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Summer Series 6: Juices and smoothies for vibrant health

Juices and smoothies should be part of our daily diet, as their health benefits are immense. Read on to learn more and discover two delicious recipes!
Healthy and nutritious green juice and smoothie with floral ice cubes
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Summer Series 6: Juices and smoothies for vibrant health

Do you know the difference between a juice and a smoothie? Many people often confuse the two, even though they are very different in their preparation, composition, or ingredients used.

The difference between a juice and a smoothie?

A smoothie is prepared with a blender, whereas juice is prepared with a juice extractor or possibly a centrifuge. A centrifuge “heats” the ingredients during the juicing process, degrading some of their properties. Extractors are, therefore, my preferred tool for the creation of juice.

The main difference between a juice and a smoothie is that the latter retains all the fibre of fruits and vegetables used, whether soluble or not. All the insoluble fibre is removed in a juice, leaving only the soluble fibre. As far as the ingredients used are concerned, both are prepared with fruit and vegetables. However, there are some notable differences: Absolutely any fruit or vegetable can be used to make a smoothie, as long as the combination is palatable. Often, other ingredients are added, such as seeds (flax, chia, etc.), plant-based milk (almond, coconut, rice, etc.), oilseeds or oilseed purées (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, etc.), “superfoods” (raw cocoa, maca, pollen), dried fruits (dates, figs, goji berries), certain vegetables or greens (spinach, aromatic herbs), etc.  

A well-prepared smoothie can be a full meal, say for breakfast or an alternative to a fast-food lunch if you are in a hurry. On the other hand, some types of vegetables, fruits or other ingredients don’t lend themselves to be juiced. For example, those with a high level of insoluble fibre and very little juice cannot produce juice.

What are their effects on the body and health?

Compared with juice, a smoothie contains a lot of insoluble fibre, which is slower to digest. This is why a smoothie is not digested very quickly and has a longer-lasting and more nourishing effect on the body, just as a solid meal would. The digestive work is basically the same as if these fibres had been ingested in a solid, whole state. All the fibre in the smoothie helps the colon to function correctly. The fact that a smoothie contains a lot of fibre makes it more “aggressive” for the intestinal mucous membrane, so it is not recommended for anyone with chronic or complicated intestinal problems.  

If it is made only of fruit, it is a sweet drink that, if consumed excessively, can raise blood sugar levels, so be careful not to overdo it or prepare it as advised below.  

As for vegetable and fruit juices, they are a real health treasure for several reasons: Since the insoluble fibres are eliminated when extracted, they are digested exceptionally quickly, and the nutrients present (vitamins, minerals, trace elements, etc.) pass quickly into the bloodstream, the digestive system is relieved and requires only a minimum of effort.

  • Juices are one of the best sources for regenerating a leaky gut.
  • Depending on the vegetables, greens and fruit used, they also act as a mini-detox for the entire digestive and intestinal tract daily.
  • They can also help to reduce the feeling of hunger.
  • Finally, it is a super cocktail to remineralise the body in depth and de-acidify it.

How to make healthy juices and smoothies?

First, it is advisable to prepare them with fresh organic food, as free of chemical molecules as possible. The toxins from pesticides, fungicides and other chemical products will pass into the blood circulation and will have to be processed by the emunctory organs such as the liver. So, choose organic for as many of the ingredients as possible.

In a smoothie, it is preferable not to add only fruit but to systematically add two good handfuls of greens or aromatic herbs such as spinach, kale, lettuce, mint, basil or parsley and vegetables if necessary. As greens are rich in chlorophyll, they are an undeniable asset for health and should be consumed daily.

As for the juice, it is a good idea to include 70 to 80% vegetables and greens and no more than 20 to 30% fruit; since it lacks fibre, its nutrients pass extremely quickly into the bloodstream and can rapidly raise blood sugar levels. In both cases, do not hesitate to use foods highly beneficial to health. Fresh ginger for its digestive properties, fresh turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties, etc.

In both cases, you have to make sure you chew and swallow them well, even if they seem liquid! Especially for smoothies, which are full of fibre. The carbohydrate and starch digestion begin in the mouth, thanks to the action of salivary amylase. If the insalivation and chewing stage is poorly done, the rest of the digestion process will be much more complicated. In Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine, it is said that liquid food should be chewed just like a regular meal.

If you want to go into detail, depending on the constitution, temperament, and profile (naturopathic, ayurvedic), certain types of fruits and vegetables are more or less adapted to each person, depending on their nature. Taking the seasonal availability and location into account is also important.

Healthy and nutritious green smoothie in a glass on table

Two recipes

Hydrating green juice

Strain one lemon + a piece of freshly peeled ginger + one stalk of celery + half a cucumber + half an apple + half a pomelo + a handful of fresh parsley, and enjoy at leisure and don’t forget to chew the liquid.

Green vegetables are full of vitamins from the A, B, C and K groups, which are essential for the proper functioning of the body. In summer, in addition to a sufficient quantity of water per day, don’t hesitate to consume vegetables with high water content, such as cucumbers, spinach, celery or courgettes, which provide a good source of hydration. The combination of parsley and celery has an alkalising effect which helps to combat free radicals and possible acidification of the body caused by stress, poor sleep, a diet too rich in unhealthy fats and refined sugars, or a lack of physical activity.

A summer smoothie packed with vitamins

Put one banana + two large handfuls of red fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.) + fresh mint + a little vegetable milk of your choice + 1 tablespoon of almond purée into a blender, blend and enjoy at leisure.

Bananas are rich in carbohydrates, a source of energy, and very alkalising. Red fruits are rich in antioxidants, which help to fight against free radicals and acidification. Fresh mint provides chlorophyll and freshness, and almond purée is a source of good fats.  

Remember to test and experiment with what you want while respecting the broad outlines of all mentioned above. The variations are infinite, the flavours too; there is something to enjoy every day while nourishing all the cells in your body!

Original Language: French

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