health, information, juices, plant-based eating, reviews, smoothies, tips

A Holistic Health Coach’s Guide to Juices and Smoothies

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9.

That’s right. 9.

It takes 9 servings of fruits and vegetables to meet your recommended daily intake, according to the USDA. If a serving size is measured as about 1 cup, you’d need to eat 3 cups of fruits and vegetables at each meal to meet your requirements. Are you getting enough?

With most of the country living an “always on the go lifestyle,” including an estimated 20% of meals eaten in our cars, sitting down to a well-balanced, produce-heavy meal can often be a challenge. One easy way to up the intake of fruits and vegetables in your diet is with the addition of juices and smoothies.

One of my favorite places to get a juice or a smoothie on the go is I Love Juice Bar. With 40+ locations in the US and more opening every year, you’ve got plenty of locations to choose from. What makes I Love Juice Bar a sip above other juice and smoothie places, is their commitment to high quality, fresh, plant-based ingredients in each of their hand-crafted beverages. They never use any fillers, syrups, sugars, or artificial ingredients of any kind, so you can feel good about any drink you order! Their smoothies aren’t made with ice like some of the other smoothie places, and instead use frozen fruit to make each creation cold and creamy. Their Juice Ninjas make all of their menu items fresh, every single day, with most items being made to order guaranteeing the most nutritional bang for your buck. I Love Juice Bar is also happy to customize your beverage to suit your tastes or dietary restrictions. Best of all, each juice, smoothie, smoothie bowl, and dish is sure to be nutritious and delicious.

When prepared with fresh ingredients, both beverages can be a convenient and delicious way to ensure that you’re getting the necessary nutrients you need to stay healthy. But what is the difference between a juice and a smoothie and which one is the best choice for you?

Below you’ll find a Holistic Health Coach’s guide to the two hottest (I mean, coldest) wellness beverages out there.

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Juices

Defintion:

A cold, liquid beverage made with vegetables, fruits, and herbs. The natural liquid is extracted from the fresh produce using a centrifugal or masticating juicing machine, and the leftover dry pulp is discarded (or used in baked goods, making stock, or dehydrated crackers).

Benefits:

  • Fiber is removed in juicing, so the phytonutrients from the produce hit the blood stream more rapidly
  • High nutrient density in less volume of liquid
  • Great way to consume vegetables and herbs that you might not normally be eating like beets, parsley, or wheatgrass
  • Typically higher than smoothies in chlorophyll-rich dark, leafy greens (which help to repair DNA damage)
  • A 12 oz glass of juice can provide basically all your recommended daily servings of vegetables
  • When consumed alone, juices require little digestive power, allowing the digestive system a chance to rest while assimilating nutrients
  • Better choice for those recovering from illness, with sensitive digestive systems, or those on a medically-supervised low-fiber diet

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Smoothies

Defintion:

A cold, creamy beverage made with a base of frozen fruit, a liquid (juice or a dairy alternative), leafy green vegetables, and other ingredients. Puréed together in a high-speed blender to form a thick, smooth beverage.

Benefits:

  • Fiber remains in the finished product, helping you feel fuller for longer
  • Able to use creamy fruits such as banana, mango, berries, and avocado
  • Able to add nuts and seeds, making the finished beverage higher in fiber, essential fatty acids, and protein
  • Great way to add exotic ingredients to your diet such as açaí, dragon fruit, raw cacao, maca, or matcha
  • A well planned smoothie has the ability to replace a light meal
  • Better choice for those who are sensitive to blood sugar swings or need soft food replacement mealsIMG_4660.jpg

Tips for Making the Most of Your Juices and Smoothies:

  • When you can, add more vegetables than fruits to your beverage. This will keep the natural sugars in the finished beverage lower for those who are sensitive. Fruits are often easier to get into your diet elsewhere as a snack anyway.
  • The more dark, leafy greens the better! They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and most of us don’t eat enough.
  • Consume the drink as quickly as you can after they are made for maximum nutrient content. Oxidation will destroy many of the nutrients within 72 hours, so drink your juice and smoothies asap.
  • Chew your smoothie and swish your juice! There are important digestive enzymes in your saliva that are crucial to delivering certain nutrients to your cells. For best absorption and assimilation of nutrients, make sure to get your mouth involved!

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** Please Note: I am NOT a doctor! As an Integrative Nutrition Holistic Health Coach I specialize in addressing lifestyle changes that help you live a happier and healthier life. Please consult with your doctor about any dietary changes you would like to make. I am not sponsored by I Love Juice Bar or any other products, brands, or produce in this post. Please see my full disclaimer here.

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