Juicing and smoothies are very popular now days, but how do you choose? There are definitely two camps for this topic and people tend to be in one camp or the other and are about as passionate about it as they are their political party!
Just like everyone else, I have my preference too. My juicing journey started a couple of years ago my friends started juicing. I went to a class that told us all the amazing things about juicing. I had always been terrified of juicing because frankly that dark green liquid looked scary, but at the class they had samples and they were yummy so I came home all amped to give it a try. I should have known better but I walked into the door babbling and excited about it having forgotten that before we got married that my husband was a nutritional guru and had juiced daily as a vegetarian before I corrupted him with my evil butter and bacon ways. So my plan to shell out $50 for a juicer and run and hit the organic section of the produce section quickly came to a grinding halt. Because my husband is a Controller. Not meaning he is controlling but he is the department head of finance. Which means of course we have to analyze everything. So before I know what hit me there are pro and con lists and stacks of research. After a day he came back to me and said those magic words… get a Vitamix. So I did and our green smoothie journey began.
So what is the difference?
Juicing is the process of extracting the liquid content of whole foods through a special juicing machine. The fiber is then discarded.
Benefits from Juicing:
- Makes large quantities nutrients more readily available to the body.
- Easily digested
- Energy boost
- Increases water intake
Blending aka Smoothies is the process of thoroughly blending (masticating) whole fruits and vegetables into a smoothie. Smoothies are made in a blender.
Benefits from Blending:
- Whole fruit and vegetable nutrition with fiber to help balance blood sugar
- Very filling
- Supports entire digestive system
- Pushes toxins out of colon
But why did we choose smoothies over juicing? First I spent a couple of hours trying to find articles supporting juicing. Truthfully I wanted it to be juicing. I thought it was pretty tasting and those smoothies looked green and foamy and slimy and scary! But no joy. I couldn’t find any articles supporting juicing that weren’t written by someone who was selling a juicer. None of them had any supporting data that looked real. In fact many had stories about outrageous health claims and weight loss. I’ve done research on diet and what works and what doesn’t and I have tried quite a few different ones in my quest for better health. I know that just living off of juice is bad even if it is the best juice on the planet. It might make you lose weight temporarily but it can also shut down your metabolism, stress your adrenal system and play havoc with your blood sugar. But there were lots of great articles supporting smoothies. Nice, logical common sense type articles that support basic nutrition.
What I found:
- Fiber in smoothies helps stabilize blood sugar. Most juices are loaded with sugar. Basically, if it tastes yummy it has too much sugar in it.
- That juice I consumed at that party had more sugar than two Coca Colas.
- A smoothie is still a whole food, complete with fiber and all nutrients. Dietary fiber is critical for proper digestive function and overall health. As it passes through your GI tract it helps gather toxins. Most people with digestive complaints respond to more healthy fiber and enjoy regularity. Only 11.3% of Americans get enough dietary fiber.
- Smoothies oxidize slower than juices and maintain the majority of their nutrients for longer periods of time.
- Blending is much faster than juicing. You simply grab your veggies and toss them in your Vitamix and 30 seconds later you are good to go.
- It is more economical. You use a fraction of the fruits and veggies in a smoothie so it is much less expensive.
- Cleanup is a snap. My Vitamix cleans up in just a few seconds. However, a juicer must be taken apart and each piece scrubbed clean. If you’ve spilled beet juice on your counter or sink the time is tripled.
- Smoothies are filling and great fuel for your body. If I juice I’m hungry in 20 minutes. A good smoothie and it is a meal replacement. I add plain Greek yogurt, flax seed and Trim Shake to mine and it replaces a meal and it is easy to transport.
I hope this has helped you find some answers in your journey to answering the question of Juicing vs. Smoothies.
Want more? My next installments will be how to assemble a proper smoothie and yummy smoothie recipes!