Green Smoothies have been my friend for close to 25 years now. My daily smoothie habit is a part of my life, just like brushing my teeth. When Dr. Brian Clement spoke here in Austin earlier this month, he brought up a very controversial issue…Green Smoothies vs Green Juices. He flat out said that green smoothies were “a step above soft drinks” because 90% or nutrients are lost through oxidation when the fruits and vegetables are blended.
I personally have a hard time with this. Nutrient destruction can occur as a result of damage by heat, light and air. The amount of damage is a function of severity and It is generally accepted that nutrients begin to be damages when heated above 118 degrees F. I have not found any studies that confirm this. In fact there is quite a bit of evidence that refutes this.
First of all we need to define what we mean by nutrients.
- Macronutrients: nutrients consumed in large amounts , ie protein, carbohydrates and fats.
- Micronutrients: nutrients consumed in small mounts , ie vitamins, minerals, enzymes
Not all are similarly sensitive to oxidation. Take minerals for example. You can leach them out with prolonged heat, but its hard to destroy calcium by blending. In fact, calcium becomes more available after blending because ti's released form the cell walls, a feat ordinarily accomplished by stomach acid – which becomes deficient as we age and abuse our bodies.
The smoothie vs juice debate is a hot topic these days. Her's an excerpt from an excellent article written by Kevin Gianni of Renegade Health. Kevin gave me permission to reprint it . Thanks Kevin. You saved me some precious time.
There are 5 important issues to address when discussing the Green Smoothie vs Green Juice debate, according to Kevin.
3. Sugar Content
4. Available Nutrients
5. Ease of Making them.
Number 1: Oxidation
It's said that high speed blenders can oxidize your nutrients so that when you drink a smoothie you won't get the health benefit of it.
This is why you should drink juices instead.
This is false.
Victoria Boutenko did a study using potatoes in a blender and in a juicer and found that the potatoes in a blender oxidized much more SLOWLY than the potato juice.
- Fiber actually protects the smoothie from oxidizing quickly.
- Juices should be consumed right after you make them for the highest nutrient profile.
- Twin gear juicers like the Tribest are best for slowing the oxidizing process when you juice. (Sold in the Renegade Health store)
So the bottom line is this…
Smoothies oxidize slower, which means you will be able to preserve more nutrients for longer.
For oxidation, we like smoothies best.
Number 2: Fiber
Don't we need fiber to prevent heart disease?
Why would we take the fiber out when we make a juice?
These are good questions.
First off, we do need fiber… but if we're eating a high raw diet we're getting plenty of fiber. Your body won't miss the fiber from the juice.
Why take the fiber out of the juice?
For fast absorption (and maximum) of the nutrients.
A juice to me is like a power-packed supplement to your regular healthy diet.
For fiber, the smoothie has more, but the juice has a different purpose.
Number 3: Sugar Content
For sugar content, if you're using fruits and sweet vegetables for your juices and smoothies you're going to get sugar. Most people can deal with moderate amounts of sugar in their diet for an extended period of
time. (Higher sugar for shorter periods)
Because there is fiber in your smoothie, your body will absorb the sugar slower. This is good for your pancreas. When you juice fruit, you take away the fiber and this can cause your pancreas to struggle to regulate your blood sugar.
For this reason, I recommend smoothies with sweet fruits and veggies and juices with greens and low glycemic fruits like lemons and limes. This way you can enjoy your fruits without blood sugar spikes and enjoy a nice, clean green juice!
Just to recap, smoothies contain more fiber, don't oxidize as fast, and allow for slower nutrient absorption.
Juices have less fiber, oxidize quicker and allow for quick absorption.
Now again, this doesn't mean that juices are bad, they just have their place. We use them as we would a supplement. Drinking an organic vegetable juice is an opportunity to get great nutrients and minerals straight into your system.
4. Available Nutrients
When you juice a veggie, you strip away all the fiber. This makes the nutrients extremely available for your system to absorb. When you blend a veggie, you break down the fiber making the nutrients easier to absorb, but you still have a bunch of fiber that will slow absorption in your intestines.
For sugary foods this is ideal. For greens it's good too, but not as good as a green juice. When it comes to readily available nutrients, juices take the lead.
5. Ease of Making Them
Smoothies hands down on this. Put your ingredients into a blender and turn it on. Cleaning with a blender is simple too. Rinse it out a bit, add some water and soap, then put it back on the base. Turn it on for a few seconds, then use a sponge to clean out what's left.
Juicers are harder to clean because they have more moving parts.
To get the best of both worlds, you can use your blender to make juices.
Add your juice ingredients to the blender, add some water, and blend. When you're done, strain everything through a nut milk bag and you have your juice ready to go.
Check out Kevin's Smoothie Wee Specials…1/2 off Kevin's “Smoothies for Optimal Health” book, and discounts on Kev's Super Smoothie Powder.
For the second topic, Fruit friend or foe, we'll continue tomorrow.
Bottom line: enjoy your smoothies and have juice too, for a powerful nutritional boost.
For a super powerful nutrition and energy boost, check out our Green Smoothie Cleanse as part of our “Drink Green Stay Lean” Coaching Program.
Love, Health and Joy to You,
Why green smoothie VS green juice. Why not both? I have a green juice in the morning, and a green smoothie at night – woo hoo – lovely tastes and health benefits from both!
That’s the perfect way to go. I am with you. I do smoothies every day…my juice habit hasn’t gotten as consistent and i am working on it! thanks for sharing
Hi, Dr. Ritamarie,
You are doing such a good job sharing great health info! I’ve been in this field a long time and you are on target with your diet and health suggestions.
Your friend in NC,
Healthful Living Organic Farm
I’m so glad to hear the response from you. To me, the proof is in the cleanse. Green smoothies have helped to give me more life.
you and so many others. Thanks for sharing
That was very helpful, thank you very much!