Don’t you ever wonder about the difference between smoothies and juice? If you notice, most people who love going to the gym prefer smoothies instead of juice. This is because they can easily add protein powder into their drink to help them build muscles faster.
On the other hand, there are many others, who prefer extracting the juice out of fruits and vegetables. In fact green juice - which is juice predominantly made out of green vegetables with added other veggies, fruit and some additional ingredients - is everywhere, and it’s become so synonymous with health that many health conscious and active people think they’re doing something wrong if they’re NOT gulping it down every day.
Juicing and blending is one of the hottest trends in the natural health world right now. Made the right way, juices and smoothies can also be delicious and supply a large proportion of a daily requirement of a variety of nutrients.
Uncooked (raw), plant foods contain numerous nutrients: enzymes, vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids, phytonutrients and mixing them gives them the synergistic power to work together as a super health booster!
This leads you to another question, which is better, juice or smoothie?
The answer is both. Yes, juices and smoothies have their own shining moments but the common denominator is this – smoothies and fruits juices are perfect and delicious ways to inject your body with essential nutrients.
So, what makes these two drinks different from each other? Let’s take a look.
What is Juice?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, juice is “the liquid part that can be squeezed out of fruits and vegetables.” On the other hand, the concept of “juicing” refers to the process wherein the water and nutrients from the produce, in this case, fruits or vegetables, are extracted and the indigestible fibre is discarded.
Don’t worry since the juice from the fruit or vegetable contains all the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need to give your body a boost. Plus, juices can be helpful as a cleanser or healthy drink, which you can drink after meals.
In this process, you will need the help of a juicer to do the extraction. Unfortunately, a blender or food processor won’t be of great help if you’re thinking of juicing. There are tons of juicers available on the market, which you can use to help extract the juice from the produce. Make sure to go for a cold-press juicer (also called a slow juicer)since the cheap ones can destroy the nutrients and enzymes of the produce.
What is a Smoothie?
On the other hand, Merriam-Webster online dictionary defined smoothie as a “creamy beverage made of fruit blended with juice, milk or yogurt.” No juices are extracted because the entire fruit or vegetable will be used to make a smoothie.
Generally, smoothies are made in a blender or food processor to help chop the food and break it into small pieces. Unlike juices, smoothies are thicker and have more texture since the entire produce is used in the process. Plus, you can include other ingredients such as nuts, dairy, coconut water, protein powder, spices, or almost any other superfood.
In other words, if you are looking for a meal replacement, then smoothies can do the job. Smoothies that have added protein and fats are more of a “whole nutrition,” which is helpful when you want a well balanced meal. Nutrimeal is a low GI formulated meal replacement drink and a quality source of protein, carbohydrates, dietary fibre, and many micronutrients.
Juice vs. Smoothie: Which One is Better?
For a decade or more the cappuccino has ruled supreme and thousands of businesses have thrived and competed for consumers wanting a quick energy boost.
Now many people are seeking a healthier alternative and want to "feel energised" so juices and smoothies have been taking an increasingly more important place in people's diet.
There are cons and pros of juicing and blending but keep in mind that both methods can help increase your fruits and veggies consumption, which allows you to limit intake of processed food and increase your intake of healthy ingredients. Though it won’t hurt to compare the two concepts and find out which one works for you, don’t you think?
When it comes to juicing, here are some of the things you should remember.
- The juice is separated from the fiber content of the produce. If you’re interested with the pulp and fibre from the produce, there are juicers that have a special attachment used to collect the pulp.
- There are more fruits and veggies per serving, giving you more nutritional content. However, some may disagree.
- Your body quickly absorbs the nutrients and minerals, giving you an instant burst of energy.
- Juices are easier to digest since you already break down the fruit even before you consume it. This may be advisable for those who have digestive disorders.
On the other hand, making a smoothie means the following:
- All the ingredients are combined, which means there is higher fibre content since the entire produce is used. Fibre keeps your digestive track healthy and functioning properly. This can help you lower your cholesterol level and control blood sugar.
- It keeps your weight at bay since it makes you feel full without adding calories.
- There is slower absorption of nutrients and sugar.
- In a nutshell, smoothies help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Thanks to fibre content, drinking smoothies also makes you feel full longer too so they can be great for weight loss.
Pros and Cons of Juicing and Blending
Both juicing and blending deserve a spotlight, depending on your needs or even mood on that day. To help you better, here are the pros and cons of juicing and blending.
- More fruits and vegetables in a glass. Since the fibre and chunks are removed, you can juice more produce and fit it in a glass.
- An energy booster. Since there are more produce in a glass, it also follows that there are more nutrients too. Plus, your body can easily digest and absorb its nutrients and use it to supply more energy to your body.
- Easier to digest. This is one of the biggest advantages of juicing. It is in liquid form, since fibre is in skins. Therefore, it will be easier for your body to digest the nutrients and use small amounts of energy since there is no need to break down the bulk of fiber.
