Juice and smoothies bars are popping up everywhere and it seems that everyone is getting on the wagon.
So what is all the hype?
Are juices and smoothies the next health craze or are they really good for you?
Which one is better for you?
Both juicing and smoothies boost your intake of antioxidants in the form of fruits and vegetables, which is something everyone could use. They both have their own positive health benefits and really it depends on how you use them in your diet and your individual health conditions. Also, they can be common pitfalls in diets when not used correctly.
Watch this segment on The Morning Blend by clicking on the picture above.
CORRECTION: In the segment, I suggest whey protein isolate for a protein powder. I goofed and meant to recommend whey protein concentrate not isolate.
Extracts water and nutrients from the produce (vegetable/fruit) and discards the fiber.
Easier on the digestive system as it doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the food and absorb the nutrients. Good for people with a very sensitive digestive tract or serious illness. Highly concentrated dose of nutrients.
The Possibly Bad:
Fiber slows down the digestive process and helps keep blood sugar levels steady.
Fruit juices can cause a spike in blood sugar, which can lead to unsteady blood sugar, mood swings, energy dips and sugar cravings.
Not meal replacement worthy.
- Juicing only fruit
- Not eating a source of protein, fat or fiber along with juicing.
- Use mostly vegetables to get the most bang of nutrients for your buck (celery, cucumber, carrots, beets, romaine have high water content which is very hydrating).
- Use a green apple, carrot, beet or grapefruit for a little bit of sweet but not a lot of sugar.
- Don’t combine various fruits as it can cause fermentation.
- Ginger, mint, basil can add additional flavor and you only need a little bit.
- Drink juice on an empty stomach followed by the rest of your meal to decrease bloating.
The Booster Juice
2 stalks celery
1 thumbnail size ginger
1/2 lemon peeled
1 green apple
1 large carrot
- Using a juice extractor or juicer, place each piece of produce in one at a time. Drink within 24 hours.
Consists of the entire fruit/vegetable, including the skin. This means all of the fiber is intact and consumed in a smoothie. The process of blending helps break down the fiber making it easier to digest for some people.
Smoothies tend to be more filling as they contain the fiber, which helps slow down digestion. They are also bigger in volume so they can easily be consumed as a meal itself. Contain vitamin, minerals, and antioxidants. Fiber is good for cleansing and improving elimination.
The Possibly Bad:
Smoothies can sometimes be hard for people to digest due to the fiber content.
- Kitchen sink smoothies: putting too many things into a smoothie can compromise digestion and be hard on the stomach.
- Making a milkshake type of smoothie that is loaded with sugar.
- Using only fruit.
- Using conventional dairy/yogurt in your smoothie as it can cause fermentation with fruit.
- Poor protein powders: most protein powders are full of garbage. Look for whey protein concentrate from grassfed cows or vegan protein powder from brown rice, pea or hemp sources. My recommended brands are Tera’s Whey, Genuine Health’s Fermented Vegan Protien and Sun Warrior brand.
- Choose only 1-2 pieces of fruit for your smoothie.
- ALWAYS include 1-2 large handfuls of vegetables (spinach, celery, romaine, carrots, etc.)
- To make it a meal replacement, add a source of fat and use a high quality protein powder.
- Make it simple–too much stuff can make for an upset stomach.
Merry Berry Smoothie
1 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup mango (fresh or frozen)
1 handful of spinach
1 stalk celery
1 thumb piece size of ginger
Unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk
1 tbsp ground flax or 1 tsp chia seeds
- Add coconut milk to the bottom of blender first.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Add water to thin out if needed.
*You can use my homemade coconut milk recipe to make this smoothie even creamier.