Enjoying a refreshing fruit and vegetable juice or smoothie can be a fun, tasty way to get your vegetables and fruits for the day. However, when it comes to choosing, how do you make the right choice? Let’s take a look.
For a general rule of thumb, “A smoothie should be enjoyed as a complete meal or snack replacement, while juice is more of a meal or snack add-in,” says Wellview Registered Dietitian Lauree’ Slingerland.
A smoothie consists of a blend of whole fruits and vegetables, a liquid (almond milk, coconut milk, water, etc.) and of course, ice. For a well rounded meal replacement smoothie, “add some organic protein powder, nut butter, chia seeds, almond milk or coconut milk to balance out fats, protein and carbohydrates,” recommends Slingerland. A smoothie is typically more calorically dense than juice, and it includes the pulp, which is rich in flavonoids and fiber.
Though most pulp has been intentionally removed in the juice, it is still packed with nutrients and has sufficient fiber for a meal or snack add-in. “Replace your side vegetables and fruit with a fresh vegetable and fruit juice, then pair with a chicken breast or salmon steak for a complete meal,” says Slingerland. This combo is a meal add-in option worth trying out from time to time, especially when your GI tract needs a break. Juice does not require as much energy or effort to digest compared to whole foods. Plus, the nutrients from the vegetable and fruit juice goes straight to the body’s blood stream, making the body and brain happy and healthy.
In summary, when it comes to choosing a smoothie or juice think:
Juice = carbohydrate = energy store = meal or snack add-in
Smoothie = carbohydrates, fats & protein = complete = meal or snack replacement
Stay tuned for my favorite green smoothie vlog!
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– CASEY EDMONDS, CHWC, CPT, CMS
Health Advisor | Email Casey