Summer is finally upon us! Along with the warmer weather getting in more vegetables and fruits becomes easier and perhaps even more desirable. A great way to utilize all that straight from the farm (or Trader Joe’s) produce is juicing and smoothie making. It’s a delicious, efficient way to consume your vitamins and minerals, as well as being a refreshing and cooling way to get through the summer heat. Having a smoothie for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks makes a nutrient rich light meal. So what are the benefits of each? Let’s find out.
-Fiber! If you are simply blending your fruits and veggies you keep the fiber intact which is crucial for your body to register that you’re getting fed.
-It slows the digestion process keeping you not only feeling fuller for longer, but also stabilizing your blood sugar levels-due to the slower release of insulin in the system.
-Because smoothies usually contain protein (read: nut milk, nut butters, fats like avocados and oils, chia and flax) they are more satisfying due to the components that enable slower and steadier absorption
-Dried greens or vitamins are also easier to include in your smoothie, resulting in a higher nutrient intake if included
-Usually we up the amount of fruit and therefore sugars in our smoothies-try minimizing this by keep the base vegetable and only adding in one fruit to taste
-Smoothies need to be consumed promptly after making for optimal nutrient intake and in order to maintain the delicious creamy texture
-Too many heavy ingredients can leave you feeling lethargic instead of energized-keep the ingredient list short
-Easier to digest because of the lack of fiber in juices. This ideal for times when we are trying to heal our bodies.
-Can be made and stored for advanced use. I keep mine in a sealed tight mason jar in the fridge, shake, and drink throughout the week. The ingredients will naturally separate, just give them a shake to reincorporate.
-Faster absorption to the body leading to replenishment of vitamins, minerals, and electrolyte quickly-yes maybe juice after that marathon or intense sweat session!
-Helps us to digest those harder veggies as they can be juiced-think broccoli, kale, even celery.
-Lack of fiber in juices can lead to a blood sugar spike-especially if there is fruit in them. I certainly have felt heartburn from a super sweet mango based juice and have not repeated that mistake since-stick to greens.
-Again lack of fiber will not allow the body to realize you were fed therefore you may not feel satisfied after juicing.
-Juices have little to no fat or protein-making them incomplete in terms of qualifying as a “meal”.
An important thing to remind ourselves of is balance is key. Our bio-individuality allows for differing reactions to the same ingredients, so while you may feel energized after a juice, your friend may still be craving something more substantia and that’s OKAY. Juices are a great way to help you regain some nutrients after a strenuous workout or to sip on if you have a cold or fever. Smoothies are a great way to start your day with a nutritious punch.
I personally would not suggest a purely juice cleanse, I believe in the power of chewing for our digestive systems. That’s not to say, however, that methods for those that are seriously ill, i.e. Gerson Therapy includes some of these methods or if you have curiosity in how your body will respond-experiment! But I truly believe while a wonderful addition to your diet-juice isn’t a sustainable diet and “cleansing” sounds very akin to disordered eating practices-I cannot get down with that. Digressions aside, use wholesome ingredients without added sugar or synthetic fillers or become customer to a juice and smoothie establishment you can trust.
I’ve included two recipes below-one juice and one smoothie for you guys to enjoy!
Soothing, Cooling Green Juice
Ingredients/Method: (adjust to amount you are making) Add to juicer or blender in listed order. If you prefer a sweeter juice add in a green apple or pear. Blend!
Pinch Of Tumeric
Pinch of Ginger
Creamy, Dreamy Greens Smoothie
Ingredients/Method: (add to blender in order listed)
Unsweetened Almond or Coconut Milk