Before I get into why I prefer Smoothies over Juices, let me first define what each of these mean to me and how they are used in this post.
- Smoothies – fruit and/or vegetables mixed in a blender until you get a thick-ish beverage
- Juices – fruit and/or vegetables put through a juice extractor machine to get a pure liquid beverage
Smoothies versus Juices – which one is better?
In my opinion, we should ingest fruit and vegetables in the form that nature produced them and intended for us to eat them. Nature has created fruits and vegetables in a manner that is perfectly balanced. We cannot understand all the complexities of how the different minerals, vitamins and nutrients work together and what exact combination and quantities are needed to derive the benefits we get from this natural produce. But one thing we are clear about is that taking these vitamins and minerals separately through supplementation does not generate the same benefits as when we eat them from nature.
I view juicing as a form of processing of the fruits and vegetables whereby we remove some of the plant and keep the liquid portion. Now I know that there are still a lot of vitamins and minerals in the remaining juice and this is far better than having any other man-made beverage. However, by running the plants through an extractor, we are removing a significant amount of a vital component of the fruit or vegetable. This, in my opinion, makes it inferior to smoothies. The component that I’m referring to is fiber.
Fiber is an integral part of our diet and has a host of benefits for our health. Fiber is that part of the plant that is indigestible. There is soluble and insoluble fiber. Most of the fiber will simply pass through your digestive tract, which leads many people to wonder where the value is. These are some of the important benefits of having adequate fiber in your diet:
- Fiber will make you feel more full and satisfied after eating which means you will be less likely to over eat.
- Fiber helps control the absorption of carbohydrates into the blood which reduces the blood sugar spike and will prevent you from developing diabetes.
- Fiber is shown to reduce risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol.
- Fiber has been linked to help reduce risk of cancer.
- Fiber holds a lot of vitamins and minerals which are absorbed by the body and ensure the proper functioning of the body, its immune system, metabolic processes and other things.
- Fiber is essential in keep a clean and healthy digestive system reducing risk of colon disease and removing toxins from your system. By grabbing the toxins it finds in the intestines, fiber helps ensure that toxins are properly removed from the body and not absorbed back into your blood stream.
All these benefits, among others, play a vital role in helping you to lose weight and to have a healthier, more energetic body and mind.
Do yourself and your health a favor and use a blender instead of an extractor. It’s cheaper and drinking smoothies is superior than having juices. You will also waste less of the produce which is another good thing for you, the environment and your pocket. If you find smoothies to be a bit too thick for your liking, add more juicy items to the mix like oranges, watermelon, cucumber and coconut water. Or simply add plain water.
Ensure you include plenty of leafy greens. Some green apple will ensure a good flavor. A touch of fresh ginger adds some good spice. Beetroot will produce an appealing color while adding a lot of nutritional value. It’s easy. Experiment. Try different combinations and see what you like. It’s a great way to get your vegetables in and it is also a great way to get your kids to have a lot of vegetables.
I will continue to publish some smoothie recipes from time to time, so look out for them. Here is one I published earlier this week (click here). There are also plenty all over the web. But it’s really not that difficult. Just use your imagination. Start blending and enjoy!