There is no question that freshly made juices are a fantastic source of nutrients, vitamins and fiber. Quite often juice is labeled as the “ultimate health food/drink” or similar, but certain people disagree. Proponents of green smoothies argue that juicing is not only a terrible waste of food (since we usually filter and throw out the wet pulp), but that we are also missing out on huge quantities of important fiber by not consuming the whole food.
Basic benefits of green smoothies:
1. A good source of nutrients and vitamins (much like juice)
2. Extremely good source of dietary fiber – far better than juice
3. Potentially a complete meal in a glass – surprisingly rich in protein
4. Very filling, a genuine meal replacement
5. Virtually zero waste as the entire food is pureed
Now, I am a true believer in the healing qualities of fresh juices – I have personally improved my health, and know other people who have done the same. However, after researching and trial testing my own green smoothie diet over the past six months, I have to admit that we need to give this stuff more attention.
The best book I have read on the subject of green smoothies is “Green for Life” by Victoria Boutenko. This isn’t a recipe book, rather it is a reasonably scientific treatise concerning the ideal human diet. Essentially Boutenko believes that humans are chronically starved for fiber and advocates a raw diet which closely resembles that of wild chimpanzees – comprised mainly of green foods and fruits. Because we humans lack the powerful jaws and molars, not to mention the time, to grind up several pounds of green raw food everyday we use a blender – crating the green smoothie.
I made my first green smoothie about 6 months ago. I pureed several large celery stalks, an avocado, some blueberries, a banana and some beet leaves. This created a thick dark paste that looked pretty horrible, but tasted alright. Once you get over the appearance and the texture (about the consistency of a thick-shake) it is fine.
Since then I have tried to make a green smoothie almost every day. I am not a raw-foodist by any means, and don’t even come close to the 50-70% green-based diet recommended by Victoria Boutenko, but here is what I and my family have found drinking 1 to 2 glasses of smoothie almost every day:
1. Smoothies are MUCH faster to make than juice. I can whip up a smoothie in less than 5 minutes, while juicing takes several times as long.
2. A blender is a lot easier to wash than a juicer machine
3. Two large glasses of smoothie is an adequate breakfast for me and keeps me feeling full till about 10.30 or 11 am
4. Surprisingly energizing – I found I got the same kind of “bounce” feeling that one gets after a big bowl of cereal, or some other quickly metabolized food
5. Much improved digestion, and better bowel health within 2- 3 days of starting a green smoothie routine
6. A general feeling of wellness. Hard to accurately describe, but just a generally good, clean, and healthy feeling.
My verdict? Green smoothies may indeed be superior to juice. I still make juice, but I would honestly say now that if you were to compare the effects of drinking two glasses of juice a day and drinking two glasses of green smoothie a day for, let’s say one week, the smoothies would win out by a mile. From my experiences with both juice and smoothies, I am confident that you would feel a more noticeable difference from the smoothies. I don’t have the qualifications to tell you that it is due to the increased fiber, or exactly where the benefits lie, but I do feel there is a strong case for green smoothies.
Follow on here if you want to learn how to make a green smoothie in 5 minutes.