Battle of the Greens: Green Juice vs Green Smoothie

Posted on September 26, 2012 by Rebecca in Nutrition

You may balk at the idea of consuming a thick green liquid as a meal. Or you might be one of those new age hipsters who just swears that their green smoothie ‘changed their life’, along with wheatgrass, yoga and their iphone.

So – what is all the hype regarding ‘green drinks’, is there a difference between a green juice and a green smoothie?

ARE THEY THAT GOOD FOR YOU AT ALL?

First let’s clarify one thing.

A green juice: is the juice of green veggies sometimes mixed with fruits for sweetness.

A green smoothie: is a blended concoction of vegetables, usually with water or coconut juice added to help move the mixture.

Green smoothie advocates prefer smoothies for the added fibre. When you consume a vegetable juice – the fibre has been removed. Given that fibre helps with elimination and will also assist your satiety levels it makes sense to opt for the filling option. Better to have one smoothie than a juice and piece of banana bread, right?

Then there are health experts, such as Dr. Brian Clement, an exponent of a high raw diet who believes that green smoothies are very unhealthy.

Dr Brian Clement, a doctor who has treated thousands of cancer patients, insists that green smoothies sidestep the process of chewing and in doing so, disrupts digestion. That’s why you will need to chew every sip (and it’s as awkward as it sounds).

Another element to consider is the difference between a green smoothie that’s appropriate to your energy requirements and a green smoothie that is a few artificial ingredients away from being a soft drink. If you load up on a week’s worth of fruit and veggie in one smoothie and feel virtuous – you shouldn’t. Aside from blowing a week’s budget in a meal, just think of the sheer size of how much food you have consumed!  While I think fruit is fabulous, digested easily and necessary (despite loud cries from anti-sugar advocates) I also believe in a little word called moderation. Half a pineapple in a smoothie to drown out the taste of spinach is not normal.

Finally let me talk fat or the lack thereof. Despite many people’s best intentions if you don’t add a quality fat source into your green smoothie than you are not going to absorb the extra nutrients from all those greens! A lot of the nutrients in vegetables are fat-soluble and so eating fat is required to absorb them.  Your best addition to your smoothie then is coconut oil or my favourite, avocado.

So there you have it.

As always– eat what makes you feel good and eat according to what you deserve. If you have sat on your butt all day, watching Sex and the City re-runs a green juice or smoothie with a small portion of fruit may well be all that your body requires for lunch. Just remember, the juice won’t really fill you up AND make sure you add an element of CHEWING to your smoothie to help activate your digestive enzymes.

Image source: Lindawagner.net