Do you juice or blend? Or are you just beginning this journey and have no idea which is better for you? Here today is Adrienne with a few answers for you!
No matter what article you read, there will always be conflicting reports over whether or not juicing or smoothies provide the best benefits for your health. The abundance of information on the subject can be difficult to navigate, perhaps making even the most avid health reader question his or her choices on the subject.
This article doesn’t serve to further confuse. It does, however, serve as a means for distinguishing between the two, providing the benefits of each and allowing you to decide for yourself which better suits your lifestyle and health goals.
First, one must understand what exactly the difference is between juicing and smoothies:
Juicing seeks to extract the liquid found in vegetables and fruits. Generally speaking, this process involves a machine called a juicer, though a blender can also be used if you strain afterwards. The juicing process leaves behind a dry pulp from the remnants of the item being juiced. These remnants actually contain a good many nutrients, including fiber, a necessary component of any healthy diet, and there are lots of ways you can use them. This method is used for a variety of reasons, including weight loss or a desire to increase daily intake of fruits and vegetables.
A smoothie generally consists of much more than juice and is made in a blender. Its consistency is thicker, as it often contains things like whole fruits, yogurt, milk and ice. It can be a much more economical option, as blenders tend to be priced on a lower scale than juicers, with some options starting around $15. Smoothies are also commonly used for weight loss, to take in more fruits and veggies, and can be used as a meal replacement.
Benefits of Juicing
The benefits of both depend on how you go about the process, what you put into your concoctions and what you are trying to achieve. Here are a couple benefits of juicing:
- Juicing allows you to have an alternative way of eating leafy greens and vegetables. By combining these veggie juices with that of a fruit, juicing provides a tasty – and not bitter – way of consuming healthy foods.
- Juicing also ensures that you are receiving most of the nutrients that are in veggies and fruits, giving you an influx of vitamins and minerals. When you juice vegetables, it actually gives you the ability to consume more vegetables, because it removes the filler and leaves behind the nutrients.
As juicing takes out the fiber in these foods, it’s important to get that imperative nutrient in other ways. You could, in fact, use the pulp in various recipes to use the whole fruit/vegetable, which would provide you with even more of a health benefit.
It is easy to get started juicing – pick a decent brand of juicer (it is important to look for one that is easier to clean, as the cleaning process can be involved), find a recipe you love, and get juicing!
Benefits of Smoothies
Smoothies, on the other hand, also have some great health benefits. Here are a few to consider:
- Smoothies allow you to use the whole fruit and vegetable to make sure you are packing in the maximum amount of nutrients from each.
- Smoothies allow you to incorporate protein-boosters, like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, beans or peanut butter. The use of proteins will help you feel satisfied longer, which can help you eat less and lose weight.
- Smoothies can be used as a meal replacement. Because they can be packed full of calories, smoothies can easily replace a meal. By making them with healthy ingredients and keeping track of the proportions used in the recipe, a smoothie can be an incredibly healthy start to your day. Just be sure to balance calorific mix-ins like fruit and nut butters with nutritious and low-calorie ones like spinach if you are trying to lose weight.
Whether you are trying to lose weight or are simply trying to consume more fruits and veggies, either one of these options done independently, or together, can help you in the process. I do both, and love it!
Do you prefer juicing or making smoothies? What’s your favorite recipe? Let me know in the comments below (I’d love some new ideas to try)!
About the Author
Adrienne is a blogger and freelance designer passionate about healthy living, good food, and fitness. You can see more of her work by following @foodierx on Twitter or visiting her blog, Foodie Fitness.