Smoothies Or Juices: Which to Choose and When


There is a lot of chatter on which is superior - juices or smoothies.  But, really, these two are merely distant cousins.  They have a lot in common, actually, and both are "do gooders" and have their place. No need to create a family feud over this. Read along and see why there is room for both - especially when considering starting the year off with a detoxing regimen.





Common Ground Equals Common Good

Just to be clear, keep in mind we are referring to freshly made juices and smoothies here - not the ones you can purchase already made in a bottle. When you make it yourself, you know what went in it.  No need to question if there are added sugars or preservatives or if organic foods were used. Nope, just items you choose and hopefully that is organic fruits and mostly vegetables with some other whole foods and healthy additions.

Now, on to what both juices and smoothies have in common and what they can do for you in your healthier eating endeavors:

Juices and smoothies are nutrient powerhouses. The fruit and vegetables you use to create a smoothie and juice are full of antioxidants and age-fighting and health promoting benefits.

Juices and smoothies kick out the bad guys. They are great detoxers, This is especially when they are packed with liver-cleansing and alkalizing foods.


Smoothies and juices are energy elevators.  Those fruits and vegetables and other healthy additions provide energy for your day.


Juices and smoothies can make your nicer.  Juices and smoothies could help improve your mood because the nutrient enriched juices and smoothies contain copious amounts of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and folic acid supporting greater mental outlook.

Even the outcasts can help. Those less than perfect looking fruits and vegetables are great to add to the juicer or blender.  No one knows!





Addressing the Naysayers' Concerns

Not all jump on the juicing and smoothie train.  In fact, there are some that feel they should not serve as a tool to incorporate more plants in your diet.  Here are some of the questions they pose and how you can address the concerns:

Are the nutrients in juices and smoothies absorbed readily? Many studies like this indicate that including fats with your consumption of vegetables renders a much better nutrient absorptions rate.  Juices and smoothies typically do not contain a lot of fat, To counteract that argument: if you are making the effort and expense to create a juice or smoothie with lots of vegetables, add a bit of fat like a few nuts or seeds like flax and hemp or even a spoonful of coconut oil. When drinking a juice, nibble on a handful of nuts or other healthy fat of choice while enjoying your juice.

Does side-stepping chewing our food hurt the absorption of food? The thinking here is that juices and smoothies are food and food should needs to be chewed for better digestion. To offset this concern: swish the liquid around in your mouth for a bit before actually swallowing. That should help release saliva that contains important digestive enzymes crucial to delivering those juice and smoothie nutrients to your body.

Can too many raw foods hurt digestion? Chinese medicine practitioners view too many raw fruits and vegetables as damaging to the digestion, creating symptoms of bloating and poor absorption. The weakened digestion can then poorly affect other bodily systems.  To address this issue: do not completely rely on juices and smoothies, which are raw foods, as part of your efforts to increase your level of vegetables in your diet.  Mix it up and vary your vegetable intake with cooked recipes as well.






Why Drink Fresh Juices

Here is what drinking fresh juices may do for you and when it may be a better choice than a smoothie:

Fruit and vegetable haters? Sign 'em up. Throwing back a 6 ounce juice may be a whole lot easier than eating a plate full of greens for those who do not like the taste of fruits and vegetables. Those haters are then receiving a lot more of the nutrients since more fruits and vegetables were used to create the juice. Fresh juice is a highly nutrient dense food item.

Those with no appetite can reap many health benefits from consuming juices.  The elderly, those recovering from surgery, sick or on the mend? Juicing is a great way to drink to more vitality and healing.  Smoothies may just be too much for those who do not want to eat.

Juices go down easily allowing for quick absorption of nutrients. The lack of fiber in juice provides a readily absorbable source of vitamins and minerals. There is little digestive work your system needs to process the food. Further, juicing helps to pre-digest the food which could help the absorption as well.

Juices are super dense with an extra high concentration of nutrients from the fruits and vegetables.  A large quantity of fruits and vegetables are required to create a glass of fresh juice, thus, you are consuming the juice from large amounts of them. The juice acts as a liquid superfood filled with phytonutrients to keep disease and poor health at bay.





Why Consume Fresh Smoothies



Here is why you should pull out that blender (and your ear plugs) to create a smoothie over a juice:

Smoothies fill you up in a good way.  Smoothies are filling and can act as a nutritious, low-calorie meal. Because smoothies contain fiber, you are fuller longer. The foods in them are more slowly absorbed into the blood stream. As a result, your blood sugar levels remain stable and so does your energy. By including some protein and using a smoothie as a meal replacement, it could aid you in weight loss, too.

Smoothies are a great tool for your digestive system.  All that fiber in smoothies does wonders to clean out your colon. Juices have loads of nutrients, but they do not help keep your digestive tract moving as well as smoothies or provide as much good bacteria needed for good digestion.

Smoothies may cost less to make than juices. Smoothies require fewer fruits and vegetables to make than juices. In addition, some of the juicers are expensive.  Some of the blenders used to make smoothies are expensive as well.  However, cheaper versions of blenders that do a pretty good job are available now.

No piles of fruit and vegetable skins on your counter. There is no waste with smoothies. Everyone into the pool - skins and all.  Further, the skin and other parts of the fruits and vegetables in smoothies contain crucial phytonutrients.


Next post, what I like to include in my smoothies and juices and why you may want to as well.


? mark: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/5445602998/">opensourceway</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">cc</a>
lemon: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/22750018@N05/4268345597/">f1uffster (Jeanie)</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/">cc</a>
red juice: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/foodthinkers/4416793771/">Food Thinkers</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

2 comments:

  1. Absolutely loved this article, especially with so many juice and smoothie recipes popping up this time of year! Really terrific, in-depth information and a great guide to why each type of drink has its own unique place in a healthy diet. Oh - and the "Juices and Smoothies Make People Nicer" part? ... Too fabulous! I gotta remember that next time my pre-teen daughter gets grouchy with me!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much, Shelley They are a great tool to get your fruits and vegetables in. And, the mood thing? Maybe juices and smoothies should be a teen requirement -- before they get the car keys or something? I will work on that one and get back to you. Ha!

    ReplyDelete