Recipes for green juices and smoothies are popping up all over the place and these beverages are slowly becoming a more mainstream approach to healthy eating and detoxing. One thing is for sure – green juices and smoothies are good for you. But is one better than the other? Here is a short comparison to help you learn the ins-and-outs of green beverages. Hopefully this will help you pick which is right for you!
What you need: Juicer, 1 to 2 pounds of your favorite green vegetables
Advantages: Juicing is great because it extracts all of the water and nutrients from vegetables, leaving behind only the plant fibers. This means your body is better able to absorb the nutrients without having to digest the dense bulk of the plant. Plus, you can fit an incredible quantity of vegetables into a single glass of green juice, leaving you with simple, smooth and delicious drink that packs an incredible nutritional punch!
Disadvantages: Juicers can be very expensive and hard to take care of. They need to be thoroughly cleaned after every use to prevent rusting. Stocking enough fresh, organic vegetables to make daily juices can also be somewhat expensive. Although they are very high in nutrients and vitamins, juices can’t keep you full for long because your body processes the liquid so quickly. Finally, it’s worth noting that though green juices typically are usually low in sugar, several store bought juices can have a very high glycemic load and may cause blood sugar imbalances.
Try this recipe: Green Juice
What you need: Blender, ½ to 1 pound of your favorite green vegetables, 1 cup of ice.
Advantages: The biggest advantage to making smoothies is that the only equipment you need is relatively inexpensive – a blender. Smoothies also tend to be a little bit more filling since the plant fibers are present (but still easy to digest, compared to raw whole vegetables.)
Disadvantages: Compared to digesting juice, your body will have to work a bit harder to digest a smoothie and absorb the nutrients. Also, because it’s difficult to pack in the same volume of vegetables into a blender, your smoothie won’t be as nutrient-dense as your green juice. Using a high quality blender, such as a Vitamix, will lead to smoother, more enjoyable smoothies, but the price is comparable to a juicer.
Try this recipe: Green Lift Smoothie
The bottom line is when it comes to green beverages, whether you prefer smoothies or juices, it’s hard to go wrong. Just pick your favorite vegetables, and blend or juice away. Your body will thank you!
This article was written by Lauren Caster via Institute for Integrative Nutrition.