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Smoothies or Juicing – Which Is Better?

Posted 3 years ago by Lori Scholle

In an effort to stay healthy people often turn to quick fixes to help them accomplish their nutrition goals while maintaining a busy life.  Smoothies and juicing are some examples of quick fixes that people are using to get more fruits and vegetables into their diets.   Smoothies or juicing-which is better?

Without a doubt a smoothie is a better choice for a quick fix than juice!   Why you ask?  Juicing involves squeezing various kinds of raw vegetables and fruits through a very fine strainer to obtain the juice and then drinking immediately.  A common misconception with juicing is that you will absorb the nutrients that fruits and vegetables provide much more quickly and efficiently by drinking their juice therefore improving your health.  The problem with this theory is that there really is no advantage to drinking the juice of a fruit or vegetable than actually eating one whole.  Juicing strips the fruits and vegetables of beneficial nutrients, like fiber, which concentrates their natural sugars which are absorbed quickly into the blood stream.  While you may be getting some of the vitamins and minerals that the fruit or vegetable contains their juice lacks protein and fats that will keep you full for longer.

On the other hand a smoothie, when prepared correctly, can be a healthy and nutritious quick fix for a busy person on the go.  A smoothie is a beverage that is the result of combining whole foods in a blender.   The advantage of a smoothie is that you are not straining the mixture, rather you are consuming the foods in their entirety, just in a beverage form.  There are many kinds of smoothies that are available for quick and easy consumption. Unfortunately most of the ready-made smoothies are high in sugar and do not offer much in the form of nutrients.  It is best to stick to a home made version of a smoothie so you know what you are putting into it.

How do I make a healthy smoothie?  If you are using a smoothie to replace a meal it is best to find or create a recipe that contains a component of each food group.  For example, a breakfast smoothie should include a portion of whole fruit or vegetable(fiber), non-fat-yogurt (protein, calcium) and flax seeds(fiber, omega 3 fats).  Each of the components provides a complete meal in a glass which will leave you satisfied until lunch.  Examples of healthful ingredients you can use to create your breakfast smoothie include non-fat plain yogurt, oatmeal, flax seeds, silken tofu, Vanilla Kefir(probiotic boost!)and whole fruits and vegetables.  It is important to avoid adding fruit juices or using foods with added sweeteners such as fruit flavored yogurts, sorbets, frozen yogurts or ice cream.  You would be surprised how quickly you can drink more calories than a healthy meal in a smoothie without careful ingredient choices.

Smoothies are your best choice for a nutritional quick fix as long as you are careful with the ingredients you use and avoid creating a milkshake!  Check back with our blog on Thursday where we will post some nutritious and healthy smoothie recipes you will want to add to your rotation!