The Basics: Smoothies vs. Juice
There comes a time in every healthy journey when a person asks the internet, what’s better? Blending or juicing? What are the benefits of each? Here’s my take on it.
Juicing is aaaamazing. You can take in a vastly condensed amount of vitamins and nutrients from fresh vegetable juice. Because juicing strips away the fibre and just squeezes out all the phytonutrients, your body won’t be busy breaking down the fibre and can absorb the benefits of the juice more efficiently. Fresh vegetable juice is especially excellent to drink in the morning.
However, green juice is incredibly low in calories; and a glass of green juice does not constitute a meal the way that a green smoothie would. You need calories to function. It’s your fuel. If you’re having juice, unless you’re doing a juice fast which is a different situation, you will not be able to consume enough calories to constitute a proper breakfast from just vegetable juice.
An average green vegetable juice made with only vegetables (no fruit) is between 70 and 90 calories. A green juice that’s been supplemented with some fruit like apple is about 140 calories. A proper breakfast should be at least 200 calories.
It’s not ideal to juice fruit because of the sugar content. Without the fibre, the sugar from juice hits your blood stream and will spike your blood sugar. It’s best to limit the amount of fruit that you include in your juice. Just add a little bit for flavour when you really need it.
You do need fibre to function, and you shouldn’t be afraid of fruit. It’s good for you, just not juiced. Luckily, green smoothies are full of fibre and the balance of the ingredients from the vegetables along with the fruit and other ingredients provides a balanced glycemic load. A smoothie also makes a balanced meal, and has an appropriate number of calories for breakfast. When I include coconut oil and other key ingredients in my smoothies, they come to 240 to 400 calories which makes an ideal breakfast, providing enough fuel to get you through the day.
I also find green smoothies to be quick and convenient. With an awesome blender, the cleanup is a snap. Juicing on the other hand can be a slower process.
My Personal Conclusion
For all those reasons, I make green smoothies every day, but I reserve juicing to when I have more time (like on weekends) or for times of juice fasting, aka. juice feasting. When I’m not “feasting” I might have a green juice as a first breakfast, and then follow with a 2nd small breakfast of solid food or a light smoothie a little later, depending on how active I’m going to be that day.
However, each person is different, both green smoothies and green juice are amazing, so try it all and figure out what works for you.