To juice or blend?
A big question that seems to come up a lot these days is whether to make juices or smoothies a part of your health routine.
I believe that smoothies should be your preference, with juices thrown in if desired.
Here’s why smoothies are better.
- Smoothies retain all of the fibre of the vegetables.
- They are more economical (less vegetables required to make amount required)
- They promote meal satisfaction more-so than a juice.
Now — don’t get me wrong, juices can provide a hugely beneficial addition to a health program but the intentions behind the health program should determine the type and amount of juicing you do.
For instance if someone was purely just wanting to ‘get healthy’ I wouldn’t even recommend juicing because of the convenience factor. However, if someone was beginning some part of a health program intent on detoxing, fasting for spirituality/cleansing purposes or was super intent on eating lightly and maintaining mental clarity – then juicing can play a big part.
Now let’s talk TYPES of juice and how they affect you. The biggest issue with juicing we have is that most people like to throw in a whole bunch of sweet fruits and vegetables to make their drink taste ‘sweet’. Things like apples, pears, carrots, beetroots are all relatively fine to eat on their own, however when you reduce their polysaccharides (carbohydrate chains) into simple chains of sugars thats when we see detrimental health effects such as insulin spikes, liver challenges and one of the worst things; yeast overgrowths.
This is a big problem with fasting retreats and juicing programs and the like; the person feels great on juices for a few days to a week because they see a correlating increase in pathogenic bacteria like Candida which leaves them feeling ‘high’ (quite literally drunk) due to the increased fermentation processes and increased delivery of alcohol to the brain. Happy detoxers misread this feeling as a spiritual benefit from the juicing when in fact it isn’t. The juicing finishes, and now the person has to deal with the increased amounts of bad bacteria demanding sugar from them at every turn!
This is not to say that a juicing retreat or program can’t provide a spiritual/physical benefit though – it just has to be conducted intelligently.
If you are going to juice, the best foods to do it with are greens and low sugar fruits like lemons and limes. Things like celery, kale, coriander, parsely, fennel and herbs like ginger and turmeric are fantastic to juice with – and add a lot of flavour! And okay okay okay young Padiwan – you can throw a little carrot or beetroot in there, too. May the force be with you.
These foods will deliver a huge amount of useable nutrition without the liver stress and bacterial overgrowth associated with juicing too many sweet foods.
So let me reiterate – smoothies are best long-term, and unless you are embarking on a specific program like those aforementioned, you can rest assured you’re receiving a whole bunch of nutritional benefits from your favourite smoothie recipe. Personally I only juice when i’ve an over abundance of the appropriate vegetables.
Here are some helpful links for you to start consuming that greeeeeeen energy.
Wishing you health and happiness,