Green smoothies and green juices are both convenient drinks packed with nutrients – but their effects on your body are worlds apart. Find out the differences and why they matter for your health.
Green smoothies vs green juices.
While both smoothies and juices may host some of the usual suspects like spinach, kale, cucumber, wheatgrass, green apples and mint, smoothies more commonly tend to include some creamier ingredients like milk or coconut milk. This is an important difference as these types of foods tend to pack in a healthy dose of fats, which are essential for absorbing vitamins A, D, E and K. To boost the nutritional profile of your drink, you won’t want to skip out on these fats.
But there is another undeniable difference between the two – fibre. Fibre helps to metabolise sugar and take some of the strain off our livers when it comes to fructose – which you’ll find in fruits and some veggies; the stars of your green drinks. While juices are made in a juicer – and this is where the fibre gets lost – smoothies tend to be made in blenders, which keeps the fibre intact.
Why this matters.
Without fibre, sugar is processed far quicker, which can lead to some physical and emotional consequences when consumed in excess. Take a look at some of the unpleasant side-effects.
- Mood swings.
- Tingling in hands and feet.
- Blurry vision.
- Increased thirst.
- Increased hunger.
But it gets worse. The liver is put under the gun when we consume too much fructose – and not enough fibre – and this is because fructose can only be metabolised by the liver. If you eat a lot of fructose, no matter how low in fat it may be, you could be overwhelming your liver and causing the development of visceral fat. This is the bad kind of fat which wraps around the organs and leads to obesity, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the latter of which is projected to become the become the leading cause of cirrhosis in the next 10 years.
Obesity is another one of the big 3 conditions a low-fibre, high-sugar diet holds some responsibility for – with studies drawing a direct link between sugar consumption and obesity. With another study showing we’re eating over 4 times the daily sugar limit, it’s little surprise obesity rates have tripled since 1975. Then we know how excess sugar intake can cause insulin resistance, and result in type 2 diabetes. This metabolic condition affects 8.5% of adults and is the cause of millions of deaths every year. Between 2000 and 2016 there was a 5% rise in premature death rates caused by diabetes. So, it’s not only important to keep our sugar intake to a minimum – but it’s also essential to load up on fibre-packed foods.
Fibre is one of the key weapons against fructose and weight gain, with studies showing it reduces our hunger frequency and cuts down the amounts we consume. Even though juices will have some beneficial vitamins and minerals, if you’re looking for longer-lasting energy and satiety, smoothies are your answer.
If you’re looking for more of a balance across the food groups, smoothies are the way to go. Don’t forget to eat whole fruit and veggies, too, to get more of that essential fibre. If you're looking for more simple techniques to help you stay fuller for longer and curb those sugar cravings, we invite you to sign up to our 8-Week Program. You'll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive sugar-free recipes. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and expert guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
If you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it – JOIN NOW!
“The Succulent” Green Glowin’ Skin Smoothie.
It wouldn’t be us if we didn’t send you off with a nutritious, tasty, FREE recipe. Give this green smoothie a go – it’s a favourite from the classic eBook, I Quit Sugar for Life.
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach.
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries.
- 1 cup kefir or full-fat organic plain yoghurt or almond milk (with ½ cup almond meal).
- 2 tablespoons coconut flakes or coconut oil.
- 2 tablespoons whey (optional).
- Pinch of granulated stevia.
Simply blend all the ingredients together, blending the coconut oil or flakes in last so they don't hard. Then serve!For more tasty, simple recipes check out the eBook HERE.