Juicing vs smoothies. Ideally we should get most of the nutrients that our body needs from the food that we eat. Our dietary intake dictates if we are getting the right nutrients. At the right amounts. And at the right time. When we eat whole foods, digestion breaks down these food to be able our bodies to absorb the nutrients. This is well and good when we are talking about getting enough protein, carbohydrates and fats into our system. However, for those who have a hard time getting all the micronutrients they need which is provided by plant-based foods, taking them in liquid form is an attractive alternative.
Whether we like to admit it or not, most people fall short of the recommended allowance for plant nutrients in our diets. This leads to a shortage of these nutrients in our body. Studies have shown that nutrients from food that are juiced or blended get absorbed by our bodies at a much faster rate than going through the digestive process. If you want to add more nutrients in your body, fresh juices and smoothies are great ways to do this.
For health and fitness enthusiasts, the question hinges on what is more beneficial to our bodies: juicing vs smoothies? This is the question that is always thrown around, but doesn’t get a definitive answer. To be able to lead to any conclusion, it is important to know as much information as possible. The battle of juicing vs smoothies.
Juicing vs smoothies.
The process of juicing is where water and nutrients from fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables, are extracted without retaining the insoluble fibers. With juicing, the pulpy bits are discarded. So you are drinking 100% all nutrients. In juicing, you need a specialized machine called a –what else – juicer. Most are centrifugal juicers first grates the fruit or vegetable, and then spins the pulp to separate the liquid. A sieve basket inside separates the pulp from the juice, which then pours out a spout.
The best reason for juicing is that it greatly increases your nutritional intake from fresh produce. Fruit and vegetables are great sources of vitamins and minerals. They are full of antioxidants and helps boost our immune system. Instead of breaking down the food to utilize its nutrients, juicing extracts the nutrients and makes it readily absorbable by the body. This also results to quicker energy boosts than smoothies. Juicing can also help people with digestive problems or illnesses that prevents the body from processing insoluble fibers. Juicing also helps in hydration. Since we are consuming nutrients in a purely liquid form and rich in enzymes and phytonutrients.
The amount of produce per serving is also higher since fiber is being discarded. Freshly squeezed juice offers great healing and detoxifying properties due to the density of nutrients readily available and absorbed by the body. In fact, some studies suggests that the amount of nutrients being absorbed by the body is greater than if you were to consume the same amount of vegetable or fresh fruit. With juicing, you are getting about seventy percent of the available nutrients from produce, and absorbs all of it because there are no fibers to hinder absorption. Some vegetables also tastes better when juiced, enhancing the taste by adding fruits or herbs.
However, be wary of the fact that sugar levels may rise if you are purely juicing fruit. This is due to the fiber being removed in the juicing process. It is also very easy to overdo the amount of juice we drink. However, it is hard to overdo the amount of fresh fruit we eat. And this is because of fiber. Eating an apple makes you feel a lot fuller than juicing one apple. You could probably juice 20 apples and be able to drink that no worries. But eat 20 fresh apples? Maybe not.
It is better to always combine fresh fruit with some vegetables, preferably green leafy ones, to lessen the amount of glucose being ingested. Also, juicing requires some investments in specialized equipment that has more parts that needs to be cleaned. This process may also entail additional expenses because you are going to need more ingredients than blending.
Ok. So to the second part of our juicing vs smoothies battle. Smoothies. They are made by liquefying chopped up vegetables and fruit using blades of a high speed blender. Usually water, almond milk, milk, or yogurt are added to make the consistancy better. The result is a pulpy, pureed drink that is considered “fluff” due to the air trapped during the blending process. Smoothies contain the whole fruit or vegetable, including the skin and the fibers. In blending, the fibers are broken apart by the blades and consumed.
Smoothies are easier to make. All you need is a blender. Ans that costs less than a juicer. Depending on your ingredients, you can make a smoothie that can serve as a meal replacement. I love to have a smoothie for breakfast. Along with your green vegetables, you can blend fruit, nuts, non-watery produce, protein powders or crushed supplements. Since the fiber is still included in the drink, smoothies are more filling than pure freshly-extracted juice. This leads to that feeling of being full. The addition of nuts can be a good source for healthy fatty acids like Omega-3.
Blenders are also great in liquefying low-moisture content and non-juiceable fruit such as bananas, papayas and other leafy vegetables. Smoothies are also great after a workout. They can help in the immediate absorption of nutrients like amino acids, without going through the whole digestive process. It can also lessen the body’s craving for food and help tide you over until your next meal. For kids, this a great way of introducing nutrients into their bodies. You can mask the color or taste of vegetables they normally wouldn’t eat. Just add them into a smoothie with some fruit and make a tasty thick smoothie they can indulge on while being packed with nutrients.
Blending, however, lends to less amount of nutrients being received by the body because of the presence of fibers in the drink. You need to consume more smoothies, as compared to juice, to get the same amount of nutrients. The presence of fibers also leads to slower absorption of the nutrients by the body. While not common, with blending, you may feel bloated or gassy. This is due to the presence of air blended within the resulting drink. Like in juicing, if you put added ice cream, sweetened yogurt or other sugary items in your smoothie, this will result in a spike in your blood sugar. So try and avoid these in your smoothies.
Both processes have their own groups of enthusiastic supporters extolling the benefits of juicing and blending. As to which is better for your body, health professionals agree that they are both just as beneficial. It will just depend on how you want your body to absorb the nutrients and how fast you want it to be absorbed and utilized by your body. But personally I like blending. The advantage of fiber can’t be ignored. And the potential of overloading on fruit is far too common with juicing.
What has been your experience with juicing vs smoothies? Which do you like better and why? We would love to hear your juicing vs smoothies stories in the comments below.