Meeting the current recommended servings of fruits and veggies can be a challenge for many people. More folks are resorting to juicing and smoothies as a way to increase their fruit and vegetable intake, while also improving overall nutrition. Most smoothies and juices are easy to enjoy on-the-go and offer a delicious flavor. Before you start adding juicing or smoothies into your diet consider the differences between juicing and smoothies.
Juicing Does Not Replace Fruits and Vegetables
While freshly produced juice may contain beneficial vitamin, minerals, and phytonutrients, if you are looking to replace your fruit and vegetable intake with a drinkable option, juicing is not your best answer. The juicing process includes removing the liquid content of whole foods through a special juicing machine. Thus some of the fruit and vegetable components are removed. On the other hand, smoothies offer an alternative option for adding fruits and vegetables into your diet. Smoothies are created through a process of blending, leaving the whole fruit and vegetable intact.
Health Benefits of Choosing a Smoothie
Blending a smoothie together allows you to create a whole food, complete with fiber and nutrients. None of the blended ingredients are removed during the creation of a smoothie. When juicing occurs much of the fiber, and other beneficial nutrients are removed. Fiber is crucial for proper digestive function and helps to provide ample fullness.
Another benefit of smoothies is the ability to add in extra nutrition-packed ingredients to create a balanced meal replacement or post-workout recovery drink. For some extra protein, you can add ingredients such as milk, Greek yogurt, or protein powder. Many nutrients in fruits and vegetables are absorbed better when fat is present – so add in a healthy fat in the form of peanut butter, avocado, or chia seeds. You can also add in superfood ingredients like chia seed or matcha.
Smoothies Have Calories Too
Smoothies may contain abundant amounts of produce and nutrition-packed ingredients. Meaning the calories from each ingredient can add up. Drinking a multi-ingredient smoothie could mean gulping down more calories than you burn. Most smoothies are meant to be a meal replacement and not as part of a meal.
Here are some tips on how to keep the calories in check while making a smoothie:
- Measure your fruit. Try to keep portions to about one cup per smoothie. This amount should provide some natural sweetness without adding too much sugar.
- Limit added sugars. Aim to restrict added sugars to less than two teaspoons. Consider choosing honey, agave, or a sugar substitute.
- Calculate all added fats. Attempt to keep added fats like peanut butter, nuts, or avocado to about one tablespoon per smoothie.
- Include a lean protein. Add 4 ounces of a lean-protein like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, tofu, or protein powder to achieve greater fullness.
- Sprinkle some spice in your smoothie. Spices like nutmeg or cinnamon add a delicious flavor with minimal calories. Extracts like vanilla or almond offer a natural sweetness.