Smoothie vs. Juice | The Ultimate Showdown
Fruits and vegetables are a staple in any healthy, well-balanced diet. With our busy lifestyles (or lack of taste buds for leafy greens), it is harder to get into the habit of fitting the recommended daily amount within our daily meals. Understanding the benefits of smoothie vs juice can help maximize the benefits of raw foods and vitamins in your diet.
Both vegetable and fruits have abundant amounts of minerals, vitamins, and chemicals called phytonutrients. Just to name a few:
- Vitamin C – immunity
- Calcium – maintenance of bone and teeth
- Iron – blood production
- Vitamin E – antioxidant for repairing cells
- Vitamin A – neurological functions and vision
- phytonutrients – cell function and communications, and anti-inflammatory functions
Based on a 2,000 calories diet, our bodies need 6 to 7 servings of fruits/vegetables a day.
Nutrition Prevents Disease
Face it, we all need fruits and vegetables for our bodies to work at its most optimum level. The 2013 State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables reported that overall consumption of these two essential food groups in the American diet is low. In a recent study, it was found that eating more than 400 grams a day of fruits and vegetables is correlated with a higher blood vitamin status. How can you get the recommended daily amount of fruits and veggies if you hate the taste or are just too busy to spend a lot of time in the kitchen?
The easiest answer is put them in smoothies or juices. But there are different types of benefits for the body for each of these methods. Both are incredible ways to include in a health conscious diet. What is best for you? We are glad you asked…
There is scientific research concluding that eating a varied amount of produce can help with higher energy levels, effective weight management, and increase disease prevention. With more fruits and vegetables added to your diet, you can help lower your risk of osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Smoothies can be made from blending whole fruits and vegetables in a blender or food processor, which makes them have a thick consistency. They are great for gut health, because it keeps the dietary fiber from the skin and seeds from the fruits and vegetables and breaks them up into smaller pieces, making it easier for digestion.
Smoothies are very versatile, in that you can blend one fruit and on vegetable, mix a few, or even add dietary, protein, or omega 3s for an extra kick. Not only can they be great for pre- or post- workout supplements, as smoothies with adding protein, can keep you full longer without you feeling heavy or stuffed for long run or gym session.
Juicing is exactly what it sounds like, extracting the skin and pulp from the vegetables and fruits, leaving you just the juice by product for easy absorption. Because juicing doesn’t contain a lot of fiber content from the skin and pulp, juicing may be a better option for people who have digestive issues.
This requires an extractor or juicer and leaves the skin and extractions in a compartment that requires immediate cleanup. Although juicing can be more expensive than the average blender, so if you are just starting out, trying blending first and straining with cheesecloth to get the liquid consistency. Juices tend to include more vegetables than fruits—everyone has heard about the famous green juice—and can change in taste and color very quickly depending on ingredients. For people who like pulp, but prefer the juicing, can save the pulp and incorporate them into recipes.
Smoothie vs. Juice
Bottom line: both are great ways to add more produce into your diet daily. Smoothies vs. juice are great for bone health, and weight management, however moderation is key. They shouldn’t be used as a constant meal replacement, and you should be smart about what you are adding into them. Juicing and making smoothies can be a great way to lower calorie intake while still feeling full, but don’t forget about the protein!
While healthy as they are, smoothies and juices can veer quickly to the unhealthy side of the spectrum. Adding too many sweet fruits and not enough leafy greens to balance them out on a consistent basis can lead to blood sugar spikes in the body.
Don’t be fooled by store-bought smoothies vs. juice. Reviews the labels, and make sure the ingredient list fits within your lifestyle goals. Most companies produced juices and smoothies have added sugars and preservatives and may have adverse effects to your diet, like added unnecessary calories and sugars correlated to weight gain.
Incorporate a variety of produce that can you give different benefits, and mix and match fruits with vegetables often so you are not eating them same ones over and over. Don’t try too many ingredients into one smoothie, and instead pair fruits and vegetables that complement each other. Adding too many can enhance the acids and starches, and have an unwanted taste.
