1) Your digestive system is given a rest, which is great if you are sick, inflamed, or during a detox protocol.
(2) You are getting a transfusion of nutrients – significantly more nutrients than you could get from one salad or a smoothie in one sitting.
(3) By bypassing digestion, this nutrient transfusion is more readily available for immediate use by the body.
(4) Juicing is a great way to fast, without depleting the body.
(5) Juices replenish the body quickly, leaving you with incredible energy and glow!
The Cons of Juicing:
(1) Because the fiber is not available to slow down digestion, juicing can cause blood sugar spikes and instability (highs and lows in your blood sugar) that may cause mood swings, energy crashes, and more. If you have blood sugar concerns, a 3 day juice fast may not be for you.
(2) Fiber is an important element to feeling satisfied and full. Juicing may not satisfy your appetite, resulting in hunger soon after a juice.
(3) To prepare a juice, it takes more vegetables than a smoothie. This can be pricey, especially if you’re using organic fruit and vegetables (highly recommended).
Enjoy your green juice on an empty stomach. First thing in the morning is great.
Unlike juices, blended smoothies contain the entire fruit and vegetable, including the skin. All of the fiber remains, slowing down the release of nutrients in the bloodstream. But, the fiber is blended to a smooth consistency making it easier to digest than the whole food.
The Benefits of Blending:
(1) Because a smoothie contains all the fiber of the vegetable and fruit, it’s more filling and a great meal replacement. I love my green breakfast smoothie.
(2) The slow release of fiber prevents blood sugar swings.
(3) There are more servings of fruit and vegetables in a smoothie than in a salad, making it a great way to get your greens.
(4) Less costly than a juice.
(5) Can be easily prepared in your blender.
The Cons of Blending:
(1) Because a juice removes the fiber, you will get more vegetables and fruit in a juice than in a smoothie (the fiber increases the volume of the smoothie).
For a complete meal or snack replacement, add a healthy fat and protein source. Chia seeds, for example.
The bottom line: There are great benefits to drinking both juices and smoothies! If you haven’t enjoyed a fresh (not from the grocery aisle) juice or smoothie, try adding one to your morning routine this week.