Sunday, April 1, 2012

Which is right for you: Smoothies or Juice (or both!)?

by Lisa K. Beach, Ph.D., CHES

As a continuation of my previous post, I decided to post examples of considerations for how to choose smoothies or juice:
  • If you hate vegetables – start with smoothies because you probably need more fiber, and you can hide veggie tastes easily!
  • If you are constipated – start with either one, but if your constipation is extreme, you may want to choose juice with aloe vera included (adding more fiber to concrete in your intestines can be disastrous and make the problem worse). If constipation is mild to moderate, you can probably get things moving with a high fiber smoothie (adding aloe works here too)
  • If you want to do a cleanse or detox – consider starting with a “juice till lunch” or “juice till dinner” approach. The longer you put off digestion during the day, the more your body can work on detox—the key is to include things like: parsley, cilantro, dark leafies. If you feel you’ll have a LOT of detoxing to do (how polluted are you?!), you may want to do green smoothies—add parsley, cilantro, chia, dark leafies. This will slow the circulation of toxins because your body is balancing its tasks of detoxing and digestion, and the high fiber and gel (chia) content will trap toxins and carry them out (rather than risking recirculation).
  • If you have skin problems – start with juice and a detox approach, but have smoothies too—the point with this one is that the ingredients are most important. Consider adding MSM, aloe, watercress, onion (!), peppers (unless you’re sensitive to nightshades), lots of greens (all the detox ingredients), and only minimal fruit/sugar. Consider using stevia to sweeten.
  • If you want to lose weight – either one, just make sure you keep your caloric intake in mind—if you’re worried about not being full, stick with smoothies. Always keep fruit content low, but consider adding healthy fats and proteins and use it as a meal substitution.
  • If you’re drinking it before a workout – juice!
  • If you’re drinking it after a workout – smoothie with high quality protein powder (my current fave is whole goat milk protein—whey content helps repair muscle, and casein content helps preserve muscle)
  • If you’re drinking it in the morning with breakfast – smoothie (the idea being that you want nutrients to fill you up–it will take space away from your cereal and other less nutritious breakfast foods)
  • If you’re drinking it in the morning as breakfast – juice (you may be hungry for the first couple days, but it’s only out of habit–in a few days you’ll have more energy than ever!)
Those are just the considerations I thought of now. If you think of others, please ask!
Of course, you can always incorporate both smoothies and juices into your diet, and I've even heard of people juicing and using it as a base for smoothies----talk about micronutrients!


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