Both juicing and making smoothies are convenient and often healthy ways to get some fast nutrition. These terms are often used interchangeably, but they are really two different things. Let’s look at the similarities and differences between juicing and smoothies and some of the pros and cons of each.
Juicing and Smoothies: What’s the Difference?
Juicing refers to the process of making juices out of fruits or vegetables. This can be anything from a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice to a complex blend of many fruits and veggies. This process requires a juicer, a device that liquifies the items completely. There are many health benefits to consuming fresh produce and juicing is a convenient way to get this type of nutrition. Many people find it easier to drink a glass of juice than to eat several portions of fruits or vegetables.
Smoothies, on the other hand, are made with a blender rather than a juicer. A blender or smoothie maker does not create a pure liquid as a juicer does, but a creamier beverage that still contains pulp or fiber. Juices are more nutritionally dense than smoothies. So the difference between juices and smoothies isn’t in the ingredients you use, but in the process used to make them.
Which are Healthier?
There is no simple answer to whether it’s healthier to drink pure juices or smoothies. First of all, it depends on the ingredients you use. Secondly, it depends on whether you want to consume pure juice or some fiber as well. Either way, you will end up with a healthier drink if you stick with pure fruits and/or vegetables with no added sugar or artificial ingredients. Organic or locally grown produce is usually the best choice when possible.
Here are a couple of simple but healthy and tasty recipes, one for a juice and one for a smoothie.
Healthy Detoxing Juice
Two stalks of celery
One large carrot
Five stems of parsley
These ingredients provide a great combination of taste and nutrition. If you find that a whole lemon is too citrusy for you, you can use half a lemon instead.
Two cups of fresh kale
Two cups of almond, coconut or hemp milk
One frozen banana
One tablespoon of peanut or almond butter
The banana helps to reduce the bitterness of the kale. Almond milk, coconut milk and hemp milk are sold in health food stores and come in several flavors, sweetened or unsweetened. The peanut or almond butter adds extra protein.
Juicing vs Smoothies: Pros and Cons
Let’s conclude with a few of the main pros and cons of both types of drinks.
- Juicing -Provides nutritionally dense beverages, but removes the fiber. This can be beneficial for people who have difficulty digesting fiber. On the other hand, health experts recommend getting a certain amount of fiber in your diet. When juicing, you should also be careful about using only fruit, as this will result in high calorie, high sugar drinks.
- Smoothies -Because they contain fiber, they are more filling and feel more like a complete meal. They are made in blenders, which are cheaper to buy. On the other hand, they are usually made with fruits rather than vegetable so they aren’t as nutritious.