Adding large amounts of key fruits and vegetables to my diet was one of the first changes I made when i decided to eat clean. I’ve never been big on raw salads (I seriously get bored with all that chewing), so I quickly found myself experimenting with juicing. While I knew that it was really good for me, I had such a hard time throwing away all of the food juicing left behind- (and no, I am not one of those people who take the time to make muffins with the pulp or trek it down to my husband’s compost- don’t judge me). So I transitioned to making green smoothies. Well wouldn’t you know it; everyone had an opinion. (Check out my vegan-vs- meat eaters post) :).
Those who juice swear by it. While it does separates the juice from the pulp, you are left with a liquid that is full of vitamins, enzymes, and tons of micronutrients. Some prefer this because the body is able to absorb the nutrients in minutes, while the extra bulk in a smoothie can slow digestion down significantly.
On the other hand, green smoothies have become rather en vogue in lately- and with good reason! Everyone seems to have figured out that kale+beets+pineapple+ ginger goes down more easily with a straw. But are there health benefits to smoothies over freshly-made juice? Yes.
Remember how I said I didn’t feel comfortable throwing away perfectly good food? Turns out that pulp is made up of additional nutrients as well as fiber. As a hungry girl, fiber makes me really happy. It takes a drink and transforms it into a meal replacement. There just wasn’t enough substance when I was primarily juicing- I felt like I needed to eat something. With smoothies, however, I feel satisfied for hours. I have also discovered that I can get a wider variety of ingredients in with a smoothie. I find that certain fruits and vegetables do not juice well or require a huge quantity, leaving a lot for the garbage. Another thing, using my blender (more about which machines I use in the next part of my series) is much easier in terms of clean up. My juicer has multiple parts and must be disassembled to clean. AND, some pieces have to be washed by hand *gasps*! In the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
All jokes aside, there is one more very important variable to consider in the juice/smoothie decision. There are certain health conditions that make juices preferred over smoothies. Conditions that create malabsorption concerns, like certain cancers, bariatric surgeries, Celiac disease, and Alcoholism, are all better paired with juicing; it does not put as much stress on the gut. It is additionally important to note that juices or smoothies alone are typically not recommended as a complete treatment for any illness. While I believe that much of my current wellness has come from high dose nutrition in the form of fruits and vegetables, every case is different. Please check with your health care provider before making any major changes in your diet.
In an ideal world, I would juice once a day and drink a fresh smoothie once a day. However, I live in the real world with my kiddos who don’t seem to want to hang around while mommy polishes her juicer. For me, smoothies simply make sense given my lifestyle, hunger (I really can eat), and health. What makes the most sense for you? Answer on the poll below:
Whatever you choose, adding a veggie/fruit cocktail can add a boost to even the cruddiest of days!