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Juicing vs Blending: Find Your Ideal Summertime Green Drink

April 15, 2014

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Summer is fast approaching, which means many of us are starting to come out of our wintertime hibernation in search of lighter foods and fitness tips that will get us into bikini season shape. Smoothies and juices are nutrition-packed and super energizing, making them both great warm weather additions to your diet. 

Choosing between the two can be tricky, since each has its own undeniable health benefits. Whether you stop by the local juice bar or fire up your blender will depend on your personal preferences and requirements, as well as what you need at any given moment. Next time you’re asking yourself “to blend or to juice?” consider how smoothies and juices stack up against each other across these essential categories:

Smoothies vs. Juices

Cost

Winner: Smoothie When it comes to cost, a smoothie is a great choice. For starters, a good quality blender is cheaper than a juicer (not to mention much easier to clean!). It’s not just the appliance that makes a smoothie the cheaper option, though. On average, a green smoothie is much cheaper than a green juice simply because it has ingredients like ice and frozen fruit to bulk it up, so you end up adding a smaller amount of pricier vegetables like kale. Some green juices have pounds of vegetables, while a green smoothie might just have a couple of cups. On the other hand, these cost savings have their nutritional drawbacks: fewer vegetables means fewer nutrients, plus smoothies typically have high sugar content from the fruit. 

Nutritional Value

Winner: Juice

A green juice, in my opinion, is the absolute best way to take in a huge amount of vitamins and nutrients quickly without consuming too many calories. As compared to a smoothie, which includes the entire fruit and vegetable, juices only take the juice of the plant, requiring many more fruits or vegetables to fill up a cup. It’s not uncommon to find several pounds of vegetables and leafy greens in a juice, which means lots of valuable vitamins and nutrients for your body. 

Add-Ins

Winner: Smoothies

Superfoods that can easily be blended into a green smoothie without drastically changing its texture (think chia seeds, maca, coconut oil) are a huge plus for smoothies! Of course some of the more finely ground superfoods, like spirulina, can be stirred into a green juice, though it might leave your juice with a gritty texture that could make the juice unpleasant to drink. Because of the thicker smoothie texture, these additions are virtually camouflaged so you can reap the health benefits of superfoods in a very delicious way!

Digestive Ease

Winner: Juice

When the vegetables and fruit used for your juice are put through the juicer, the fibrous materials are discarded and only the juice is extracted into your cup. Since there is nothing of substance in the drink, it can easily pass through your digestive system with little to no effort from your body, and the nutrients are absorbed quickly. 

Meal Replacement

Winner: Smoothie

As I mentioned before, most fruits and vegetables are more or less added to a smoothie in their entirety, so your smoothie is not only jam-packed with nutrients, it is also full of fiber. Fiber is an essential part of a meal if you are looking for something to keep you full longer. A green smoothie in the morning could be an excellent breakfast, as long as you add a sufficient amount of vegetables like cucumber and leafy greens. Since a juicer extracts only the juice from these vegetables and leaves the fiber behind, you can’t rely on it to keep you full until your next meal like you can with a smoothie

Weight Loss

Winner: Juice

I’m not one to highly recommend juice cleanses, but I do wholeheartedly believe in the crowding out theory. If you replace snack food with a green juice every day, it can lead to very healthy habits and even weight loss. Your body will eventually start to crave a daily dose of nutrients, and before you know it you’ll be picking up a green juice for your afternoon snack instead of a cookie! Starting this ritual in the spring is perfect timing. It will help you slim down for summer as well as feed your body the cooling leafy greens and vegetables it needs during the warmer months.

Of course there are amazing benefits to both smoothies and juice, so you can’t go wrong no matter which you pick. It’s good to listen to your body and feed it what it needs. And remember that you don’t have to choose just one! A green juice could be the right choice if you’re having some digestive trouble one day, but a smoothie could be the way to go another day when you want a filling, detoxifying breakfast!

What is your go to green drink, a smoothie or a juice? We would love to hear about your favorite recipes in the comments below!