Before we dive into whether juices or smoothies are better, first let me say that whole, fresh fruits and vegetables are always best. They’re an essential part of a healthy vegan diet and you should strive to eat some every day.
With, that said, there are still good reasons to add juices or smoothies to your diet, including health goals, convenience, and variety. So let’s dive right into how they’re made, their pros and cons, and finally, the verdict.
Juicing is a process that extracts liquid from fresh fruits and vegetables. The liquid contains most of the phytonutrients (healthful plant chemicals), vitamins, and minerals from the whole fruit or vegetable. The liquid does not contain the fiber from the whole fruit or vegetable, which gets removed during juicing.
- Drinking fresh juices allows nutrients to enter your body more quickly and in larger quantities, without having to expend additional energy digesting fiber.
- If you’re doing a cleanse or detox, juices are typically what you’d consume for more rapid results.
- Or if you’re experiencing acute or chronic digestive issues that require you to limit consumption of large amounts of fiber, then juices are your best bet.
- The fact that juices enter your bloodstream more quickly because the fiber has been removed can cause a spike in blood sugar levels when the juice is from very sweet fruits, like watermelon, mangoes, and pineapples. (Cherries, grapefruits, and apples are better.)
- This blood sugar spike is especially harmful for people with diabetes. It can also lead to fatigue, mental cloudiness, and irritability.
- Juices tend to make you feel hungrier faster without the fiber to help you feel fuller longer.
Blending is a process that breaks down the fibers of fresh fruits and vegetables, resulting in a smooth consistency, while keeping in all of the fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
- Because smoothies contain fiber that has been broken apart, the fiber can be easier to digest.
- The fiber also helps to slow down the absorption of nutrients into your bloodstream, which maintains steady blood sugar levels.
- The fiber can help you feel fuller longer, which may help you eat less and lose weight.
- Blending is typically easier and more convenient to do than juicing.
- Consuming lots of fiber, even in the form of healthful smoothies, can be a problem for people with digestive issues.
- Because of the fiber content, a cup of smoothie contains fewer fruits and veggies than a cup of juice. If you’re on a cleanse or detox or otherwise want to consume more fruits and veggies per cup, smoothies may not be your best bet.
So, which one is better?
In general, I recommend blending for daily or regular consumption, long-term health maintenance, and weight loss. And I recommend juicing for short-term cleansing and detoxifying, or just to add more variety to your repertoire.
So there you have it. Cheers to your good health!