January 26

Smoothies vs Juices: the pros and cons of both

by Paul Tarbath
So you know that eating fruits and vegetables is just great for your health and well-being, but what about when you have them in a smoothie or juice? Do they retain all those wonderful health promoting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber or do they compromise their ingredients nutritional value, and so the benefits your body can get from them? Are smoothies better for you to consume than juices or is it the other way around
In this article we shall be looking at the ways in which we process our fruits and vegetables when you make smoothies and juices, how this affects your body when you consume them, and also take a look at the overall positives and negatives regarding each type of food preparation.
Whether you are looking to prepare a whole meal by making a green smoothie, or simply want to  drink green juice, you can be sure that whichever option you choose your body will be receiving the nutrition it needs.
So without further ado let us look at each way of food processing in turn and see what they have to offer us in terms of healthful nutritio
With juicing you basically get just the juice from the fruits and vegetables minus all the pulp, or fiber. They are very popular with many raw foodists and also those who are into healthy living.
The positives:

  • More nutrient dense
  • Tend to have more variety of vegetables in green juices

 The negatives:

  • Generally green juices cost more ingredient wise to make than a smoothie
  • Fruit juices can cause blood sugar issues due to lack of fibre
  • Moves quickly through the digestive system due to it being a liquid so nutrient absorbtion could be compromised
  • You can feel hungrier more quickly, after a juice due to the lack of bulk from having no fibre

With smoothies, you get all of the vegetable and fruit flesh including the fiber (pulp). They are perfect for meal times and can keep you going for many hours. Many people attest to their great health benefits especially when they allow people to eat larger amounts of healthy foods that they otherwise could not physically do. Improved digestion and elimination are also benefits.

The positives:

  • Tend to cost less to make ingredient wise than juices
  • Promote good digestion and regular elimination due to fiber content
  • Are a quick and easy, highly calorific meal
  • Promote blood sugar stability (due to fiber)

 The negatives:

  • High speed smoothie makers/blenders can introduce heat/oxygen into the smoothie making process so causing heat damage and oxidation; and so a loss of nutrients

 Nutritional tips:
1. As a low fat raw vegan diet is the healthiest dietary option, it is worth mentioning that when you make a smoothie, adding overt fats to the ingredients such as avocados, coconut flesh, nuts or seeds should always be done within the rules of food combining for optimum health, digestion and absorption. The consuming of overt fats should always be at the last meal of the day.
2. Oxalic acid is a much talked about subject, especially with regards to leafy greens. It is known that consuming too much oxalic acid through the food that we eat can have a negative impact on the body as it chemically combines with other minerals that the body needs, such as calcium and magnesium and so effectively steals the body of their nutritional value. Greens such as spinach, parsley and purslane are some of the vegetables that you should use some caution due to their raised levels of oxalic acid.
3. High speed blenders are very efficient at making smoothies of any consistency you desire, though due to their power they can draw oxygen into your smoothie and generate considerable heat, which will damage/oxidize the contents and so lower the nutritional value. To avoid this, try using a lower setting that does not make the smoothie ingredients thrash around inside the blender, or perhaps use a hand blender instead.
4. You gain the maximum benefit from freshly made juices or smoothie, otherwise they will begin to oxidize and the loss of nutrients will occur. If this is not possible for you to make and drink the smoothie/juice right away, then keeping them in a cool fridge until you are ready to drink them is another  option, although further oxidation does occur this way.
So, as you can see there are a number of positives and negatives with regards to both ways of processing your fruits and vegetables. Fruit or green smoothies with fruits are a great way to get the calories you need every day, including when transitioning to a raw food diet. Other people rave about the benefits they receive from drinking concentrated green juices.
Drinking green juices for nutrients on a nutrient-rich raw vegan diet that is abundant in fruit and green vegetables is not a necessity, however. Minerals can be received from whole, unjuiced and unprocessed green vegetables. Furthermore, unjuiced vegetables contain fiber, which is a vital nutrient for health. So, juicing cannot replace the benefits that you gain from eating a whole, raw, plant-based diet that is abundant in fruits and greens.
Having been on a low fat raw vegan diet for three and a half years now, we never found that drinking juices or green juices was ever our regular practice. We still have smoothies, however a lot less than compared to when we were transitioning into this lifestyle, so typically we prefer to eat our fruit. With regards to juicing – we don't have a juicer on our travels, but we enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice with pulp from time to time.
Which do you prefer – juices or smoothies? Let’s hear your views on this subject and what, if any, health benefits you have realized from either way of drinking. Please post below!
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2 Responses to Smoothies vs Juices: the pros and cons of both

  1. Matt Menzies says:

    Always using a baby coconut, I like to blend up a smoothie when fruit is in excess & cheap. We are in the midst of mango season now, so coco & mango goes down quite well. Sometimes, coco, kale, green apple. 2 or 3 blends tops. I don’t do more than that usually. Chew your juices.
    Keep it simple Sip-it!

  2. Iris says:

    I like some green juices, like smoothies too. I do a bit of both. I also like to mix a little green juice with OJ. I think the fiber of OJ helps to make up for the loss of fiber in the green juice. Could that be?