Smoothies for Energy
We all have those times…
You go to sleep with good intentions. You lay your down and set the alarm clock thinking we will have a motivated morning until that pesky alarm clock goes off….and after the third time you hit the snooze button, you reluctantly get up before you are late to work. You eat a semi-healthy gluten free bagel, get ready in a scramble and you think you are OK after a cup of coffee.
Then at work, you start to feel to feel groggy and hungry at 2:00 p.m. You grab some almonds for a snack, thinking the nuts will keep you awake for that meeting you have been preparing for. Then you head to the gym for a good workout, but you are so tired you don’t give it 100%.
Studies have been conducted and have shown that eating fruits and vegetables can increase mood and energy levels. We all know that eating fresh produce should be included in a healthy diet, but it may not be enough. Drinking smoothies for energy is a great way to add essentials nutrients into your body and ensure you get the recommended daily amount of produce into your diet plan.
What Are Smoothies
Smoothies are made by blending fruits and vegetables in a blender or food processor. By breaking the fruits and vegetables up into such tiny pieces, the end result is a colorful drink with a thick consistency. By adding specific ingredients you can benefit from a variety of vitamins and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and they can be enjoyed in the morning for breakfast, for lunch, or a pre-or post-workout drink for an energy booster.
Benefits of Smoothies
There are a number of health benefits from smoothies:
- Cost effective: You can use frozen or fresh ingredients. It is recommended to purchase organic produce.
- Easy preparation: Smoothies are quick to make using a blender already in the kitchen cabinet.
- Nutrient dense: Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants great for keeping the body healthy. By blending, the pulp, seeds and skins are incorporated into the drink, which is loaded with fiber and aids in gut health.
- Disease prevention: Studies show that an increased level of fruits and vegetables in the body aids in immunity and disease prevention.
- Weight management: Drinking smoothies as a meal replacement with added protein (yogurt, omega 3s and protein powder) is a great way to lower calorie intake within the day without losing what your body needs on a daily basis.
By providing key nutrients smoothies can get rid of brain fog and increase energy levels. While our bodies cannot make energy directly from vitamins and nutrients, they are essential in providing enzymes our bodies need to perform certain functions like repair cells and turn food into energy.
B vitamins are essential in helping the body metabolize our food into energy. Although they have more functions in the body than just assisting with energy production, below is a list of the most notable vitamins and mineral and the correlation to energy levels in the body. Here is a list of notable vitamins that aid in energy levels:
B5 (pantothenic acid)
B9 (Folic acid)
Recipes for Energy
If you are feeling fatigued or think you may be deficient in some of these vitamins, try adding some of the following vitamins into your smoothies to ensure your body can perform at its best.
These hand-picked smoothies for energy are easy to make and can help make your mornings brighter, make you midday blues disappear, and give your gym session the muscle it needs. Each is packed with essential vitamins that the body needs. All you need to do it add the ingredients into your favorite blender or food processor.
½ pineapple, skin removed and cut into chunks
½ papaya, skin and seeds removed and cut into chunks
1 cup of coconut milk or almond milk
1 tablespoon of raw coconut oil
Very Berry Smoothie:
1/2 cup of frozen raspberries, strawberries, blueberries & blackberries
1 scoop of protein vanilla powder
1 tablespoon of raw coconut oil
1/2 cup of almond milk
2 green apples
1 piece of ginger
1/2 cup beets
¼ cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
½ avocado pitted and cut into chunks
1 cup spinach leaves
½ cup blueberries
1 cup full fat, organic grass fed yogurt (flavor of your choice)
Super Green Smoothie:
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup spinach leaves
1 teaspoon of raw honey
1 tablespoon PaleoGreens™
3/4 cup cold hemp milk
While we have listed some smoothies for energy, you can mix and match fruits and vegetables and blend smoothies according to your taste buds. Here are some tips to follow when making your own:
- Pick fruits and vegetables that are in season. Produce in season will reflect the taste of the smoothie.
- For summer, try adding ice cubes for a thicker, cold consistency
- Add protein to curb hunger like yogurt or almond or chia seeds.
- Mix and match smoothie vs. juice. If you want more of a smooth, juice-like consistency, try blending whole produce and mixing it with fresh juice.