We’re in an era where cold-pressed juices and blended smoothies are a health craze. Juice and smoothie bars are popping up in every neighborhood, and more juice and smoothie drinks are stocking up in grocery stores. While blended smoothies have been around for years, cold-pressed juices are more new-aged. So which is better, juices or smoothies? Both have great benefits, and it really comes down to your own personal needs and goals!
Juicing extracts the juice from fruits and vegetables, allowing the body to quickly absorb the nutrients and antioxidants, giving your digestive system a rest. The vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients from the vegetable and fruit juice boosts the immune system and relieves oxidative stress in the body (1). Juicing also allows you to experiment and combine vegetables that you normally wouldn’t eat, such as kale and beets, to achieve a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K and B. Juices are a great quick and convenient way for people who normally have trouble meeting their daily servings of vegetables.
What to consider -
Juicing separates the liquids of the fruits and vegetables from their fiber. This means that juices lack fiber, which is an important part of fruits and vegetables. Without fiber, the sugar from the juice can cause blood sugar spikes. Due to the lack of fiber, juices aren’t that filling (2).
Unlike juicing, blending whole fruits and vegetables keeps the fiber intact (2). Smoothies contain the same benefits as juices in terms of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Smoothies also allow you to combine additional nutritious ingredients, such as yogurt, avocados, nut butters, protein powder, mint, cinnamon, nuts, seeds, etc. (3). Combining the right ingredients can turn smoothies into a satisfying meal, keeping you feeling full!
What to consider -
If you blend up a smoothie using only produce, or big portions of produce, you might be eating more fruits and vegetables than you normally would in one meal. That doesn’t sound bad, right? Well, this could mean drinking more calories than you can burn. Also, it’s a common mistake to drink a smoothie along with a meal, rather than drinking a smoothie as a meal. Smoothies already contain whole fruits and vegetables, along with added dairy and protein, which could already be around 300-400 calories (3). Paying attention to the content of the extra additions to a smoothie is important. Adding ingredients such as ice cream, flavored yogurt, honey, or sweetened milk increases the sugar content of the smoothie, leading to more calories and blood sugar spikes (4).