Most people that know me well know that I am a fan of juicing. Although it’s recently become quite the phenomena, I’ve been a fan of the lifestyle for several years. Admittedly, I don’t do it as often or as consistently as I should, but it’s something I’m definitely a proponent of… despite what critics say.
What never ceases to amaze me is the overwhelming amount of questions I get regarding the difference between fresh juice and smoothies, as well as the confusion between juicers and blenders. Another question I get asked all the time is, “which one is better?” My belief: Juices and smoothies both play an important role in any wellness program and I believe that both juicing and blending are very beneficial, just in different ways. The objective is to finally get in the habit of cleaner eating and to do/use whatever works for your taste buds.
- Equipment needed: Juicer – For those new to juicing I recommend a Breville because they come in a range of prices, are available at most major department stores as well as online, and are a solid name brand among the juicing community. For more detailed info, check out this juicer-buying guide.
- Fresh juice is basically a smoothie without the fiber. Juicing is the process of extracting water and nutrients from produce and discarding the indigestible fiber; without all the fiber, your digestive system doesn’t work as hard thus making the nutrients readily available and quickly absorbed into the body.
- Texture generated from juicing fruits and veggies results in a pure liquid form.
- Be aware: When fiber is removed from produce, the liquid juice is absorbed rapidly into your blood stream so if you are only juicing fruits or high glycemic veggies (i.e. carrots), this can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar. To combat this, I suggest that your juice includes an even mixture or 1 parts fruit, 2 parts vegetables (i.e. kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, beets, etc.).
Blending (i.e. Smoothies)
- Equipment needed: Blender
- Unlike fresh pressed juice, smoothies consist of the entire fruit or vegetable, which mean smoothies are packed with fiber. Blending them makes the produce much more easier to digest than eating the whole fruit/veggie.
- Texture generated from blending fruits and veggies results in a slushy or milkshake-like consistency.
- Be aware: Although, smoothies are more filling than juice, they can be a trap for unnecessary calories. Many vendors use lots of high-calorie fillers in their smoothies (i.e. frozen yogurt, regular yogurt, sherbet, ice cream, sugary frozen fruit, milk, etc.). Therefore those extra great tasting milk-shake concoctions that you are getting from your local juice/smoothie-bar are less than ideal. Most are a whopping 500 calories or more… you might as well have had a Big Mac and fries. Your best bet is to make your own using fresh organic produce, thus ensuring you’re getting more vitamins and minerals and less processed crap.
WARNING: Pinterest board contains excessive amounts of wonderfully delicious content; you may feel compelled to never eat solid foods again!
**Juicer vs. Blender photo courtesy of our friends over at Real Foods Witch**