When I was a professional athlete, smoothies were a lifesaver! Since I was in an event that required mostly speed and power, I was constantly working and tearing up my muscles. Therefore, I required a lot of protein to help repair and build them back […]
Month: May 2017
Whether you’re trying to incorporate more fruits & vegetables into your diet, lose weight, or are just craving a spring drink, both smoothies and juices can add nutritional deliciousness to your body.
But they’re not created 100% equal.
So which is better for you? I’ve broken it down so you can make an educated decision that best suits your healthy lifestyle goals.
The main differences between them comes down to two things: fiber and absorption. Smoothies contain insoluble fiber, whereas juices do not, but juices absorb nutrients into the bloodstream quicker. So what does this mean?
Extra Pooping Power!
Insoluble fiber keeps your bowels moving. It’s found in the seeds and skins of fruits and vegetables and isn’t broken down by the gut or absorbed into the bloodstream. It’s purpose is to add bulk to our waste and move it out of our bodies quicker. Not only that, it also helps balance the acidity in our intestines, which aids in the prevention of colon cancer. Though this still gives you the lectins in the vegetables which can be counter productive. This is why some people take supplements that block lectin with their smoothies.
Fast Nutrients or Sugar Crash?
Since the fruits and veggies in juice are already completely broken down, the nutrients are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. This can be good as long as you’re not only juicing fruits. This can cause your blood sugar to rapidly spike and result in a later sugar crash.
Take Note: Beware the Sugar
Both smoothies and juices can be really high in sugar, particularly if you’re using tons of fruit, and be especially careful with juices since the absorption is so fast. If you’re trying to lose weight or watching your sugar intake, using more vegetables will be key.
The Bottom Line
Overall, for most of us, just getting more fruits and especially vegetables in our diet is a huge win. However, to help you decide which is best for you, think about your health and lifestyle goals.
Do you want more lean, mean muscle? Then go with a smoothie and add protein powder or Greek yogurt.
If you want to cleanse your body with a punch of nutrients, then opt for a veggie juice.
Either way, you can’t make a wrong decision if the alternative was a bag of potato chips or a handful of cookies.
What are almonds?
The edible seed of the almond tree.
Why should I eat almonds?
They are the ultimate power food. If you want to increase your protein and fiber intake, protect your cells from damage, and get some heart-healthy fats, then eat almonds.
Protein – 6g/small handful (as much as 1 egg)
Fiber – 3.5g/small handful (as much as about 2 tbsp ground flaxseed)
Antioxidants – these powerhouses that protect your cells are mostly found in the brown layer of the skin.
Monounsaturated Fats – healthy fats that are good for your heart.
How do I use almonds?
Besides using them as topping for oatmeal, yogurts or in granola, you can add them as crunch to cookies, grind it up into almond butter to spread on toast or simply eat them by the handful (sometimes I soak mine in water before eating them).
What kind of almonds should I buy?
I really like Kirkland Signature Supreme Whole Almonds, 3 Pound because I feel like you get the most bang for you buck. Either way, try to buy raw, unsalted almonds. This way you control your salt intake and you can always roast them yourself later.
What is ground flaxseed meal?
The ground up seeds from flax, one of the oldest fiber crops in the world.
Why are ground flaxseeds good for me?
If you’re looking for something to keep you full for longer but isn’t high in carbohydrates, than flax seeds have your back. They are high in fiber and form a sort of “gel” when mixed with liquid and keep food in your stomach from emptying too quickly, which can help increase nutrient absorption.
They are also the richest source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids in the world, which can help reduce inflammation and fat levels in your blood.
How do I use ground flaxseed?
Same as chia seeds, add it to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, cookies, cakes and pies.
What kind of ground flaxseed should I buy?
A brand with the only ingredient being ‘whole flaxseed’. Like chia, you can buy whole seeds or ground up. I prefer ground not only because it’s easier to incorporate into recipes but because it’s easier to digest. I always buy Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal – 32 oz