Did you order a fancy whizz bang juicer or blender for Christmas? By now if you’re like most people, it’s already collecting dust on the kitchen bench top. I admit I fell into this trap and bought a blender thinking I’d be veggie juice crazed, but alas I did it for about 2 weeks. Now I just make fruit smoothies in stead! There is no question that making vegetable or fruit drinks have been around for a while, but in the past year there have a plethora of kitchen gadgets and pre packaged fruit and vegetable drinks that have gone to market.
Lets face it, the biggest problem with everyone’s diet is that most people do not eating enough veggies. If buying a blender makes you eat more fruits and vegetables then that’s a good thing. We know the health benefits of eating enough fruits and veggie ranging from warding off chronic disease like heart disease and cancer. The more veggies you eat the better and if you can get your two serves of fruit in per day you need a gold star! Let me give you a few tips on what to look out for when you start your juice and smoothie making:
The difference between juice & smoothies
There is a huge nutritional difference between juicing and blending fruits and vegetables. Often during the juicing process a lot of pulp is removed. Pulp from fruits and veggies contain the fibre we need for good bowel health, without this you are essentially drinking sugary water. The fibre in fruit actually helps to slow down the absorption of sugar in the body. This is what helps to curb sugar cravings and make you feel full. Without it, you can very easily over drink your quota of sugar for the day. If you’re going to choose between the two, blend your veggies and fruit and drink your fibre too. It may not be the tastiest option though. Do yourself a favour and add water and buy a heavy-duty blender. Nothing worse than chunks in your drink!
Juicing fruit & veggies will not unlock more nutrients
You will get the same amount of nutrients from eating whole or blended fruit and veggies. Blending your veggies and fruit may be easier for you in terms of convenience. You may be able to save time by drinking your fruit and veggies rather spending time on food prep like chopping and cooking veggies before main meals.
Veggie & fruit juices can be calorie dense
If you are after weight loss beware. Watch what ingredients you are powering up your smoothies with. Combining chia seeds, yogurt, coconut oil, several pieces of fruit and veggies is going to give you a calorie surge. If you don’t use it up in exercise you won’t be losing weight any time soon. For the lowest calorie shake just use veggies or berries in water, watch the added ingredients that are high in fat. Remember that the recommendations for fruit consumption are two serves per day. If you eat more fruit than this it should offset other wholegrain or carbohydrates you normally eat.
Eat proper food and juice
Thinking you are going to live off juice as part of a detox plan this will back fire. The body needs protein to function properly so you may be able to get away with juicing for a little while, but prolong this for a few months and you may develop deficiencies. Be mindful that eating a variety off food as well as fruit and veggies drinks is more beneficial to health than detoxing with just juice.
If you have any favourite smoothie and juice recipes you love, please share them in the comments.