The sun is out. The birds are chirping and the air is light and warm. Weather such as this calls for an increase in seasonal liquid calories. It is the time of year where we tend to enjoy plenty more smoothies and fresh pressed juices. Although the two are both full of nutrients and plant based love, they are not the same thing. Many people confuse the two and are unaware of the benefits they can provide separately. So what is the deal? How does a banana berry green smoothie fuel our body differently than a fresh pressed green juice?
What is a Smoothie?
Smoothies are blended beverages made in a blending machine. Ideally they include both fruits and vegetables making it a green smoothie (despite the color it results in). Many ingredients can be added to these blends to increase the nutritional value of the beverage. When done right, this tall glass of love can even serve as a meal replacement. Some popular additions are yogurts, protein powders, all natural nut butters, dried fruits, powdered greens such as spirulina and super foods like hemp hearts, chia seeds, and ground flax. Because smoothies are blended foods, the precious fiber remains. This means our bodies still have to endure the breakdown process and digestion of the smoothie, but not as much as it would take if we were to eat the food in whole form. The nutrients in smoothies are so much easier to absorb and digest, they make for an ideal snack or meal for many individuals. There are also other bonuses to these blended beverages. So many amazing plant based foods can be hidden in a smoothie-and I mean so much more than you’d eat if it were sitting in front of you on a plate. The best part is that everybody of every age fancies a fabulous smoothie-yes even kids! They are very quick and easy to make which is why I enjoy one every day as my breakfast. Nothing beats a cold blend on a warm and sunny day-they are so refreshing!
What is a Juice?
A fresh pressed juice is the ultimate healing beverage. They are made using high powered or slow masticating juicers. If the ingredients are blended in a blender, the pulp must be removed manually to be considered a juice. The difference between a smoothie and a juice is that no fiber remains with juicing. Because the pulp is separated, the body requires no efforts. The powerful healing micronutrients are immediately absorbed into our cells. This makes fresh pressed juices ideal for cleansing and detoxifying the body. Waste and toxins can be eliminated from the body without any efforts and all while ingesting essential nutrients for our immunity. Juices are ideal for those who have compromised gut health, who have difficulty digesting vegetables, and who are ill. Whenever I feel any type of sickness coming on, I prepare a generous batch of my favorite green juice and it automatically does the trick. It also promotes a clear and glowing complexion and I always note an increase in energy. Juices are mostly compromised of all vegetables and fresh herbs with minimal fruit to sweeten the beverage up. There are also fresh pressed nut milk blends that are such a delicious treat. Fresh juices are best ingested alone and on an empty stomach to ensure that your body does absorb every single last nutrient it has the potential to. Aim to drink your blends at least half an hour before or after eating any food.
Which is Better?
Neither. Both a smoothie and a juice can promote health and wellness in their own unique ways. I personally like to enjoy both but enjoy fresh pressed juices a lot more frequently during the summer season when I can get my hands on fresh, seasonal produce that is organic. Because the nutrients from juices are immediately absorbed, I find it best to use as much organic produce as possible versus conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. I enjoy smoothies all year round and use a lot of frozen fruits to save on cost. I am the type of gal who loves drinking her calories (smoothies, juices, coffee, wine…need I go on) instead of eating them so I turn to smoothies as a full meal replacement almost daily. Please keep in mind that a smoothie blend should contain a quality source of protein, healthy fat, and fiber to be considered a full balanced meal. If both the smoothie and juicing life is new to you, I would highly recommend trying to incorporate both into your lifestyle. They can both promote wondrous benefits for our body-both physically and mentally.
New to smoothies? Try these:
Looking for a new juice combination? Try these:
CHANTAL URBINA is a registered Massage Therapist and Culinary Nutrition Expert. She is passionate about living a life full of health, love, and happiness and that all three start with our diet. “Nature’s healing properties will never cease to amaze me and it inspires me day after day to create and share recipes made with only real whole foods.”