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The great Juice Vs Smoothie debate

Stephanie Jeffs, founder of exploreraw.com gives us her opinion on hot topic, juicing vs. blending.

While working through my own health issues, juices and smoothies played a huge role in my wellness – and they still do! Juices and smoothies helped me release 120lbs of weight and say goodbye to the symptoms of PCOS.

Now, as a teaching chef and retreat host, I pride myself on whizzing up incredible juicy recipes for others, that will not only help them make better nutritional choices in the long run, but recipes that will nourish, satisfy and taste absolutely great! The healing systems of the body go in to overdrive when the body is fed the right stuff (fruits and veggies) and getting the right kitchen kit for the job is absolutely essential.

Whatever is in your glass it should taste incredible – no point in holding on to your nose to get the medicine down! Where’s the satisfaction in that? And so I try to introduce others to juices and smoothies with flavours that will always tantalize the taste buds as well as nourish the body. If you’re not a fan of broccoli for example - juice it! Or blend it up in a smoothie – it’s a great place to hide those veggies that we need, but find a little tricky to eat.

But which one is best? A juice or a smoothie?

There’s so much information out there from gurus, health warriors and ‘the science people’ it can perhaps be a little confusing, so let me share with you a perspective from my own personal experience.

Both juices and smoothies are incredibly good for you! They are both a great way to increase your intake of fruit & vegetables, and this is essential for good health, gut health and overall wellbeing.

So what’s the difference?

Essentially a juice is the result of breaking fruit & vegetables in to two products – juice and pulp. The pulp extraction is made up of the insoluble fibre from the fruit or veggie (there is still soluble fibre left in the juice) and the result is a lighter drink. Nutrients not only get in to the system faster but the body absorbs more and you can pack way more produce in to a juice.

A blender on the other hand creates one product – a smoothie - from fruit, veggies and added water that retains the insoluble fibre that can be essential for gut movement and health. Smoothies slow down the digestion and help with feeling ‘full and feasted’ for longer. A very small amount of nutrition passes out with the soluble fibre so some of it is lost to us compared to juicing and less produce is used in making a smoothie. So with a smoothie we can feel fuller while consuming less.

What our bodies need often determines whether we choose a juice or a smoothie, and a balanced healthy diet should include both.

Choosing the right kit for the job:

A great juicer will minimize the juice that is left in the pulp (we want to get all that good stuff out and in to our tummies!) and for this job I highly recommend the Green Star Elite. No juicer I have ever used has been able to compare to the quality of pulp separation (wonderfully dry) and it’s ability to handle leafy greens. The bio-ceramic magnets embedded in the Jumbo Twin-Gear cores ensure that maximum minerals are “pulled” into the juice increasing the juice’s bioavailability, meaning that your body can more effectively absorb and utilise the dissolved minerals. It’s my kitchen essential! A true work-horse for the home kitchen.

A great blender will have enough power to whizz things up very quickly – minimizing the time that the fruit & veggies will get bashed around the blender (and each other) which can cause some nutritional loss. The Dyna Blend is a terrific machine producing wonderful smoothies in a matter of just a few short seconds. Minimising blend time is ideal and exactly what I look for in a blender. It also uses a metal clutch that ensures no plastic touches your food while you blend.

A bit about juicing:

Juicing can produce a rather wonderful side effect: abundant energy! This is not just because of the satiating effects or the ingredients itself. Removing the insoluble fibre rests the digestive system and allows for a smoother absorption of nutrition and uses up less of the body’s resources. Basically, it gets the job done faster! Juicing is nature’s fast food and is a delicious way to stuff more goodness in to your glass and get healthy.

Juicing leafy greens and mixing them in with other sweeter ingredients helps to get more greens in to the diet! It’s easier for us to consume darker leafy greens that can be difficult to eat raw because of their bitter taste.

A bit about blending:

I tend to consume more smoothies when I need more energy, more fuel and am on the go! A smoothie is a wonderful gift to oneself before or after a workout or simply to help you get through a busy day.

Smoothies are another great way to increase the intake of greens. Kale & spinach in particular are super ingredients to include in every smoothie! They are probably my absolute essential ingredient as, like most people, I am not very good and chowing down on leaves.

Stephanie’s top tips:

• Juicing & blending are both great ways to increase the body’s intake of fruit & veggies, especially leafy greens that can be hard to consume raw
• Juicing gets the nutrition in to the system faster and this can really help when on a detox
• Smoothies retain more insoluble fibre that slows down digestion and keeps you feeling fuller for longer
• Include greens in every juice or smoothie and hide them with a little fruit
• I always add healthy fats to a green smoothie as this helps with the absorption of nutrition from the greens. Try adding avocado or Udo’s Choice Omega Oil Blend to your smoothie to get your essential fatty acids.
• Getting the right kit for the job is essential for getting quality juices & smoothies every time
Written by Stephanie Jeffs of exploreraw.com

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