A question that I’ve been asked a lot over the years is which one is better for you; drinking juices or smoothies? My answer is they both are, but for different reasons. I incorporate both of them into my diet and definitely believe they both boost your overall health and wellness.
The Difference between Juices and Smoothies:
The main different between the two is that one has more macronutrients than the other. Macronutrients are nutrients that are needed in large amounts in the body; fats, proteins, fiber, water, antioxidants and carbohydrates. Smoothies have more macronutrients than juices because the ingredients are blended instead of ran through a juicer. This ensures all the macronutrients are still in tact. Since the process of juicing strips away most of the macronutrients; you aren’t getting much protein, carbohydrates, fats, and fiber. You are still getting water and antioxidants, but without the other macronutrients, the juice gets absorbed into your bloodstream at a rapid rate because there isn’t a lot of substance to slow down the absorption process and there isn’t anything your body needs to digest and breakdown. On the other hand, smoothies take a little longer to digest because they (usually) have fats, proteins, fiber, and/or carbohydrates. This means that smoothies will keep you fuller, longer.
Keep in Mind…
There are a few things I like to keep in mind when making juices and smoothies. For juices, I always make sure that the bulk of what I’m juicing is a green vegetable. This can be anything from spinach and kale to cucumbers and broccoli. You want to make sure most of your produce is low in sugar because the juice gets absorbed into your bloodstream very quickly, and you don’t want to get a big hit of sugar straight to your bloodstream. If you decide to include fruit into your juices, that’s okay, but try to keep it to a minimum and use fruits such as green apples, lemons, and limes which are all lower in sugar. If you want to use an orange, pear, grapefruit, pineapple, or another fruit higher in sugar, try juicing half the fruit instead of the whole thing.
When making smoothies, I try to limit my sugar from fruit and/or sweeteners as well. All of my smoothies have a banana, berries, or some other type of fruit. I will add dates or honey from time to time as well, depending on what type of smoothie I’m making. I think adding these things is absolutely okay to do, you just need to be mindful of the amount you are adding. I typically only add a tsp of honey, 1-2 dates, or half a banana to sweeten my smoothies a little bit. The nice thing about smoothies is that since they are blended, they still contain all their healthy fats, fiber, and protein from the ingredients you add so the sugar from fruit and any other sweeteners you add doesn’t get absorbed into the bloodstream as fast as it does with juices.
Like I mentioned before, I love enjoying both juices and smoothies. If you’re looking for something that has more substance, then smoothies are the way to go because they will keep you fuller, longer. If you are just looking for a major vitamin and mineral boost, then juices are great for that while being extremely hydrating. Smoothies are appropriate as a meal, such as breakfast, if they have an adequate amount of protein, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber. Juices, on the other hand, are better to incorporate in addition to your regular meals.
I hope this post answers some questions on juices versus smoothies and be sure to keep your eyes out for more juice and smoothie recipes in the next couple months!
With love xo,