Juicing and drinking smoothies are both great ways to “eat” more fruits and veggies. But have you ever wonder what the differences are between juices and smoothies, and which might be better for you at different times? Here’s what you need to know about Juices vs. Smoothies!
- Better on your digestive system. Juiced vegetables are easier on your digestive system, and your body gets the nutrients pretty fast compared to the time it takes to digest solid foods. “Your bloodstream easily absorbs all those minerals, vitamins and enzymes, giving your gastrointestinal tract a vacation,” says Cherie Calbom, MS, author of The Juice Lady’s Turbo Diet (Siloam, 2010), as quoted in Smart Juicing, by Sheila Mulrooney Eldred. And for people with digestive issues, or who suffer from nausea from illness, medications, or treatments like chemotherapy, juicing can be a nutrient-rich, easier option.
- Get the recommended daily amount of veggies! You can drink more vegetables in a day than you can probably eat! Plus, if you put a handful each of the best green veggies — say kale, celery ,spinach and chard into your smoothie — it will taste VERY green. And many people don’t find that taste palatable. But in a juice, with just an added apple or pear for taste, all those veggies taste lighter and appeal to more taste buds!
- Jumpstart your healthy eating and eliminate symptoms. You’ve probably heard about the benefits of short-term juice “detoxes” — increased energy, improved brain function, reduced joint pain, elimination of symptoms from leaky gut. Many people also use juicing as a way to kick-off a healthy eating shift or to help eliminate toxins. Smoothies aren’t as powerful for these purposes, because they often contain fruits or non-vegetable ingredients, such as protein powder, coconut milk, almonds, or other nuts. Always consult a health practitioner before starting a juice detox.
- Feel fuller, longer: The key difference between juices and smoothies is what’s in them! Today’s smoothies are made with multiple ingredients to choose from: almond or coconut milk; vegan protein; cacao (chocolate beans); brazil nuts; hemp seeds; chia seeds; cinnamon; berries; a banana or apple or dates; raw honey; spinach; chard; romaine, or kale. Trust me, it is delicious! But keep in mind this nutrient-dense delight is a meal replacement — not a “drink” to go along with your usual lunch. The key to the healthiest smoothie is to have a majority of green leafy veggies, Omega 3s, healthy fats — and less fruit! And because a smoothie contains the pulp of the veggies and fruit(s); the consistency is thicker and sometimes even chewy (chia seeds, anyone?) And that helps us feel more satisfied, for longer periods of time.
- Avoid the roller coaster of sugar highs and lows. Adding protein and natural fats to smoothies helps to balance the infusion of sugar from the fruits and vegetables. Juices, on the other hand, are just that – all juice. And they can contain high amounts of natural sugar, which can give you a “sugar rush” and the accompanying sugar crash. Obviously, smoothies have the same challenge – that’s why you want to include proteins such as almond butter, almond milk, or protein powder; omegas such as chia or flaxseeds; and good fats such as coconut milk or avocado (which also helps thicken a smoothie!)
- Get your protein or other nutritional needs. You can’t add protein to a pure juice, but you can add it to your smoothie. This helps sustain you if you’re having a smoothie as a meal, say, for breakfast or lunch. A protein smoothie is also a great way to help your muscles recover faster if you consume it within 30 minutes after a workout. Because you can add different ingredients and/or supplements to a smoothie, it may be the drink of choice over a juice, depending on when, why, and what your goals are for drinking it. Word of caution: avoid adding sugars that can come in the form of bottled juices, certain yogurts, and even protein powders. Always check the ingredients label!