When it comes to drinking your nutrients, should you juice or blend? It's a popular question in the wellness community, one that doesn't always have a direct answer.
To help you make sense of it all, MindBodyGreen talked to Joe Cross, the man who vowed to drink only fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days in an attempt to heal his sick, broken, overweight body.
According to Joe, there's no clear winner in the debate of whether to juice or blend. "Both are beneficial," he says. "One isn't better than the other ... it just depends on what you're hoping to get out of it."
"Most of us don't eat enough plant foods on our own. We're falling short of the recommended daily amounts of plants in our diets. So juice and smoothies allow us to introduce a variety of vegetables and fruits into our diets in an easy way ... you can only eat so much kale [or] chew so much celery every day."
If you're looking to refuel, especially before or after a workout, Joe recommends smoothies. Because the insoluble fiber in the produce isn't being removed, a smoothie slows down digestion, keeping you full longer.
If you're purely looking for nutrients, Joe says juice is the way to go. Compared to smoothies, "juicing provides more nutrients since the plant fiber is broken down into a dense liquid that supercharges nutrition." Juices are also absorbed faster into your system and you can fit much more produce (which equals more nutrients!) into a juice than you can a smoothie.
So who benefits the most from liquid nutrients?
"Everyone out there is a champion at getting enough macronutrients. No one has a problem getting enough carbohydrates, protein and fat. However, if you're someone who struggles to get micronutrients into your body, to get all the plants you're supposed to [eat] every day, [this] is for you."
If you'd like to wade into the baby pool of juicing, Joe recommends you try his Mean Green Juice, a favorite combination of his. As for smoothies, his Chocolate-Covered Goji blend will taste more like you're sipping on a delicious dessert than a nutrient-packed drink (recipes below).
And if you're now officially aboard the liquid nutrients train and want to drink in more of Juicing Joe's plant-based wisdom, check out his video course on all things juicing and blending and the sneak preview below!
JOE'S MEAN GREEN JUICE
- 1 cucumber
- 4 celery stalks
- 2 apples
- 6 — 8 kale (Tuscan cabbage) leaves
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 in (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger
1. Wash produce well.
2. Peel the lemon (optional).
3. Cut produce to fit through juicer.
4. Juice all ingredients and enjoy.
CHOCOLATE-COVERED GOJI SMOOTHIE
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 banana, frozen
- 1 Tbsp. cacao powder
- 1 Tbsp. almond butter
- 2 Tbsp. goji berries
- 4 kale (Tuscan cabbage) leaves
- 1 handful of ice
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1. Wash kale leaves well and remove from stems (save the stems for a juice!).
2. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 45 — 60 seconds until smooth.
3. Enjoy with an extra dash of cinnamon on top.
Photo courtesy of the author