By Danny Saggers
Juicing Vs. Smoothies
To start off its not a battle between the two, they are both heavy weight champs when it comes to nutrition and here is why we should embrace them both. A lot of people starting out struggle to get their head around this one. Both juicing and blending have their place and both should form part of your nutritional regime.
Juicing isn’t just something to do on a fast its a complimentary addition to your daily diet bringing with it a whole host of benefits.
So some things are better for the juicer and others for the blender/smoothie maker (nutri-bullet [yes its true, excellent marketing skills and the smiling chevy chase of David Woolf guised a blender shaped like a bullet as a ground breaking new product p.s. nutri-bullets are great just a little overhyped!]).
For me things like carrots, beets, celery, cucumber, apples, lemons, grapefruit, fennel, ginger etc are better in the juicer. The reason we juice is to release all the valuable veg/fruit water stored up in the plant vessel. Think of the juicer as a pre-digestion unit.
We already have a juicer inside us our digestive system. We would usually chew up the food, swallow it and then extract the juice from the fibre and pass through the fibre in our stool.
The insoluble fibre is cellulose and that has no nutritional benefit as we cannot digest it but it does benefit the gut as a prebitoic and carries waste through our systems.
If you juice rather than consume the veg/fruit as a whole your taking advantage of these benefits;
1. Your able to massively up your veg/fruit consumption, try juicing a cucumber, head of celery, lemon,
2 apples and knob of ginger as opposed to eating or blending it. The latter two you wouldn’t be able to consume it all it would be too filling and time consuming and not very appetising. I personally think the veg/fruit that I suggest juicing tastes much better as a juice as opposed to a smoothie (try it for yourself).
2. It saves your body expending extra energy on digesting the nutrients from the pulp (this is especially important on a fast as you want all the bodies energy to go on healing), its not a waste as some beginners seem to presume, either you let the juicer do it, or you do it and with our impaired digestive systems due to lifestyle abuses we don’t extract as much of the nutrition as the juicer would have. In the end the fibre comes out of the juicer or your backside it is not digested.
3. The juice is absorbed and into your cells within 15 minutes on an empty stomach where as if you blend it/eat it, it takes a lot longer. We are unlike other animals in that we put damaging unnatural things into our bodies (alcohol, drugs, allopathic medicines) and eat diets that are far from 100% natural which means we need to help our bodies sometimes with some extra TLC, juicing provides that extra TLC, that helping hand. We get volumes of wonderful nutrients without any need for digestion!
4. When completing an extended fast it can be beneficial to remove a constant influx of fibre as its fibre that makes us hungry. If we try detoxing with smoothies our body is less likely to go into the really deep levels of detox as it wont switch into fast mode due to the ever presence of fibre and this will make you remain hungry.
When you use just juice after 2/3 days your body switches and goes into ketosis which is where it breaks down fat instead of using blood glucose and stored glycogen as its fuel source. The body also switches from growth mode to repair mode which is when the real healing starts.
Your hunger will totally disappear then and its only on the reintroduction of fibre that the sensation of hunger really switches back on. It is still advisable to take in some fibre while fasting to pull through the GI tract and mop up toxins.
So day to day make sure you have your juices for an alkalinising nutrient dense gift to your body that requires no digestion.
Note; use more veg than fruit so the body is not getting a massive hit of sugar when no digestion is required and also use organic produce so as not to consume large amounts of pesticide residue.
Smoothies are amazing too and are better for utilising more fragile fare like bananas, avocados, leafy greens, berries etc. Leafy greens and berries are near enough wasted in a centrifugal juicer as they are too fragile (unless you have a high end masticating juicer which will extract the juice well but can be quite time consuming).
Smoothies are great for blending together a lot of nutrient dense foods that are not as rigid and tough in structure and are lower in cellulose than the veg/fruit we put through the juicer. I like to add green powders and other super foods like chia seeds & flax seeds to my smoothies.
Benefits are that they more filling than juices, provide a nutrient dense meal and keep us feeling satiated while the body digests the smoothie. You can even put your juice into the blender and add some avocado and berries and have the best of both worlds in one!
Lets not forget that there is also the good old fashioned simple method of EATING your fruit and veg how mother nature provided them and this should not be forgotten or overlooked!
The best thing is to utilise all three methods of consumption and try to increase your veg and fruit intake across the board. The more raw fruit and veg we are consuming the better our health will be and all mentioned methods should be embraced and utilised.