Look at your phone and you’ll find TikToks, Instagram reels and YouTube shorts dedicated to their creation. But what’s the science behind these two powerhouses of the health world and why have they become so integral to our day-to-day health?
Smoothies have reigned supreme in the health world for many years and for good reason. Their convenience, delicious taste and number of health benefits are to thank for their popularity. More recently, juices have joined smoothies at the top, being declared one of the healthiest foodie trends and another tasty way to achieve good health.
Though we all know our recommended daily serving of fruit and vegetables, eating five servings can be tricky. Running late at work and ferrying kids to and from after-school activities are among the reasons why juicing and blending have become such popular options.
Juice or Blend?
Drinking smoothies and juices is a simple and effective way to boost your daily intake of the fruits and veggies that often get forgotten. Both methods of creating these drinks liquefy all the ingredients (fruits, vegetables, seeds, nut butters, etc.) so you’re able to get all the nutritional benefits in a quick, liquid form. It's also thought that blending or juicing fruits and vegetables provides a higher concentration of vital nutrients.
Blending When you make a smoothie, you use the whole fruit or vegetable and you’re able to keep all the vitamins, minerals and fibre, including in the skin! Therefore, you don’t need to use as many ingredients as you do when juicing.
Using frozen fruit instead of fresh helps your smoothie stay icy cold for longer. Frozen fruit is also a great alternative to fresh fruit as it has the same nutritional content as fresh, is more cost-effective and lasts much longer!
Juicing When juicing, you totally liquefy the solid, leaving little to no solid remnants of the fruit or veg in your drink. With a cold pressed juicer, the delicious juice of the fruit and veg is separated from the pulp and skin, making it much easier to drink. Because of this, those with food texture sensitivities may prefer juices to smoothies.
What Are the Benefits?
Superfood Central By liquefying your five-a-day, you're also able to add superfoods, such as chia seeds, turmeric and ginger. Depending on the superfood, seeds and spices such as these provide a source of protein, boost immunity, aid digestion and help to reduce your risk of chronic illnesses — they're 'super' for a reason!
Feel Fuller for Longer We're told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is because it gives you the opportunity to fuel your body with all the right nutrients and sets a healthy tone for the rest of the day. By drinking a smoothie for breakfast, you get a sufficient intake of fruits and veggies that fill you up with goodness and prevent that mid-morning hunger which leads to snacking on larger amounts in-between meals.
Help Prevent Health Problems Eating fruits and vegetables increases the amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in your body, reducing high blood pressure and bad cholesterol. By juicing your fruits and vegetables, your body can more easily absorb all the goodness, lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and keeping your heart healthy.
Improve Energy Levels We're all trying to improve our energy levels, whether it's because we're taking care of our family or simply have a demanding job. And juicing can help. When you juice your fruits and vegetables, your body does not have to work as hard to break down the food. You'll also feel more energetic if the alternative is consuming snacks that are high in unhealthy fats and sugar and sit heavily in your stomach.
Hydration When you juice, you not only drink the water that's stored in the fruits and vegetables, you also get the added bonus of key nutrients and vitamins that are essential for hydration. While staying hydrated with your juices, these extra nutrients are also flushing out the toxins stored in your body. Fruits and vegetables like cucumber and celery are great options for hydration.
Time-Saving & Versatile Smoothies and juices are often a great option simply due to their convenience. They allow you to make a nutritious meal or snack in a matter of minutes with minimal preparation. For those with families and busy schedules, they're a satisfying option that can be enjoyed together as a family or on the go. They are also extremely versatile. Whether you have a dairy intolerance, prefer something protein-rich or just fancy something sweeter or more savoury, the combinations are seemingly endless.
Remember to Keep an Eye on the Sugar!
It's clear that smoothies and juices are excellent sources of vital nutrients, vitamins and other general health benefits. However, it's very important to bear in mind the potentially harmful side of smoothies and juices. Both can have negative health consequences if consumed in excess. The most significant being the high sugar content they contain. Of course, foods which are high in sugar can lead to dental problems and obesity. Getting lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet is important but should not come at the expense of other nutrient-rich foods.
It's also important to remember that juices and smoothies are often used as a tool for cleanses, which can become a dangerous practice. The rhetoric surrounding juicing and juice cleanses often feeds into the diet culture, which can lead to various eating disorders.
Like everything, smoothies and juices should be consumed in moderation. As long as you're getting the right number of calories per day to keep you fit and healthy, smoothies and juices can be very beneficial. The next time you're trying to decide what to make for breakfast, grab your blender or juicer from your cupboard, throw in some fresh produce and get experimenting!
The Perfect Smoothie Formula
If you want to start creating smoothie recipes that suit your personal tastes but don't know where to start, you can use the guide below to figure out the best combination of ingredients to get the best results!