When it comes to health drinks, there is a bit of confusion about juice versus smoothies. Both drinks essentially take fruits and vegetables, and one way or another turn them into liquid – but is there a huge difference between the two? Is one inherently more nutritious than the other?
To help you decide whether you should be buying a juicer or a blender, we’re listing out the pros and cons of both juices and smoothies. Here’s what we found…
Perhaps the biggest advantage that juices have over smoothies is that it’s definitely more difficult (although not impossible) to sneak vegetables into a smoothie. The truth is, not everyone grows out of their innate dislike of vegetables. On the whole, they do tend to be more bitter than fruits, and they certainly require more preparation. Sometimes, that’s enough for people to exclude vegetables from their diet almost entirely.
A great way to walk back from this nutritional deficit is by juicing. The absolute best way to get your essential vitamins and minerals is through consuming fruits and vegetables, and the good news is that fruit and vegetable juice has just the same nutrients and antioxidants.
A juicer works by extracting all of the liquid from fruits or vegetables leaving behind a fibrous pulp. Not everybody enjoys pulpy juice, but the truth is that by removing that pulp, you are also removing the fiber content. Fiber is not only very important for digestive regularity, but it also helps you to feel full and satisfied after a meal. In other words, eating an apple might be a perfectly filling snack, but juicing an apple probably won’t do much to satisfy your hunger.
Just be sure to watch your overall calorie intake when juicing. A tall glass of orange juice may have the caloric value of four or five oranges, but without any of the fiber to make you feel satisfied. For this reason, juicers are better used for supplementing nutrition, rather than as part of a weight loss strategy.
One last thing to consider: juicers can get expensive, especially considering they are appliances dedicated to a single task.
Unlike juicing, smoothies allow you to retain all of the nutrients and fiber in your drink. Typically, entire fruits or vegetables are blended up and mixed with a bit of juice, milk, or yogurt to turn the mixture into a drink.
Smoothies are also a great way of incorporating superfoods that might otherwise be difficult to eat on their own. Ingredients like flax or chia seeds, avocado, plain Greek yogurt, spinach, and wheatgrass can all be blended up with some healthy fruits to create a drink packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
Plus, you don’t need any special equipment to make smoothies. A regular kitchen blender can easily handle the demands of liquidizing fruits and vegetables.
It can be somewhat tempting to let your smoothies begin to encroach on “milkshake” territory. If you don’t find plain Greek yogurt particularly palatable, you may be tempted to add a bit of cane sugar or honey – the emphasis here should be on “a bit.” It’s very easy to overdo the sugar or fat content, especially if you began adding ice cream or peanut butter to your smoothies. It’s not that you shouldn’t add these things; it’s just that when you do, be sure that you are measuring precisely, and watching your calories.
Smoothies can definitely be more satisfying than juice, but they still don’t satisfy your natural inclination to want to sink your teeth into something. In other words, don’t replace too many meals with smoothies, or you may find yourself searching for crunchy snacks between meals.
As you can see, both juices and smoothies have advantages and disadvantages. Your best bet is to decide what you need most in your life: an easy way to boost your vitamin and mineral intake, or a more convenient way to get your fruits, vegetables, and superfoods all in one meal.
Have any favorite juice or smoothie recipes? We’d love to hear them!