Here’s a question I get frequently:
“What is the difference between a green juice and a green smoothie, and is one better than the other?”
There are major differences between a juice and a smoothie, and a green smoothie is light years ahead of a green juice when it comes to promoting overall health.
I’ll explain why in a moment, but first, I’ll define the differences between these two health beverages.
Blending Vs. Juicing: What’s The Difference?
Blending is the process of thoroughly blending whole fruits and vegetables into a smoothie (typically a green smoothie). Green smoothies are made in blenders.
Juicing is the process of extracting the liquid content of whole foods through a special juicing machine. The fiber is then discarded.
While it is possible to make a pulpy juice in a high-speed blender, it is impossible to make a smoothie using a juicer.
7 Reasons Why Blending Green Smoothies Are Far Better Than Juicing
1) Green Smoothies Provide Whole Food Nutrition – A green smoothie is still a whole food, complete with fiber and all nutrients.
Juices, on the other hand, are not whole foods. The fiber has been removed, along with any nutrients that are discarded with the fiber. Since dietary fiber is critical for proper digestive function and overall health, it makes no sense to remove it from a food.
2) Blended Green Smoothies Oxidize Slower Than Juices – It is often advised to drink a green juice as soon as possible after making it. The reason for this is that juices are highly susceptible to oxidation due to the way they are processed. Experiments have shown that juices oxidize at a much faster rate than green smoothies.
Green smoothies do not oxidize as fast, and maintain the majority of their nutrients for longer periods of time.
3) Fiber Slows Sugar Absorption – While the sugar content of sweet fruits are not a health concern for most people, juices made with sweet fruits or sugar-rich vegetables (carrots, beets) can essentially become a concentrated sweetener.
Green smoothies, on the other hand, are loaded with fiber which slows sugar absorption to a healthy level.
4) Blending Takes Less Time – Blending is much faster than juicing. I can simply break a banana in half, quarter an apple, and stuff handfuls of leafy greens in my blender pitcher and 25-30 seconds later, I’m drinking a green smoothie.
Juicing requires cutting produce into smaller pieces. Feeding all of those pre-cut ingredients into the juicer is a time consuming process.
There is also less cleanup and waste. My Vitamix cleans up in just a few seconds. However, a juicer must be disassembled and each piece scrubbed clean. Green smoothies are convenient, while juicing is a chore.
5) Juices Don’t Fuel My Workouts – Fitness is an important part of my lifestyle, particularly running. I love distance running and my green smoothies fuel my runs – even my half and full marathons.
Green juices, on the other hand, do not give me the fuel I need to run like smoothies do. Since the fiber has been removed, I burn though a green juice much faster. Since juices are also lacking in protein, I feel like I am hungry all day long – especially on my most active days.
6) Green Smoothies Fill Me Up – Green smoothies fill me up and keep me satisfied until my next meal. Juices do not.
Part of the reason is that a green smoothie contains fiber, as well as all of the other nutrients that would otherwise be lost in the discarded fiber if juicing.
You can also add protein powder, avocado, nut butters, goji berries, and other calorie and protein-boosting ingredients to a green smoothie. Juices are limiting.
7) Green Smoothies Are A Sustainable Dietary Habit – Green smoothies can be meals. You can swap out your breakfast or lunch for a green smoothie every single day for the rest of your life if you want.
However, juicing makes me feel like I’m on a temporary diet. The thick texture of green smoothies feels like and digests like a proper meal, where juices do not.
So, Are Green Juices Unhealthy?
I wouldn’t say that the occasional green juice is unhealthy. I love to indulge in an green juice made with oranges, pineapple, broccoli, celery, and fresh ginger.
But green juices are not a major part of my diet. Since I did an experimental five day juice fast, I realized long term juice fasts are not for me.
Relying too heavily on green juices, or juice fasting, can be damaging to your health. Fasting can disrupt your metabolism. Drinking nothing but juice deprives your body of essential dietary fiber and delivers a massive dose of rapidly absorbed sugars into your bloodstream.
So if you are trying to decide on whether you want to take up blending or juicing, spring for the blender and go for green smoothies.