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Smoothie vs. Juicing: Breaking Down the Facts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABy: Krystle Crossman

When trying to lead a healthy lifestyle you may at one point or another have a smoothie or begin juicing. While many people think these are more or less the same, they are actually very different. Both have great health benefits, but there are differences that may make you want to choose one over the other.

Juicing is the process of putting fruits and veggies into a processor where blades spin rapidly, slicing and macerating the food until all the juice has come out into a container and the pulp is thrown into another container. What you are left with at the end is a cup of fresh and pure juice with no sugars or additives.

Blending is when you take foods and throw them into a blender. The result is a liquefied version of the foods that you put in there. There is no pulp separation, and you are left with liquid versions of the fruits and veggies that you have used. Adding ice helps to make it almost like a shake.

When juicing, the base ingredients tend to be cucumbers and celery followed with 1-2 leafy greens such as spinach and kale, and 1-2 low-glycemic index fruits. Some bonus items that you can throw in are things like broccoli stems, cayenne pepper, and ginger root. By removing the fiber from your foods, you are introducing vitamins and minerals straight into your bloodstream and are also getting more servings of fruits and veggies in.

When blending, the base should be water, coconut milk, or almond milk; something liquid to start. Then you can add in a 3:1 ratio of veggies to fruits and a fat such as half of an avocado or a spoon of nut butter. You can then add chia seeds, raw cacao, vegan protein powder, and hemp seed. The benefits of a smoothie are that it satisfies hunger, detoxifies your digestive system, and balances your blood sugar.

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