If you wonder what the difference is between a green juice or a green smoothie, the answer is in what it makes a smoothie smooth: the amount of fiber.
Although, both juicing and blending methods offer tremendous amounts of macro and micro-nutrients and are two efficient ways to consume more of the daily recommended intake of dark leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits in one shot, each one of them has their own unique way of releasing their health benefits into the body, being the fiber factor the main difference between both.
Neither one is better or healthier than the other one. However, it is important that we recognize the advantages and disadvantages that each of them has so that we know why, how and when to drink a juice or a smoothie, when it comes to maintain our health, prevent disease or heal our body. Let’s start.
GREEN SMOOTHIES’ PROS
- You are drinking the whole food. Therefore, you are eating plenty of nutrients as well as dietary fiber. Fiber keeps you fuller longer, controls cravings, detoxifies the intestine, regulates bowel movements, aim in weight loss, regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels
- You can blend the unjuicing – dark leafy greens and green vegetables such as arugula, dandelion, watercress, parsley, bittermelon, chayote, nopales, aloe vera and fruits like mango, avocado, grapefruit, kiwi, prunes, grapes, berries, and greens as well as seeds and nuts along with superfoods powders such as acai-berry, spirulina and chlorella, and nopal cactus can be added to the smoothies
- You can have them as a meal replacement – Due to their nutrient-dense content, fiber, enzymes, and fatty acids, green smoothies can be an excellent nutritious breakfast
- You use the whole fruit and vegetables – Only seeds, core, and skin are removed prior to blending, so there is basically zero waste
- You save time, energy and effort – Blending the whole fruits and vegetables with water once they are washed and clean takes about 3 minutes to get it ready to drink
- You save time – You can blend a fresh smoothie every morning very quickly once you produce is clean in your fridge and clean up the blender very easy
- You save money – You spend less in fruits and vegetables and still consume plenty of nutrients with less amount of them
GREEN SMOOTHIES’ CONS
- You have to wash all veggies and fruits prior to blending – Washing your greens and fruits can be at the time a very demanding task and may take so much of your time. However, once you get some practice it becomes part of our daily rituals
- You may not enjoy them at the beginning – If you are not used to the strong and bitter taste of some greens and veggies, it may not be a pleasant experience from the start, but if you are convinced of their health benefits you will persevere long enough until you love them
- You may end up drinking too much of the good stuff – Not all raw and green is healthy if you eat it all the time. Overeating some raw cruciferous vegetables and greens, such as collard greens, kale, parsley, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli) can cause a thyroid hormone unbalance due to their ability to block the absorption of iodine as well as osteoporosis due to their high content of oxalic acids which sucks the calcium out of their bones.
- You may experience some discomfort – Some bloating, gas or constipation can be some of the side effects if you are not used to eating fiber. By drinking plenty of pure water these effects will go away as well as you get used to fiber.
GREEN JUICES’ PROS
- You absorb more nutrients faster – Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients are potentially much easier and faster to be absorbed and digested
- You obtain high doses of chlorophyll – Chlorophyll from the dark leafy greens aid in improving digestion, detoxifying the liver, and protecting you from free radicals
GREEN JUICES’ CONS
- You miss out on fiber – Therefore, it goes through your digestive tract faster spiking your glucose levels
- You are getting concentrated sugar – You are not only getting concentrated quantities of vitamins and minerals, but also high amounts of sugar
- You use way too much of produce – Overall leafy greens since they don’t have the juice to extract from
- You need time on prep – If you want to obtain concentrated quantities of nutritious juices you will need quite some time between going vegetable shopping, washing and cutting produce up, juicing and cleaning up, a big problem if you have a busy schedule
- You have to prep fresh juices more often – Juices spoil quickly. You need to go through the prepping process every 3 or 4 days, which is the fridge life of green juices
- You may end up getting fewer nutrients – If you don’t use a cold-press juicer, you may be getting more free radicals than nutrients due to the oxidation effect in produce from the heat and air
- You can’t go too far without fiber – Eventually, you will need to reincorporate dietary fiber from fruits and vegetables
If you are definitely having trouble digesting fiber or if you are looking for a faster way to absorb macro and micronutrients, go for green juices. However, if you are experiencing glucose tolerance issues, or if you are looking to lose weight or want to sneak your greens within your busy schedule skip the green juices and go for a nutritious fulfilling green smoothie.