Monday Musings: Smoothies vs Juices. What’s the Verdict?

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Being a smoothie addict, I can list you a thousand and one reasons why it’s a huge part of my lifestyle. But there has been another health drink trend that everyone seems to be raving on about. Cold-pressed juices. Or even just juices for some. What’s the difference? Is one better than the other? In what ways?

It’s true that both juicing and blending are equally beneficial when they are made fresh and purely from fruits with no added additives, concentrates or even dairy. But let’s clear something up. It’s all to everyone’s choice and each to its own. But the fact is, each drink has its own benefits and purpose. It all depends on what you are trying to achieve for that moment in time. Let’s compare shall we?

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FIBER
Smoothies are blended whole fruits and vegetables, packed with all the complete nutrients and fiber the fruits and vegetables hold. As for juicing and cold-pressed juicing, some fibers and nutrients are removed and discarded. Depending on your digestive system and your desired purpose, these fiber or lack thereof have their own benefits. If your digestive system is in need of fiber, smoothie is the way to go. If what you are looking for is simply infusions of vitamins and minerals into your body, juices pack a punch of them as they require more veggies and fruits in a juice than a smoothie. So there, take your pick!

ABSORPTION
With less fiber, your digestive system is given a break while still absorbing all the nutrients you need. In fact, the nutrient punch from veggie juices helps to heal and restore your body at a cellular level as your cells can rest and repair. On the other hand, blending breaks the fiber apart to help ease the digestion while helping to create a slow and even release of the nutrients into the blood system. With less fiber, a juice tend to get absorbed into your blood stream quicker, creating a blood sugar spike as compared to a smoothie. You can easily counter that by juicing more leafy veggies into the juice. A green juice a day keeps the blood sugar spike at bay.

FUEL
Juices contain less fiber than a smoothie and thus liquid juice is usually the main stars of many detoxification and cleansing programmes. Your cells are able to rest and recover suitable for those on a digestive system reboot, if you’re on a full-day juice cleanse. If you’re looking for a filling fuel, smoothie is the way to go. Perfect for breakfast, all the nutrient-dense shake will keep you going till your next meal. With smoothies you can add protein powder, nut butter, almond milk and other healthy calories that can bring your smoothies to a filling and satisfying snack or light meal.

OXIDATION
When fruits and vegetables are chopped the oxidation process starts. For me, either way of blending or juicing, it is always best to consume it right after. There has been numerous disputes regarding the oxidation rate of juices vs smoothies. However, I do believe that it does depend on the type of fruit or vegetable as well. You can also add a squeeze of lemon to help slow down the oxidation process but to be honest, it is always best to consume these drinks fresh. Who wouldn’t want to right?

LIMITATIONS
It’s all great and dandy when it comes to the drink itself. But the process differ greatly. Juicing does have a wider variety of fruit and veggies acceptance while smoothies do not. Blending starchy root veggies like beets and carrots may be too taxing for your digestive system even in blended form and thus they are usually better for juicing. When it comes to the process itself, blending may be more limited.

Neither is still better than the other. You just have to apply them to different needs and use them to the best of their abilities. Otherwise, you are only doing your body more harm than good. It’s not about what juices or what smoothie ingredients are healthiest, it’s about listening to your body and knowing what it needs.

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