It’s an ongoing debate in the health food world: smoothies versus juices, which one is better for you? In all honesty, most of this debate boils down to a matter of opinion, but there are also benefits that each drink has that the other does not have.
In this article we’ll break down the benefits of both smoothies and juices and let you decide which one is best for you!
Keep reading to find out:
- The difference between smoothies and juices
- The benefits of smoothies
- The benefits of juices
- Thing to consider about both
The big difference between smoothies and juices
The main difference between smoothies and juices is the fiber they contain.
The biggest difference between smoothies and juices is undeniably the fact that smoothies contain both insoluble and soluble fiber while juices contain only soluble fiber. To put it simply, smoothies use the whole fruit/vegetable and juices use only the juices (obviously).
While some people may feel that this difference should settle the debate with smoothies firmly planted as the better option due to their high content of fiber, there are benefits to each that should be considered.
Due to their higher content of fiber, smoothies typically take longer to digest than juices because the body has to work harder to draw the nutrients from the insoluble fiber that are contained in the skin and pulp of fruits and vegetables. Juices on the other hand contain only soluble fiber and are therefore digested much faster for the body, allowing for a quick boost of energy that smoothies just can’t provide.
The benefits of smoothies
Smoothies contain lots of nutrients and make a great breakfast.
If juices can act as a quick snack to boost energy, smoothies can act as a whole meal. Unlike juices, which are a pure blend of raw juice, smoothies not only contain the whole fruit or vegetable, but you can also add other nutrients to them.
Adding such things as milk or yogurt, chia seeds, peanut butter (or really any nut butter), or even avocado can add many important proteins and omega-3 fatty acids to a smoothie that you just don’t get with a juice.
Some good foods to include in a smoothie include:
- Fruits (mango, strawberry, and banana are some popular fruits for smoothies)
- Vegetables such as kale, spinach, microgreens, avocado, and beetroot)
- Nut butters
- Seeds or seed butters (chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds)
- Herbal and nutritional powders supplements (spirulina, matcha powder, and protein powder)
- Coconut water
- Natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, fruit juice, pitted dates)
The benefits of juices
Juices contain lots of nutrients and are great when you need a quick boost of energy.
Juices are commonly used for detoxes and cleanses as they contain nothing but the nutrition that is pulled from the juices and vegetables that have been juiced. Fresh juice can help your body rid itself of toxins, leaving you rejuvenated.
Unlike smoothies, which can take a while to digest due to their high fiber content, juices provide high amounts of nutrients and fiber without requiring so much work from the body to digest the fiber. This is because the fiber contained in juices is soluble fiber and is easier for the body to break down.
Another benefit of juices is that you can consume large amounts of nutrients (sometimes the equivalent of 6 to 8 cups of certain fruits and veggies) quickly and easily. Juices can be a great alternative to fruits and vegetables that you might not like to eat. They make it more enjoyable to consume nutritious food quickly and easily.
Things to consider about both smoothies and juices
While there are many benefits to both smoothies and juices, there are a few things to consider about both.
For instance, despite the high amount of nutrients and fiber, juices are not very filling and are not fit to substitute meals. They may act as snacks and can provide energy quickly, but they do not fill you up in the way that food and smoothies do.
Something to consider about smoothies is that they truly can function as a meal. In fact, if weight loss is your goal, having a smoothie as a meal is a better option than having a smoothie with a meal. It may also be beneficial to limit the amount of extras (milk, yogurt, nut butters, or anything other than fruit and vegetable bases) to one or two things to keep the calorie count lower.
It is also important to be aware when buying juices and smoothies in store, that some suppliers may add sugar to the products, decreasing their nutritional value. When buying a juice or smoothie drink from a stand or store, make sure to check the nutritional value or ask about added sugars.
In all honesty, both smoothies and juices have nutritional value and different pros and cons to both. Whether you prefer a delicious breakfast smoothie or adding juice to each meal, it’s up to you to decide which works best for you. Now you know the benefits of smoothies and juices!
The most important thing is to keep everything in moderation. While both smoothies and juices are delicious and healthy, too much of one thing is too much.
It’s important to keep your diet balanced as best as possible so that you are able to get all the benefits from these foods without the negative drawbacks such as delayed weight loss or a blood sugar spike that can sometimes come from drinking juices high in sugar.