- Less heat damage. Did you know that blades from blender could kill beneficial enzymes, especially when the blender is on high speed? This is something you don’t have to worry about in juicing when you use a slow juicer.
- More expensive. Yes, you can put more produce in your glass, which means you need to spend extra on fruits and veggies too.
- There is no fibre in the juice. For me it's a deal breaker and a reason why I prefer smoothies. Fibre is an important part of a healthy diet. A diet high in fibre has many health benefits. It can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and some cancers, and can also improve digestive health.
Research shows that many people don't get enough fibre. On average, most of us get only about 14 grams of fibre a day. You should aim for at least 20-30 grams a day. Since dietary fibre is critical for proper digestive function and overall health, it makes no sense to eat (or drink) food without it.
- Juicing machines are difficult to clean. Washing blenders requires soap, water and getting rid of the extracts. With juicers, there are more parts to clean, which could take up time too. There is a lot of wastage too as you discard the pulp.
- Requires more refrigerator space. You bought more fruits and veggies. Hence, you need that extra shelf for them too.
- Fiber helps fill you up. This is a good thing about smoothies. Since you use the entire fruit or veggie, you don’t have to get rid of the added fibre, which can help fill you up and make you feel full. Therefore smoothies are generally better for weight loss.
- The possibilities are endless. Aside from fruits and veggies, you can add other ingredients such as ice, milk, nuts, protein powder, seeds, herbs, spices and even crushed supplements. This can add more texture and flavour to your drink.
- A well designed smoothie that contains ingredients from all food groups can go a long way in providing a variety of nutrients.
- Kids will love it too. When it comes to drinks, kids are after texture and taste. Smoothies can be a perfect addition to kids’ diet, especially when you’re having problems in making them eat veggies.
- Smoothies oxidise slower than juices. A freshly prepared juice should be consumed as soon as possible after making it. The reason for this is that juices are highly susceptible to oxidation due to the way they are processed.
- Blending takes very little time; a good blender will make your smoothie ready in 30 seconds.
- There is much less cleanup and waste.
- Some produce are not means for blending. Unfortunately. This includes root veggies such as sweet potatoes and carrots and even beets. You can use them but only in small amounts.
- Less quantity of some nutrients in every serving. Since the fiber content is there, you have to drink more to get the same amounts of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients per glass.
Juicing and Blending Tips
Now that you know the difference between a juice and smoothie plus the pros and cons of the two methods, it’s time to learn the proper way to juice or blend fruits and veggies.
- Take it easy on combining fruits and vegetables. Apparently, some vegetables such as carrots, zucchini, beets and broccoli don’t combine well with fruits, unless it is apple, because of high starch content. However, green leafy vegetables can be combined with everything.
- Choose your fruits wisely. What you use in your smoothies is crucial, especially if you’re going down the road called “Weight Loss.” Therefore, be careful with your fruit choices. Some of the best ingredients you can add in your smoothies are pears (skin on, please), apples, pomegranates, oranges, bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and grapefruit.
It’s all in the veggies too. So, what are the best veggies for weight loss smoothies? Well, leafy green veggies will be on top of the list. Spinach and kale are particularly good. However, other vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, pumpkin, celery and broccoli are your best bets.
- Add lemon juice to your vegetable smoothies. It will mask any less pleasant flavours characteristic to some vegetables. I add lemons or limes to all my smoothies. They are healthy and they make my smoothies taste great.
- Avoid canned or packaged foods. Keep this in mind: fruits and veggies are full of fiber and micronutrients that can boost your metabolism. However, make sure not to use fruits from a can since the syrup adds loads of sugar and destroys the nutritional content of the produce.
- Use little to no sweeteners. Your fruits contain natural sugars to sweeten your drink. Hence, there is no need to add refined sugar since it hinders your ability to lose weight. If you want to add sweeteners, you can opt for honey, agave syrup and other concentrated sugars but it's best not to use any sweeteners at all.
- Limit fat content. Healthy fats such as avocado, flax seeds, chia seeds and coconut are fine. However, combining healthy fats – and too much of it – with fruits can cause gas and bloating. It can also affect your body’s ability to utilize carbs in the fruit, causing you to gain weight.
In summary I have to say that I prefer to blend as smoothies are more balanced and are a good source of fibre. I like to add Greek yogurt, chia seeds, protein powder or coconut water and blend them with vegetables and fruit. But occasionally I will juice as well.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to your needs and preferences. Both juicing and blending can give you lots of fruits and veggies in a glass, which makes it easier and quicker for your body to absorb the nutrients. At the same time, both methods can reduce your cravings for unhealthy foods, making it a healthier alternative.
So, are you ready to make your own juice or smoothie? View the short video below to help you decide.
To learn more about Janet and Greta Podleski, their nutrition tips and recipe ideas, visit their website.
This is such an interesting article with so many great facts. I have never taken the time to really think about the nutritional differences between juicing vs. blending. Personally, I have always been a juice person. But you are correct it is more expensive and definitely not as easy to find as a smoothie bar. Thank you for bringing up so many great points! It truly was a great and informative article.