What are green smoothies and juices? Green smoothies contain primarily leafy greens and vegetables with a little fruit added for sweetness. Because fruit contains high levels of natural sugar, it is wise to try to keep the ratio to at least 60% vegetables and less than 40% fruit. You will be surprised how much a little fruit will sweeten it up.
What to watch for.
The more fruit you add to your smoothie, the more it can increase health risks such as high blood sugar, diabetes and tooth decay. Remember, these are meant to be healthy not create health issues.
What makes it a smoothie?
Smoothies are somewhat misunderstood as most people think this is just the process of blending fruits and veggies. The truth is that plant cells are surrounded by a cell wall as opposed to animals with a permeable cell membrane. All the beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals reside within these tough little cell walls. When we eat plants, not all of the cell walls will be broken down and unfortunately many essential nutrients are eliminated without ever being absorbed in the body. A special smoothie blender will break down the cell walls within the fruits and vegetables allowing an abundance of healthy vitamins to be consumed. Good smoothie blenders will be over 1000 watts
- High amount of fiber is consumed
- Easy to prepare, just wash chop slightly, blend and drink
- Ingredient and flavor options are endless
- You can add protein or super food powders
What is Juicing?
The concept behind juicing is to reduce vegetables and fruits to an end product that is the freshest and most easily assimilated package of nutrients available to the body. By eliminated all pulp and fiber, the digestive system requires very little work to send each and every nutrient directly to where it needs to go. Juicing blenders can range in type and strength. A good masticating juicer will provide the most nutrient rich juices but these can be very expensive.
- Juices are easier to drink as a small amount will have the same nutritional value as a full sized smoothie
- Ingredient and flavor options can be endless
- Preparation and clean up can be time consuming but worth it
- Easy on the digestive system
- Endless combination of flavors
Benefits of Both
Regardless of whether you choose to juice or make smoothies, both contain enormous health benefits as well as being super yummy!
- Increased Energy
- Improved Digestion
- Immune System Boost
- Healthy Heart
- Healthy Bones
- Enhanced Vitamin Absorption
- Healthy and Glowing Skin
- Reduces Cravings for Processed Sugars
- Better Sleep
- Weight Loss
- Muscle Building (Yes! Leafy greens are high in protein)
**A word of caution on purchasing pre-made juices and smoothies – The fresher the better. All nutrients released during processing or breaking down of the cell wall will begin to dissipate over time. Buying a juice that was processed a week ago is still a healthy option but will not be as nutritionally packed as one that you just made. If making your own, try not to make up a big batch and store it more than one day.