Juices vs smoothies – which are healthier for you? When you look at the nutrient content and satiety of smoothies, they have the upper hand over juices. While juices contain vitamins and minerals, they have had all the fibre and pulp removed, leaving only the part that contains the most sugar (which mean they turn to sugar in your body quickly).
Why are smoothies better than juices?
- Smoothies utilise whole vegetables or fruits, giving your smoothie a higher fibre content, which benefits you by keeping you fuller for longer, reduces cravings and insulin spikes, enhances your body’s ability to process sugar and promotes healthy digestion. In short, smoothies retain beneficial fibre whereas juicing strips away the fibre content.
- The thicker consistency of smoothies over juices gives you a more satisfying and filling effect, making you less likely to over-eat.
- To make a truly balanced smoothie you can add healthy fat sources and protein, which you are unable to do with juicing.
- By adding healthy fat to your smoothie such as avocado, chia seeds, coconut oil, nuts or nut butters, can turn a simple smoothie into a nutritious meal that contains the essential components needed to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K found in your green leafy vegetables.
- Smoothies prevent constipation, whereas juices can cause constipation from the omitted fibre.
- You don’t need an expensive (and often space-consuming) juicer to make smoothies, just a simple high-powered blender will blend almost anything to make your smoothies.
Health benefits of smoothies
- Smoothies are essentially blended whole fruits and vegetables that still retain beneficial fibre and substance.
- Smoothies provide a good source of fibre, which is important for a healthy digestive system and helps keep you fuller for longer.
- The fibre content in smoothies also helps to prevent constipation, reduce bloating and reduce cravings.
- Smoothies are easy to digest and can improve overall digestion. The pureed consistency takes the burden off the digestive process, thanks to your blender doing all of the hard work breaking down the food for you.
- The easy digestibility of smoothies also improves nutrient assimilation and absorption.
- Smoothies are a great way to incorporate a variety of vegetables into your diet.
- Smoothies keep you hydrated via the high water content found in fruits and vegetables, as well as any additional liquid you might add.
- Smoothies provide a nutrient-dense meal or snack that is packed with vitamins and minerals, helping to ensure your daily needs are met.
- Smoothies encourage you to eat more green vegetables, boosting your all-important intake of calcium, magnesium and iron.
- Smoothies promote alkalinity.
- Smoothies support your body’s detoxification process, especially when including cruciferous vegetables.
- Smoothies are very satisfying and keep you fuller for longer. This is due to the whole fruit and vegetables being used, upping fibre content, as well as the ability to add satiating ingredients such as protein and healthy fats.
- Smoothies help you achieve your daily goals of vegetable intake.
- Kids love smoothies too! They are a great way to ‘disguise’ vegetables, and they help boost kids’ vitamin and mineral intake, and support concentration, energy levels and the immune system.
- You can add protein to smoothies to help maintain a healthy body composition and aid in muscle recovery post-training.
- Smoothies provide a great source of energy with the flexibility to design your own, based on your needs for short or long term energy supply.
- Smoothies encourage you to eat more vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables), which increases your intake of vitamin A and C, both of which are important in boosting your immune system as well as giving you clearer and radiant skin.
- A smoothie filled with green leafy vegetables provides your body with a rich supply of chlorophyll (the green pigment found in plants). Chlorophyll is a natural detoxifier and alkaliser that helps to purify your blood, enhance detoxification and boost energy levels.
- A truly healthy smoothie should include some dietary fat for the enhanced assimilation of fat-soluble vitamins found in your vegetables.
- The nutrient density in smoothies helps to boost your metabolism and are great for healthy weight management.
- Smoothies make an easy, portable adn nutritious ‘meal-on-the-go’ – great for busy lifestyles.
- Smoothies are a packed with pure, usable nutrition, using whole food ingredients making them naturally free from processed ingredients, preservatives, colourings, additives, added sugar and refined carbohydrates.
- Smoothies can easily be made allergy friendly for the dairy free, gluten free, nut free and egg free consumer.
- Smoothies provide affordable nutrition. You can pack your smoothie with loads of vitamins and mineral-rich ingredients for minimal cost.
How to make the most of your smoothies
Make the most out of your smoothies and pack in more beneficial nutrition by:
- Add a protein source such as good quality pea protein or brown rice protein powder.
- Add healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, nuts, chia seeds or nut butters, creating an even more satiating smoothie, that boosts your metabolism and reduces sweet cravings.
- Add health-promoting powders such as spirulina, maca powder or super greens to boost your smoothie’s nutritional profile.
Additions to avoid
It’s easy to think that the more ingredients you add to your smoothies the better, however, there are a few ingredients to be aware of including:
- Sweeteners – of course, avoid adding artificial and processed sugar into your smoothies but also be aware of consuming too many natural sugars such as those found in honey, maple syrup, agave and coconut nectar. Adding unnecessary sweeteners increases the overall sugar content of your smoothies which can also cause sweet cravings. Instead, opt for the natural sweetness found in small amounts of natural fruit that also include fibre, which helps maintain stable blood sugar levels.
- Concentrated juices – adding juice and concentrated fruit juice as a liquid to your smoothies will also unnecessarily increase the sugar content of your smoothie. It is best to utilise the natural liquid components found in whole fruits and vegetables with additional fitlered water if needed.
- Sweetened yoghurts, frozen yoghurts, ice-cream and sorbets – again these all contain sugar and can contribute to unbalanced blood sugar levels, cravings and unwanted weight gain.
- Avoid dairy-based additional ingredients if you have an intolerance to dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and whey protein.
Casey-Lee Lyons is a naturopath, nutritionist, recipe developer and founder of Live Love Nourish. She is passionate about inspiring health and happiness through easy-to-understand nutritional and lifestyle advice. Casey-Lee’s refreshing approach to gluten, dairy and sugar-free nutrition has helped many people improve their health, increase energy, find their natural weight, improve gut and digestive health, balance hormones, heal cravings and more.