Ah, that age old debate - smoothies or juices?
Smoothie lovers will dismiss juices and juice advocates will look down at a good old fashioned smoothie.
But are smoothies better than juicing?
In many ways, they can be, but sometimes, juices can be just as beneficial – if not more so.
As with any dietary choice, it comes down to you.
Your preferences, your needs and your goals all affect the option that is best for you.
That being said, I’m going to walk you through when smoothies are a better option.
How smoothies are a better compared to juicing
Let’s start off by looking and when and why smoothies are your best bet.
Keep in mind, these benefits are based on the assumption that you’re not drinking something that is closer to a milkshake than a smoothie!
A well-balanced smoothie recipe or frozen smoothie recipe will contain wholefoods that supply you with fibre, protein, healthy fats and/or low GI carbohydrates.
With that in mind, now let’s look at why smoothies can be superior to juices.
Smoothies will give you a steadier stream of energy for longer
When you juice a fruit or vegetable, you are extracting the water and water-soluble nutrients, but removing the fibre.
Fibre is a filling nutrient, but it also slows the absorption of sugars from the digestive tract into the bloodstream and this affects the speed that our blood sugar levels rise.
For steady energy and brain function throughout the day, we want blood sugar levels to rise slowly over a longer period of time.
Because juices don’t have much fibre to slow the process down, levels will suddenly spike, but then drop quickly as well.
When it drops, you’re more likely to feel grumpy, tired and hungry.
When it comes to smoothies, the fibre content stays the same, because the ingredients are blended rather than juiced.
Any fibre from fruit, vegetable, nut, seed or wholegrain remains intact, which slows down the absorption of sugars into the body.
This means that your smoothies are more likely to give you steady energy for longer.
Smoothies support your gut health
A happy, healthy gut means a happy, healthy human.
We now know that gut health is not just about digesting your food – it can affect almost every system and condition known.
So maintaining good gut health is essential if you want to work towards optimal wellbeing.
One way to support gut health is with prebiotic fibre.
Prebiotic fibre is a type of fibre that feeds the good bacteria that live in your digestive tract.
This type of fibre is found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and wholegrains.
Juicing will remove much of the prebiotic fibre from fruit and vegetables, but smoothies retain them.
So if you’re looking to support your gut health, smoothies might be the better choice.
Smoothies can incorporate a variety of ingredients
There are really only so many ingredients you can use for juicing, so you’ve got fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices.
At least, I hope those are the only things that you’re trying to feed through the juicer!
There is also some fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices that you can’t really juice.
Have you ever tried to juice a banana, avocado or even a chilli?
No, I haven’t either…
On the other hand, smoothies can incorporate all sorts of wholefoods that offer extra benefits.
You can include those un-juiceable produce items – think avocado, banana, dates, coconut and figs.
But you can also include other ingredients such as wholegrains, nuts, seeds and yoghurt.
You can also blend in powders – protein powder, greens powder, cacao/cocoa, maca, mesquite and cinnamon are some great options to try.
Smoothies are adaptable to almost any dietary requirement out there
If you’re Paleo, you can make a frozen smoothie.
If you’re keto, you can you can also make a frozen smoothie.
Vegetarian, vegan, low-carb, low-fat – no matter what you’re following, the right smoothie can accommodate you.
The only exception I can think of is a carnivore diet – and who knows, maybe you can blend a steak into a smoothie!
When juicing might be a better choice
There are a handful of times when juicing might be a better choice for your specific circumstances:
- You want a quick hit of energy that doesn’t last very long for some reason
- You’re looking for something to drink that doesn’t fill you up too much
- There is a reason you can’t consume fibre, e.g. intestinal surgery
- You don’t own a blender to make smoothies!
If you enjoy juices, feel free to enjoy them on occasion.
There is no reason why they can’t be incorporated into a well-balanced diet.
But if you’re looking for a beverage that can adapt from snack to meal, and serve a variety of purposes and goals, then smoothies are king.