By Heather Nicholds
For those of you who haven't tried one, learning about green smoothie benefits can make them much more appealing. If you then take a look at green juice benefits, it can leave you wondering which is better - smoothies or juice?
One of the greatest parts of my day is making a green smoothie for Phil and I. It's funny, because just a couple of years ago Phil would make them and I would force myself to get them down. When he put spirulina in and it turned emerald green, I thought to myself, "this is nuts, why am I drinking this crazy green concoction?"
Now, when I see my smoothie shift to that same vibrant green, it makes me happy.
What changed? Well, for one thing I make the smoothies now. I have some control issues, especially when it comes to food. When I'm in control of the ingredient input, I appreciate the value more than if someone hands me a glass of green mixture.
I've also learned a lot more about the value of each ingredient that goes into our smoothies. Fresh sprouts from our windowsill are one of the main features of our smoothies.
I like to eat them on top of salads and dinners too, but I can put a lot more volume of sprouts into a small glass than I would chew whole. Parsley is another nutrient-packed addition, and lettuce is fantastic too although it sometimes feels not quite as valuable.
One of the biggest parts of a healthy diet is eating a lot of leafy greens. Not only do they take a lot of time to chew and fill your stomach up, but they usually get drenched in salad dressing when eaten on their own. Putting a bunch of greens in a blender with some fruit shrinks them down so that you can get a lot more than you would otherwise, without any need for dressing.
A lot of people also go for green juices. Wheatgrass is probably the best known - and most made fun of. But you can also juice barley grass, spinach, kale, and any other leafy green. You need a special juicer to do it - fruit and vegetable juicers won't do a good job on leaves or grasses. Greens juicers can be pretty pricey, so it brings up the question of whether the green juice benefits are worth it.
Juicing removes all of the pulp, or fiber, from fruits and vegetables. It extracts the juice and most of the vitamins and minerals. Those vitamins and minerals are a lot more easily absorbed by your body when the plant fiber is removed, so juicing is a great option if you want to get concentrated nutrients. Your stomach doesn't get filled up with pulp, so you can drink a lot more juiced greens than you could in a smoothie.
Juicing can also be better for people who don't like the texture of smoothies, especially ones made in a regular blender. High-speed blenders cost a lot, but make a very smooth texture and you can use cheesecloth to strain out the fiber to essentially make juice.
For the most part, I tend to go with smoothies. I'll have a fresh green juice at a restaurant occasionally, but since I'm young and healthy I figure I might as well drink the fiber rather than compost it or use in muffins. I don't use a high-speed blender because I don't mind chewing my smoothie a bit.
If you're sick or have weak digestion, you might like to get some juice to increase the nutrient concentration of your diet without filling up your stomach too much.
Which do you prefer - smoothies or juices? Are the green smoothie benefits enough, or do the green juice benefits justify the cost of a juicer for you? Let me know below.