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To Juice or Not to Juice

So you have decided to “get healthy.” You’re eating right, exercising daily and making trips to the juice bar instead of the ice cream shop. You may even be thinking about purchasing a fancy juicer or blender. Which one is right for you? Should you be juicing or making smoothies? And what’s the difference anyway?!

With the recent rise in juice popularity, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that juice is better than smoothies or blended drinks, especially when juice bars are cropping up all over town. But the reality is juice and blended drinks have pros and cons, and understanding these will help you decide which drink is right for you.

One main difference between the two is how they are produced. Juice is made by extracting the water and most of the nutrients the produce contains and leaving behind the pulp. Blending pulverizes whole produce to make a smoothie.

Both versions contain all of the powerful nutrients associated with the produce that create them, but only blending or smoothies retain the pulp. When you juice, you are extracting up to 70% of the nutrition right into your glass while leaving the pulp behind. Without the insoluble fiber, your body absorbs 100% of these nutrients.

Blended drinks are full of pulp which means they are full of fiber. Fiber keeps your digestive tract healthy and slows down the absorption of sugar. It makes you feel full, but it also slows down the absorption of nutrients, and some nutrients stay locked in the fiber.

Juice can not be used as a meal replacement because you will not feel full. But it puts vitamins and nutrients directly into your system with little effort from your body, therefore creating a high absorption rate. It makes your cells healthier and happier faster. Also, since juicing extracts the liquid from the produce, it can make it easier to incorporate vegetables like leafy greens that may not taste as good in their full form but taste sweeter when the juice is extracted.

So in order to choose which drink is right for you, ask yourself, am I trying to replace a meal or am I trying to heal my body? And if you can’t decide, it doesn't hurt to try both!