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What Is The Difference Between A Juice And A Smoothie?
There is much confusion in the plant based world regarding liquid nutrition. For every article or piece of evidence available on the benefits of juice, you will find others stating that smoothies should be the go-to beverage & juice should be avoided at all costs. In reality, both have their advantages and benefits when done correctly, and the simple difference between the two could be summed up in one statement: Smoothies contain fibre, juices do not. The implications of this are more complex, but first consider how each is made:
Juice is made in a juicer. Raw fruits and vegetables are processed in the appliance and the end product is a nutrient-filled liquid. In Lehmans terms, a juicer is simply a fibre extractor. A juicer extracts the water and nutrients into a liquid juice and leaves fibre as a waste product. This allows the drinker to condense large amounts of fruits and vegetables into one juice.
Smoothies are typically made in a blender, and nothing is extracted or removed from the whole fruits and vegetables. A blender essentially "chews" one's food at a speed and efficiency far beyond a human's ability to chew. Blending fruits and vegetables into a smoothie allows one to consume 10x the volume of plants vs the traditional chewing method.
Should I Drink A Juice or A Smoothie?
The answer to that question depends on many factors, although we will discuss the two main points: A. what ingredients you are using and B. The reason why you are drinking juice/smoothies.
Now, there is one camp that states neither should be drunk and only whole foods should be eaten in their natural form. A study from Cambridge examined the idea that liquid foods (juice & smoothie) always result in overconsumption, and that "liquid foods and foods that can be eaten quickly undermine our body's capacity to regulate food intake at healthy levels."
That aside, we must answer the original question. As fiber regulates digestion and sugar absorption, it is always preferable to go for smoothies. The high fiber content will also give a full, satisfying feeling that a juice simply will not.
However, juice, particularly made with vegetables and will no or minimal fruit content, can be a great way to boost nutrient intake for those who do not eat adequate portions throughout the day. Consuming in liquid form is, of course, preferable to not consuming vegetables at all.
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