Shall we juice or blend?
Go ahead and fess up. Eating better is on everyone’s to-do list. And for most of us, that means amping up our daily quota of both fruits and veggies, aiming to get closer to the ubiquitous 10+ now advised.
But if you think you’re going to get there with a couple of salads each day, you’re mistaken. Unless your salad has 4-5 cups of veggies in it, you’re still going to fall short. If you add a juice or blend to your routine each day, you’ll be able to add another 2-3 servings in a very easy-to-consume beverage.
The biggest question these days: To Juice or Blend?
Dieticians have a variety of takes on this question. For years, both juices and blended drinks were frowned upon because they were loaded with such juices as orange and apple, and missing a lot of the hefty greens we also really need. But now that green drinks are all over the place (and our palates have adapted to the taste), we can look at the drinks with a fresh lens.
Here’s a quick comparison of the two:
When you juice you’re extracting the liquid from produce.
Pros: Juicing lets you consume a plethora of fruit and veggie servings in one sitting. Juicing is good for those with GI issues as it takes out the fiber, making the produce easier to digest. Juice is quickly and easily absorbed and the nutrients are more directly delivered to your blood stream.
Cons: Juices are missing the fiber, an essential ingredient for making you feel full and preventing a sugar rush. You’ll want to make sure you use a good balance of fruits and vegetables (50/50) when juicing to avoid a fruit-filled sugar spike.
Try this juicing recipe from the Conscious Cleanse:
The Green Machine
Yield: 32 ounces
- 6 celery stalks
- 1 bunch kale
- 2 bunches cilantro
- 4 green apples
- 1 lime
- 1 inch piece of ginger (optional)
- Pinch of Himalayan crystal salt
- Slowly feed celery, kale, cilantro, apples, lime and ginger into the juicer.
- Make sure to cut celery into small pieces to avoid clogging the machine.
- Add a pinch of sea salt to taste.
- Drink immediately or place in refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Blends the entire fruit, including the pulp and seeds into a liquid.
Pros: Similar to juicing you also consume several servings of fruits and vegetables in one drink. But the difference with blending is that a blended smoothie also contains the fiber, helping you feel full.
Cons: You’ll receive fewer servings of fruits and veggies in a blended drink since the fiber is still intact. Some people also have digestive issues when consuming too much fiber. Try to balance out your blended drink with protein and healthy fat to make your drink a meal replacement. Add nut butters or nut milks; hemp, flax or chia seeds; or a protein powder for protein. And add a ¼ avocado (or the above nut butters and seeds) for a healthy amount of fat.
Try this Green Smoothie recipe from the Conscious Cleanse:
Totally Turmeric Green Smoothie
Yield: 1 quart
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 banana
- ½ cup mango
- ¼ avocado
- 1 small lemon, peeled
- 1 in. fresh ginger
- 2 cups kale
- 1 tsp. turmeric
In a high-speed blender, blend coconut milk, banana, mango, avocado, lemon, ginger, kale and turmeric until creamy.
With her love of health and writing, Melissa has written for such publications as Shape, Natural Solutions, Yoga Journal, Self and Pilates Style, and has created recipes and food-oriented stories for such publications as Delicious Living and Cooking Light.