The Benefits of Juice and Smoothies
One of the best benefits of juicing is the nutritional power packed into just one glass! Most people simply don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables to reap the health benefits. While you wouldn’t normally sit down to a plate of 10 vegetables/fruits (if you do, than bravo!), you can make a smoothie or juice with the equivalent amount and drink to your health!
It’s important to know your juice and smoothie ingredients and which are best for you:
Not Good: Supermarket juices/smoothies often contain lots of added sugar, artificial ingredients and preservatives. Preservatives can cause digestive issues, and sugar is not only addictive, but can increase joint pain, reduce immune efficiency, and add weight gain. Always read the ingredients.
Also Not Good: Chain “smoothie bars” often make smoothies with unhealthy dairy products and sugary fruit syrup. That minimizes the nutritional value and adds lots of empty calories.
Better: Raw, organic bottled juices from health food stores or quality juice bars are a good option when you’re pressed for time. But be sure to read the ingredients and look for whole, organic, unpasteurized ingredients.
Best: Whenever possible, freshly-made juices and smoothies are the best option – either those you make at home or order fresh at health food stores or juice bars. If you are looking for a juice bar near you – try the mobile app “Happy Cow.” No matter where you are, it will find the nearest juice bar, and you can look at the Yelp reviews for quality.
I recommend juices/smoothies with a lot more veggies than fruits – try for a 3:1 ratio. The goal is to get as many veggies in your drink as possible and add just a small amount of fruit to make it yummy! However, our taste buds change over time, so if you are just starting out and the idea of drinking vegetables scares you, you might want to enjoy it with more fruit and adjust your recipe to your taste. I work with my clients to help them determine the best fruit to veggie ratio depending on where they are.
I also recommend incorporating veggies - such as carrots or beets -- and low-glycemic fruits such as a green apple, pear, grapefruit, or lemon. I also love a frozen banana to make the smoothie creamy, delicious, and satisfying!
One of the main reasons I love juicing and smoothies has to do with QUANTITY. Consider this: how many green, leafy vegetables can you eat in a day? You can get your daily greens in a juice or smoothie without having to nibble on broccoli, kale, and spinach all day.
So, which is better: a juice or a smoothie? Well, it depends on your goals and activities for the day. Are you working out in the morning or heading to a work meeting? Are you planning to add to a meal or replace a meal?
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