In raw food circles, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the respective health benefits of green smoothies and green juices. While it is understood both are alkaline, enzyme-laden, and nutrient-packed beverages, the question still looms — which is the better health-generating staple? Some have their green smoothie every day, and others swear by their morning green juice.
In the end, there is no straight-forward answer. Each has its benefits and each has its limitations. Context is key when deciding whether blending or juicing will serve your best interests.
The Green Smoothie
Green smoothies are essentially blended greens with whatever liquid, fruit, or other add-ins you like. By blending greens, you rupture their cell walls, making their nutrients easy to assimilate by the human body. Raw enthusiast and author of Green for Life Victoria Boutenko found green smoothies to be the key to redefining what being healthy on the raw food diet meant to her and her family. Other unique characteristics of the green smoothie include:
- Fiber containing
- Substantial and satisfying
- Fast and easy to make and clean up
- Significant amount of greens condensed in one serving
For someone new to cleansing, the green smoothie will prove to be a wonderful tool in detoxification. Because it is fiber containing, it will aid in digestion and serve as a go-to complement to your overall regularity and maintenance regimen.
The Green Juice
Green juices are different from green smoothies in that they contain no fiber. During the juicing process, the fiber is extracted from the greens completely, making for a lighter drink but with a more immediate impact on the blood. Here are green juice’s unique attributes:
- Nutrients and enzymes absorbed readily by blood
- Gives digestive system a break
- Best cleansing tool
While many bash green juice for its lack of fiber, this particular trait comes in handy when you seek enhanced detoxification. Without fiber, juices let the digestive system rest and the body focus on healing. Because green juices have no fiber, they are also most easily assimilated into the blood, ultimately having a higher cleansing capacity than green smoothies.
If you are cleansing, green juice will be the more intense option. If you are looking to up your fiber intake, opt for a green smoothie. In the end, it comes down to which tastes better to you, which you find easier to make and clean up after, and to which your body reacts best.
Why not both? I have a cup of warm water with the juice of half a lemon and fresh ginger slices in the morning followed by my green juice. This seems to jump start my day. Later in the day I have a green smoothie and this appeases my raging appetite and, for me, eliminates the temptation for less healthy fare.